Kamala Cummings, is a sister who inspires me every time I see her posting on social media. From Facebook to Instagram to Twitter, Kamala posts one amazing travel destination after the next. So I hooked up with Kamala to learn from an expert traveler some pointers for traveling the world. It was recently noted by Farai Chideyain in an article Traveling While Black that African Americans are spending 48 billion dollars a year in international travel!
Kamala knows all about that. But she also shared with me something that tickled me so much that I want to share with you. She said “I think it’s wonderful when life goes full-circle for us. I must share this. When I decided to embrace my natural hair some eight years ago I was living at home in Michigan at the time. It was a really hard transitions because though I was living in the “hair capital” of the world, there weren’t many salons and stylist where I could get my hair styled naturally. I stuck it out though and so grateful I did. I would visit your site www.khamitkinks.com almost weekly for a little encouragement”!
Whoop! I so loved hearing that! But now let’s see what Kamala has to say about the world of Lux Travel.
- How did you first become interested in travel? It’s so funny because travel was actually one of the careers that I never considered. This was truly a divine assignment for me. I was introduced to the world of travel through a friend who owned a luxury travel agency in Michigan that I befriended at a hair salon. She obviously saw something in me that I never imagined. The key was that I had a teachable spirit and I have a heart of service.
- What about travel sparked your interest? My very first booking was over $100k to an island that I had never heard of before. Because of all the details and intricate pieces of the travel request, I studied everyday about the island and the property that the family visited. It opened my eyes to a whole new world. I’ve haven’t looked back since.
- How do you think travel has impacted your life and your perception of yourself? I have an addiction to magazines (it’s gotten much better) and when my schedule permits I will spend hours in a bookstore skimming through all the travel and fashion magazines. The more I learned, the more I wanted to share these wonderful experiences especially in the African American community. It was such and important endeavor that I reached out to Crème Magazine and asked if I could write a monthly feature about some of the properties and destinations that I discovered. It’s so important to me to see people of all races ready to explore the world and really invest in travel while cutting back on some of the material things that we think are important. Social media is now like an open book for most people, but I often wonder how fulfilling a young woman’s life would be if she invested the same amount of money on travel that she would for a handbag. Men aren’t exempt with their pricey must-have toys. There is nothing wrong with rewarding yourself with nice things, that is not my argument at all. It’s creating balance that is so rewarding.
- What would you consider the top three places you’ve traveled to and what made them special? Cadeques, Spain, Sayulita, MX and Vieques, PR. I’m such a free-spirited person that I am drawn to places that are “free” and uninhabited. Each location had some of the most amazing views of the ocean that I have ever seen. One would visit the mentioned locations to really relax and take in the culture and surroundings. They are all surrounded by the ocean which gives way to the most amazing sunsets, quiet walks and some the most exquisite cuisines. Sometimes we need a place to retreat where we truly can disconnect and find our center. That’s where love is born.
- Where have you not visited yet that’s on your bucket list? Tuscany, Fiji and Argentina. Staying in an over-water bungalow is definitely on my bucket-list. I also adore rustic, country side homes where I could pick my own flowers and vegetables each day.
- Is there a special program that you belong to? No, I would love to create a travel club however. But very focused where each year we would visit a different country, some trips would be more mission oriented where our focus would be giving back, and others would be exploring beautiful places such as Song Saa Private Island. I often hear people say that they would love to travel the world if they had others to accompany them.
- What has been your worse travel experience? I honestly have never had a bad travel experience. I look at each travel experience (even if its to a nearby State) as a learning experience. I’ve had experiences where my travel companions on the other hand have made a “happy-place” a pure nightmare (smile).
- The name of your business is awesome. How did you come up with it? Thank you! I actually toyed with a few names before selected LuxTravelGirl once I set up my Twitter account. After awhile it started to become another part of me. It was all apart of the plan for me to work in the luxury travel market as it was my first introduction to travel. It was my introduction to the travel world that I grasped and learned to love very quickly. The luxury market was also the door that opened to the world of sports and entertainment travel for me (which primarily makes up my current client base).
- Is there anything else that you would like to share? Just to encourage people to really travel. As a couple or as a family, decide on at least one vacation per year to explore (Papua New Guinea, Switzerland, Cambodia or even the California wine countries). Just make it a priority to see a different part of this beautiful world every chance that you can. Start small and perhaps visit a state that you can drive to, then work your way over to more exotic destinations. At the beginning of the year even start a “travel fund”. Each person can contribute. You would be surprised how much you can save by limiting the amount of lattes you have each week.
India Arie and Kamala Cummings
- What is some unique advice you have for those who lust to travel to exotic luxury vacations but haven’t done it yet? Start by reading all the travel magazines that you can to get a sense of some of the destinations. Some will speak to you immediately rather through the food, customs or a place to purchase a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry or clothing. Once you decide on a destination do all the research needed a year or so ahead of time (customs, traditions, travel requirements and documentation and book all excursions prior to your arrival). Planning ahead does not always mean that you are free from glitches, but travel should not be stressful or complicated. Planning ahead will alleviate this from occurring.
- Last but not least, how do you handle your hair when traveling? Do you wear protective styles for carefree primping or do you wear your own hair loose? I love to wear my natural hair when traveling and in warmer/lush climates my hair looks amazing (like Puerto Rico for instance). The two strand twist usually works well and is not too time consuming. When traveling I think its a beautiful reflection to display your own natural tresses and allow your hair the “freedom” to do whatever it would like. I try to travel with enough essential oils to prevent dryness. Other than that, I just rock the wild ‘Fro and a cute little “puff” bun.
Kamala is from Troy, Michigan – She is currently living in Atlanta, GA – While she spends her days booking exclusive travel for others she makes it a point to travel at least 2-3 times per year, even if it’s a short dip to her “happy place”, Miami, FL.
To book with Kamala please contact her via email – firstname.lastname@example.org and visit her company’s website www.smartflyer.com.