Travel Noire Travel Writer Rafael on how to feel at home in another country: Live like a local

Travel Noire travel writer Rafael is this week’s guest, he writes for a travel site that focuses on the experiences of Black travelers who travel the world. Travel Noire founder Zim Ugochukwu, created the site in 2013. Travel Noire has become a go-to resource for Black travelers seeking honest and relatable travel content. In addition to featuring travel stories and destination guides, Travel Noire offers a travel directory and travel deals. Its mission is to inspire people of color to travel more and to see the world as a source of opportunity.

I read an article Rafael wrote in Travel Noire, about almost being deported from Argentina. The article was very interesting and I wanted to speak with him about the way he had moved abroad, wherein he lived like a local, which made his experience more enjoyable.

If you’re looking to live abroad like a local, there are a few things you need to do. For starters, you should avoid staying in touristy areas, and instead find an Airbnb in an actual neighborhood, until you know how long you plan to remain in the country and might then get an apartment. You should also try to shop where the locals shop and eat at restaurants they frequent. Additionally, it’s a good idea to explore your destination on foot, and take advantage of the many activities and attractions that are off the beaten path.

Travel Noire travel writer Rafael has moved back to America to be near family and plan his future with his fiancée, specifically he moved to Atlanta, a city that has plenty of food options and good people. The city has a balance of city life and suburban life, making it the perfect place to settle down. With its many cultural attractions and its diverse population, Atlanta is a city that has something for everyone.

And although it’s wonderful that Rafael is happy to be there, for a while, in America he felt like he was existing, working in corporate America, instead of living and he had an overwhelming desire to travel. So Rafael decided to move abroad for a short while and travel. He and his fiancée planned for months, they had both dreamed of seeing the world and knew they didn’t want to do it under the confines of a traditional 9-5. So they took the leap, handed in their resignations, and set off on the adventure of a lifetime. They’ve seen more of the world than they imagined and are excited to continue seeing it together in years to come.

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Image by Dean Moriarty from Pixabay

February 2019 marked a turning point in their life, they decided to take a leap of faith and travel to Bangkok, Thailand. It was a decision that would change everything. In Bangkok, they started their lives over, exploring new careers and lifestyles. Rafael became a travel writer contributing to Travel Noire, documenting their experiences for Travel Noire site. His partner became a teacher, helping Thai students learn English. They embraced Bangkok and found a new sense of freedom. They were no longer constrained by the expectations of society; instead, They were able to forge our path. And that is what moving abroad is all about. It is about breaking down barriers and embracing the unknown.

The countries Rafael visited in his 3 years while living abroad were :

Thailand, Italy, Indonesia, Sicily, Greece, Portugal, and Argentina.

Here are some interesting points about these places.


Thailand is renowned for its tantalizing cuisine, which blends the five key flavors of salt, sweet, sour, bitter, and umami. Thai dishes often feature fresh herbs and spices, such as lemongrass, ginger, and chili peppers, which give them their characteristic flavor. One of the most popular Thailand dishes is pad Thai, a stir-fried noodle dish that can be made with chicken, shrimp, or tofu. Other popular Thailand foods include green curry, red curry, Massaman curry, and tom yum soup. With its combination of bold flavors and fresh ingredients, it’s no wonder that Thailand food is so popular around the world.

Thai cuisine features a wide variety of dishes, including curries, noodle soups, and grilled meats. Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand, is home to many world-famous restaurants that serve traditional Thai dishes. Visitors to Thailand often find themselves craving the country’s signature flavors long after they’ve left. Whether you’re eating at a street stall or a five-star restaurant, Thailand’s food is sure to delight your taste buds.

Rafael enjoyed the food and found the people to be friendly and hospitable. And of course, Bali is one of the most beautiful places on earth to visit.


Indonesia is an archipelago made up of over 17,000 islands, which explains why the country is so incredibly diverse. The Indonesian people represent more than 300 ethnic groups, speak over 700 languages, and practice multiple religions.

Despite this diversity, Indonesia has managed to remain largely harmonious. One of the things that makes Indonesia such a unique travel destination is the opportunity it provides to learn about different cultures without having to leave the country.

Indonesia is a vast country with a rich and diverse culture. From the bustling streets of Jakarta to the idyllic beaches of Bali, there is something for everyone in Indonesia. Travelers can explore the country’s many temples and monuments, sample delicious Indonesian cuisine, or simply relax on one of the many beautiful beaches. Indonesia is also home to some of the world’s best diving sites, making it a popular destination for adventure seekers.


Greece is a land of history and culture, offering travelers a chance to see some of the most amazing ruins in the world. The country is also home to beautiful beaches, clear turquoise waters, and pleasant weather. When planning a trip to Greece, be sure to allow plenty of time to explore the Acropolis in Athens, the Temple of Zeus, and the Parthenon. Then head south to the island of Crete to see the Palace of Knossos, one of the largest Bronze Age archaeological sites in Europe. Rafael was blown away by the beauty of Athens, and he loved exploring all of the ancient ruins.

Greece is a country with a long history and rich culture. Visitors to Greece can explore ancient ruins, enjoy the Mediterranean cuisine, and relax on the beach. The Greek islands are some of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Mykonos and Santorini are two of the most well-known islands, but many others are just as great.


