An Argument for Raising Your Children Abroad

Excerpts from an Article about Jackie O.’s decision to live abroad.

My daughter and I slow travel full-time, which means every 5-6 months, we are moving to a new country. I love being a black digital nomad. In fact, I call myself the OG Black digital nomad because I have been doing it for such a long time. I love the freedom of my work from anywhere lifestyle.  I love the ability to be able to show my daughter the world.  I love visiting new places with her and also revisiting places I’ve been to before and seeing them through her eyes.  She won’t be a child forever and I am extremely grateful to have the freedom to show up each day as a happy, well-rested, and energized mother for her.    

I have loved our time and experiences in Guatemala. I love that there’s a Black presence in Guatemala, so being a black person isn’t a huge deal. It was important to me that my daughter’s first travel experiences include people that look like her.

I’ve found Guatemalans to be both adult and child friendly.  People go out of their way to make my daughter and I feel welcomed. My daughter once tripped while walking and no less than 10 people came to her aide to make sure she was ok. 

We both speak Spanish well so our linguistic ability has definitely helped, but I feel comfortable here and comfort is everything.    I’ve been able to shed the masks that many of us as Black Americans wear on a daily basis. With my 6 foot tall, dreadlocked self., I don’t worry about whether I’m being perceived as threatening, intimidating, or angry because of the blackness of my skin. 

No one is hyper sexualizing my daughter or pontificating about all the things she won’t or can’t be because she is growing up in a single-parent household.  My daughter is simply a carefree wonder child fluent in English, Spanish, and a local Mayan language.  

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