Women's History Month: Seble Abebe
Seble Abebe is a travel blogger who we first came across on Instagram. She's been around the world and back (with gorgeous pictures to prove it) as a righteous Carmen San Diego and believes it's important to travel with a higher purpose in mind. Get into her interview below!
Tell us a little bit about yourself: who are you and where are you headed?
I’m a first generation Ethiopian American that has a visual eye, and a curious mind. Where I’m headed? I’m honestly still trying to figure that out myself - just trying to enjoy the journey.
When did you first start traveling? Where is the first place you can remember venturing off to and what did that spark in you?
My mother has love for exploring; she was traveling up until she was 7 months pregnant with me. I constantly went on domestic trips as young as 3 years old, but my first international big trip was visiting my parent’s homeland of Ethiopia at the age of 10. That trip forever changed my life, as it was very humbling to see the place of my ancestors, while at the same time discovering there was so much out there to see and learn from. The United States is an amazing melting pot and place to live, but to see the sources of culture by way of travel, makes you feel connected to people in deeper ways of comprehension. I honestly was pretty shy and to myself growing up, and my mom was /is my best friend and hero. Her travel enthusiast ways were so electrifying and contagious; I think I subconsciously wanted to follow in her footsteps.
What’s your favorite destination so far and where are you still itching to go?
Brazil was a major trip for me. I’ve always loved warm and tropical climates, not to mention the jaw dropping scenery. But I would say more so the culture; the country is a rich melting pot with direct customs and influences from Africa. It was absolutely beautiful, the people, culture, and landscape were fascinating to see.
If you have a “day job,” how do you balance those commitments with your travels? What advice would you give people who want to see the world like you but have other responsibilities that work to prevent them from picking up and going?
I do have an ordinary day job, like most people, and that can take away from your spirit when you don’t feel like you're working in your purpose. Thankfully I work for the travel industry, so it has helped me significantly save money, but it is challenging at times. My job is definitely a blessing and has changed my life. That being said, nothing is handed. I have to still BUDGET, SAVE and RESEARCH. I can't tell you how many times I’ve taken on a whim trips and I look at some other travel blogs and I missed out on cool sites, better deals, or found out I was better off going somewhere else entirely! Travel is an adventure, good or bad you always grow from it. Find the best deal and prioritize your life. I cut out all vanity purchases and stop eating out when it comes time to save for a trip, and when you research you can travel 3 days and make it a fun packed excursion! You don’t always need a two week paid leave. LIFE IS SHORT. Pave a way that makes you happy. When I prioritize taking trips as much as I can, maybe once a month, I feel happier, have something to look forward to, and become a little wiser each time.
You say that you want to explore the world as a righteous “Carmen San Diego.” What do you mean by that and why is traveling with a higher purpose in mind important to you?
Carmen was the coolest cartoon to me; she was so chic, mysterious and unattainable. I think my branding process was subconsciously influenced by her. But she was also a thief, so that’s where the “righteousness” comes in. When you grow more, you know more. Travel is such a luxury and a trendy thing I'm staring to see on social media, but with that type of accessibility comes responsibility. Travel is more than your selfie stick and an envious caption to post for your frienemys to see. Being an Ethiopian-American, has complexities in itself, but I often go to villages and places where I’m the only black person the community has maybe ever seen in real life. I’ve been received amazingly; from people wanting pictures, to feeling my hair texture, to invitations to their home, to wanting to ask me many questions - the love goes on. I’ve had people say I am the first person of color they’ve ever talked to and they are inspired to broaden their views and minds as well. I’ve had (very few) bad receptions initially; racism ignorance’s or the hate for Americans, but even that is over come sometimes by breaking stigmas and showing love. Not everyone has the privilege to travel, be tolerant and have empathy for others at the rate of wanderers. The point is you are being watched. In one of my favorite quotes (paraphrased) Oprah said, that Maya Angelou gave her this advice, “When you stand in a room, your really stand for 10,000”. You are noticed abroad, make your actions of love and righteousness be loud.
Just for kicks:
● Erykah or Lauren? Love BADU, but I’m Lauryn ALL DAY.
● Favorite travel accessory? Iphone with translation / map / train schedule apps
● Instagram or Twitter? Instagram
Want more from Seble? You can read her blog www.worldlyseb.com
or follow her on Instagram @worldlyseb