Portugal is located on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. It is bordered by Spain to the east and north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west and south. Portugal has a Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and warm summers. The country is known for its stunning coastline, with over 1,000 miles of beaches. The capital city of Lisbon is a must-see for any traveler to Portugal. This historic city is filled with cobbled streets, beautiful buildings, and a lively atmosphere. Porto, located in the north of the country, is another popular destination. This city is known for its picturesque bridges, colorful houses, and delicious wine.

Portugal is relatively affordable compared to other Western European countries. The pace of life in Portugal is slower than what many visitors are used to, but this just gives you more time to enjoy the simple things in life: good food, good wine, and good company. Whether you’re interested in soaking up the sun on the Algarve coast or exploring the cobbled streets of Lisbon, you’re sure to have a great time in Portugal. The food is also fantastic, with options ranging from fresh seafood to hearty traditional fare.


Sicily is an island off the southern coast of Italy. It is home to some of the most active volcanoes in Europe, including Mount Etna, which is one of the tallest volcanoes in the world. Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is located off the southern coast of Italy, and it is a popular travel destination for people from all over the world. Sicily is known for its stunning beaches, its clear blue waters, and its relaxed Mediterranean atmosphere. Sicily is a great place to visit if you are looking for a sunny beach vacation or a cultural experience.

This beautiful island, located off the coast of Italy, is renowned for its stunning beaches, historic ruins, and mouth-watering cuisine. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach vacation or an action-packed adventure, Sicily has something for everyone. For history buffs, there’s the Valley of the Temples, a UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring some of the best-preserved Greek temples in the world. Or if you prefer something more laid-back, take a stroll through the streets of Taormina, where you’ll find charming shops and cafes lining the cobblestone lanes.


Italy is a country rich in history, culture, and food. From the ancient ruins of Rome to the canals of Venice, there is much to see and explore. Traveling to Italy is an unforgettable experience. From the rolling hills of Tuscany to the stunning coastline of the Amalfi Coast, there is no shortage of beauty to behold. Traveling to Italy is a truly unforgettable experience. Whether you’re exploring the ruins of Pompeii or taking in a sunset over the Mediterranean, Italy is sure to leave you with lasting memories.

From the moment you arrive in Rome and set eyes on the Colosseum, you feel as though you have been transported back in time. As you explore the city, you will find yourself walking in the footsteps of some of history’s most famous figures. And, of course, no visit to Italy would be complete without sampling some of the delicious food and wine for which the country is renowned. But Italy is not just about ancient ruins and good food. There are also stunning coastal towns, like Positano and Amalfi, where you can enjoy fresh seafood and breathtaking views. Whether you are looking for culture, history, or simply a relaxing beach holiday, Italy has something to offer everyone.


Portugal is a beautiful country located on the western coast of Europe. With its rolling hills, stunning beaches, and centuries-old villages, Portugal is a popular destination for travelers from all over the world. Portuguese culture is also unique and fascinating, with influences from both Mediterranean and Atlantic traditions. Lisbon, the capital city, is a great place to start exploring Portugal. With its cobbled streets and charming cafes, Lisbon is a wonderful place to relax and soak up the atmosphere. The city is also home to many historical sites, such as the Castle of St. Jorge and the Sao Carlos National Theatre.

Portugal is a renowned tourist destination for a plethora of reasons: its diverse landscape, Mediterranean climate, interesting history, and rich culture. Situated on the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and south, and by Spain to the north and east. Its coastline stretches over 850 miles and is dotted with sandy beaches, rocky cliffs, and secluded coves. Inland, visitors can explore verdant forests, rolling hills, and scenic vineyards. Portugal is also home to several well-preserved medieval towns and villages, as well as several castles and fortresses.

Italy and Portugal are two of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. And for good reason – both countries offer a wealth of history, culture, and natural beauty. But as any seasoned traveler knows, the best time to visit a place can often make all the difference.


Argentina is a land of contrast and diversity, from the awe-inspiring natural beauty of Patagonia to the vibrant city life of Buenos Aires, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this South American country.

Those interested in history and culture will find plenty to explore in Argentina. The country is home to some of the oldest human settlements in the Americas, and its rich cultural heritage is on display in its many museums and art galleries. Argentina was also once part of the Spanish Empire, and this influence can still be seen in the architecture and cuisine of some parts of the country.

Of course, no visit to Argentina would be complete without experiencing its stunning natural scenery. From the glaciers of Patagonia to the Andes mountains, there is no shortage of breathtaking landscapes to explore. This South American country has something for everyone, from the stunning Andes Mountains to the beautiful city of Buenos Aires.

I hope one of these beautiful places inspired some future expats to make a new home somewhere else. Travel Noire travel writer Rafael said in the interview, that a home is what you make it. You don’t have to stay in one place your whole life, you can move and make a new home somewhere else. That being said, it’s not always easy to up and leave everything you know behind, but sometimes it can be the best thing for you.

Living abroad can be a wonderful experience, it allows you to see the world from a different perspective and meet new people. If you’re thinking about becoming an expat, my best advice would be to just go for it. It’s not always going to be easy when you’re making this transition to living in a new country and there will be challenges along the way, but that’s part of the adventure.

To read the article written by Travel Noire travel writer Rafael, and read more fantastic articles in Travel Noire,

click here.

Connect with Rafael via Instagram here or via Twitter here.

If you want to know more insider knowledge on living abroad like a local, tune in to episode 18 of the Are We Home Yet Podcast and hear more from Travel Noire Travel Writer Rafael!

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