According to a study by DigitasLBi, 70% of black millennial travellers are willing to pay more to travel with a brand that understands them.Evening Standard
Yasmin Metz-Johnson, an interior designer and content creator runs a travel platform called Yasmin TELLS which is an acronym of: Travel, Explore, Live, Learn, Smart. She recalls her first travel memory being on a Virgin flight to the US. “I remember vividly the multi-coloured kids backpack every child would receive on board. It was filled with a colouring book, crayons and other bits and bobs. I loved it and wore the bag to school for a couple of years. I guess that was my first airline experience but that is also part of the travel experience”.
TES: Why do you like travelling?
Yasmin: I love travelling as I find it not only therapeutic, for me it is essential for inspiration, education and reflection.
TES: Your best travel tip/advice?
Yasmin: Travel with an open mind.
TES: Top 3 travel essentials
Yasmin: Headphones, vaseline and wipes.
TES: You recently relocated to Sierra Leone. What ignited your move back to Africa.
Yasmin: I used to work in Senegal, I love Senegal so much, it is probably one of my favourite countries I have ever had the privilege to live and work in. After my contract had finished I returned to the UK. Soon after I began to work as a freelance interior designer, as much as I was enjoying this new found independence. The market with my skill sets is over saturated in the UK, there are many freelance designers. Therefore the gigs were not coming as regularly as they once were. I then thought why not use my skills within both of my fields (design and travel) somewhere that needs it? Somewhere that does not have so many people with the same skill set? I enjoyed Senegal so much, I could always imagine myself back in Africa. I thought why not try implementing my skills in the country of my origin? I believe as Africans of the diaspora we owe it not only to the continent of Africa and our ancestors but to the future generations of Africans to create impact and legacy in Africa with our knowledge and resources.
TES: What challenges do you face when it comes to travelling around being a content creator?
Yasmin: The challenges I have are the challenges of many content creators I am sure. It is the fact that I have to do everything! In an ideal world I would have a team of people to assist with planning, filming, photography scheduling content… a girl can dream!
TES: How has travel changed you?
Yasmin: Travel has made me. Without travel I would not have made half of the life decision I’ve made so far in my life. Travel has also taught me patience.
TES: Where have you been inspired to travel to lately and why?
Yasmin: I recently travelled to Ghana for the Chale Wote Festival. It was the perfect excuse to visit a neighbouring African city.
TES: Ever felt vulnerable during your travels? How did you overcome it?
Yasmin: I only feel vulnerable when I do not know the language spoken in a place where English is hardly spoken. So I always try and make some form of effort to learn basics of the spoken language of wherever I am travelling.
TES: Would you recommend solo travel?
Yasmin: Yes! I would. But I think it depends on the person. If you are a vibe then do it! If you are not comfortable meeting new people by yourself perhaps not. I always say with solo travel you are not solo for long because you are bound to meet new people/other travellers.
TES: Things that annoy you about travelling?
Yasmin: The only thing that comes to mind is the time/air miles it takes to get to a destination. However, I guess that is all part of the experience!