Recently, I interviewed ABCiE about being abroad, Croatian businessmen, and interracial dating.
1) What part of the U.S. are you from and what is the "swirling" scene like there?
I'm originally from Atlanta and the swirling scene there is getting better, but when I was growing up it definitely wasn't the norm.
2) Why did you choose to go abroad?
I actually decided to do a study abroad programme my final semester of undergrad because I just wanted to try something different. Plus I read a ton of books and I was intrigued by the idea of actually seeing the places I read about. After my first study abroad programme to England, I gotten bitten hard by the travel bug and I've been back and forth ever since.
3) In terms of interracial dating, which country do you think is the friendliest towards it, and why?
Hmmmm....this is a tough one. I think it depends. I know there are certain cities that are cool as far as interracial dating, but not necessarily the countries as a while. As an Africa-American, I'd say London and Paris are fabulous.
4) What have your general experiences with swirling abroad been like? Did anything surprise you?
So far, not to many issues as far as swirling abroad. I think I was most surprised by how much more common it is in the European cities I've been to and how much less of a stigma is attached to it. Not to say that there are no stigmas or no problems, but definitely not the same baggage as in the US. I would say that black women should be cautious that men are not going after them to fulfill some fantasy...but this applies to any country.
5) What are some particularly memorable experiences with swirling abroad that you have had?
Oh where to start? I guess the one that really stood out actually happened to a friend of mine while we were in Croatia. We met this Croatian guy our first day in Dubrovnik as we were searching for our hotel. We chatted with him a few minutes and he invited us to dine at the restaurant he owned. We did end up stopping by, but it was too expensive on our limited budget. We saw him later and told him why we didn't eat there and he said that he would have given us the meal for free. Turns out he was trying to get us to his restaurant to spend more time with my friend! He then proceeded to ask my friend out. When she politely declined (because we had an early bus to catch the next morning), he pleaded with her for just one date. He said, "Are you worried about your safety? Don't worry, when you are with me, you are like Swiss bank. You are safe." I'm pretty sure he would have happily made my friend his wife if he had any indication that she would have agreed...he feel for her hard.
6) If money was no object, where would you make your home in the world and why?
Hmmm...it's hard to pick just one. If I had an option, I'd split my time between NYC, Berlin, Paris and London.