On Being a Mixed-Race Traveler

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Yes, this is about me. I’m a mutt, a half-Mexican, half-Caucasian gentleman from a dusty border town in the desert. Growing up mixed-race meant that I wasn’t accepted by either side, and because I had traits, both physical and behavioral of both sides, I could never fully relate to either.

Once I moved away from my almost-all-Mexican hometown to a more diverse city, I was able to befriend other halfies, other bi-cultural, mixed-race homies who knew what it was like have one foot on each side of the ethnic sandbox. I felt more comfortable having mixed-race (chop-choy) friends, and several of them are my friends to this day.

As a traveler, my mixed-race heritage has been truly advantageous. Because I don’t look fully like one race or another, I can blend in with several peoples. I have been confused for being Italian, French, Spanish, Turkish, Moroccan, Argentine, Chilean, Brazilian, Mexican (the only half correct guess), among many others. This unintentional chameleon-act was especially helpful during the G.W. Bush era when American popularity was at an all-time low around the world.

I still look western of course. I’m never going to be mistaken for being, say… Asian for instance, but even being able to blend in with most peoples in the Middle East, Europe, North, South and Central America has been quite helpful in many ways. It kept me from getting mugged in the slums of Salvador, overly-hassled by merchants in Marrakesh, and it got me the local deals on goods in far-flung Uzbekistan.

So all in all, although I used to regard my mixed-heritage as a bit of a bane, I now cherish it as a uniqueness. What once made me feel like I didn’t fit in anywhere, now allows me to feel like it fit in almost everywhere, and I’m grateful for that.

New Delhi

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9 thoughts on “On Being a Mixed-Race Traveler

  1. That’s a good attitude. As I know you know, if you look at the historical migration of peoples across the globe, (with the exception of some very isolated communities) we are all really mutts.

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    1. You are absolutely right. If more people were aware of this fact there would hopefully be less prejudice in the world.

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  2. Bye the way, I think you’ve been in one place for too long. What’s come over you? It’s time to hit the road Jack. ….

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    1. Yes it eats at me a little each day. I’m saving money and formulating a sustainable plan for long-term travel next year!

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  3. If you were in Russia, no one would even think you are not from here. I agree with Robert, now it’s really hard to know one from another when it comes to nationality. I also don’t look like traditional Russian girl with blue eyes and a long blonde braid.

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    1. Cпасибо большое! You’re right I have been mistaken for Russian also. I agree there is more and more migration these days. Globalization has a lot of pros and cons and one of the pros is that as people move around more each country is becoming more diverse and getting exposed to other cultures. I have been close to Russia but never gotten all the way there. I definitely want to go sometime.

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      1. I will definitely visit Russia someday! I’ll let you know when I do! Spacibo bolshoi za vashi slavi!!! (I hope that was correct, I haven’t spoken Russian in a looonggg time).

        Liked by 1 person

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