About

Fly Brother tackles international travel in unabridged, unapologetic, full and complete color. It’s also the blog name of writer and educator Ernest White II, a tall, ruggedly handsome, erudite, occasionally delusional Black American male based mostly in South Florida, but can also be found in São Paulo, Berlin, and anywhere else that tickles his fancy.

Ernest White II is a former assistant editor of Time Out São Paulo whose writing has appeared in Time Out London, the Orlando Sentinel, Ebony, TravelChannel.com, American Airlines’ Black Atlas, Travel by Handstand, TripAdvisor, Viator, Jetsetter, World Travel Guide, and Matador. He has also been featured on The Root, The Huffington Post, and the Montreal Gazette Online, and has appeared as a host on the Travel Channel’s Jamaica Bared and Destination Showdown, which aired this past summer on the Travel Channel.

Why Fly Brother?

Because people of color – particularly black Americans – are traveling overseas for work, fun, or education more than ever before, but most travel-related magazine, newspaper, and Internet articles speak from a voice and perspective that I just can’t relate to.

Because people want culturally-resonant information that offers them insight into the ins-and-outs of traveling under the radar in Havana, but conspicuously in Hong Kong. And people want to know what being black means outside of the US.

Because I don’t care bout no damn top ten Irish pubs in New York, and I don’t personally think that Copenhagen has a lock on the most attractive people in Europe. I wanna know about the top ten salsa clubs in LA and see all the shades, from coal to cream, that grace the hotties in Paris.

Because I grew up with Southern black marching bands and HBCU homecomings and found the same energy, spirit, rhythm, and soul at a Vai-Vai samba school rehearsal in São Paulo.

Because we ought to see more of the world, and we ought to encourage and help our mamas, sisters, granddaddies, frat brothers, favorite cousins, play cousins, ‘cross-the-street neighbors, college classmates, and Shaunda’s lil brother who just turned fifteen to do the same.

Because James Weldon did it. And Josephine. And Baldwin. And Du Bois. And Langston. And Zora. And Malcolm. And Barack.

Because the world ought to know more about us than Flava Flav and Diddy.

Because I don’t experience the world via a culturally “neutral,” “color-blind,” “American” matrix. I live life in full color, just like I travel.

Welcome to Fly Brother.

Get at me:
Email: f l y b r o t h e r [a t] r o c k e t m a i l [d a h t] c o m
Twitter: @FlyBrother

 

53 thoughts on “About

  1. Hey man,
    I was looking through your webite. Great stuff. So I was really curious. How are you able to travel everywhere over the world? It’s been a life dream of mine. Thanks so much and keep up the awesome posts!

  2. Ernest,
    Men good for you, at least you are american and your folks can appreciate this pursuit.

    Imagine an african from nigeria, with a dream of travelling the world. The more i think about it the more absurd it sounds. But i made a promise to myself when i was 12yrs, and the man i have become would love to keep his promise to the kid i once was.

    Any tip, insight or help you can offer to make this pursuit easier would be of inmeasureable assistance.

    Thanks.

  3. @David: Thanks for coming through, man. Two things have allowed me to travel like I do: 1) Working in education – I started teaching at a university as soon as I graduated from my Master’s degree program, so I’ve always had about two months off in the summer and one month off at the end of the year, which gives me the vacation time other full-time jobs don’t allow. 2) Spending money I’d otherwise use for new clothes or shoes or a flat-screen TV on plane tickets. I’m like a travel crackhead; in my less financially-stable days, I actually spent rent money on a ticket to France. I’ve just always rated travel as extremely high on my priority list, so I’ve made financial decisions to reflect that. Also, I look for crazy-cheap deals and hardly ever pay “full price” for a plane ticket. Dude, travel doesn’t have to just be a dream. I know it sounds corny, but you really can make it reality. If you have any other questions or need advice on how to do it, don’t hesitate to ask…that’s what I’m here for!

    @TJ: Nigerians are some of the most traveling folk I know! I’ve met them in almost every city I’ve been to outside of the Western Hemisphere. There is no reason you can’t eventually be among that number! Send me an email – f l y b r o t h e r [ a t ] r o c k e t m a i l.com – and let’s do some brainstorming on how to make you a Fly Brother as well!

    • am 25 years old from Milwaukee Wisconsin and have never been no more south than Chicago and everyday i think about travel, seeing the world. please help with some advice *(i.e.am i too old to start to travel )also we need more brothers like you who give us others brothers inspiration. Thanks

      • @Rafael: Dude, at 25, you are still very young and it’s NEVER too late to start traveling. I coaxed my parents to fly internationally for the first time (Caribbean destinations excluded) when both of them were over 60! Email me and I can definitely help you earn your wings, man.

        • I’m not a brother :) but just wanted to also stress to Rafael that he’s a baby at 25 years old! I got my passport two years ago at the age of 33 when I visited London for the first time. I’d never left the continental US. I went to London again that same year, and Toronto last year and my wanderlust is growing every day. I am constantly dreaming of where I will travel next, and I am even changing careers to make it happen. And even though my travels will likely all be solo trips, I’m 100% okay with that!

  4. Great About and advice that you’ve given to these guys. You really have to make travel a priority. That’s the key. If it’s more important to you than anything, you’ll do it.

    And yes, it is corny, but you’re right, you create your own reality.

  5. Fly Brother,

    I stumbled across your blog about a year ago and absolutely love it. Your pursuit of travels is similar to mine, although I haven’t traveled as many places yet.

    Keep dropping us the travel news. We, African-americans, surely need to expand our view of the world and where we fit in this world.

  6. @Shannon: Thanks a lot for the compliments! LOL, I feel you on how cornball it all sounds, but those platitudes are only corny when they aren’t put into practice. Ain’t nuthin to it but ta do it!

    @NYCali: Thanks for stopping by. Will certainly be in touch via email.

    @JW: Always glad to be in contact with other fly brothers and sisters! What places have you been to? As you say, until we know how and what we’re doing in all the places we inhabit, there’s no way we can truly maximize the resources and blessings we’ve been given as (wealthy, relative to our other peeps in the Diaspora) African-Americans. Many thanks for reading!

  7. I just want to say I truely admire your passion for travel. Your about page hits roots on how I feel about travel. I am also a travel addict venturing my way to see the world. This is my first time visiting this site, I dont know how this got under my radar, I will enjoy tuning in to your site. Love, Peace & Travel my Brother!

    • @Urbantravelbug: Where’s your blog? I definitely appreciate the tag, especially from another travel crackhead! Welcome to the site and feel free to comment on anything you find interesting (or annoying). Many thanks!

  8. Really inspired by what you’re doing! Great that you’re encouraging others too.
    I’ve passed along your blog to a NYC friend who has been exploring her Brazilian roots.
    Cheers!

  9. Fly Brother,
    I was very excited to find your website and read about your travels. I am from Texas and currently living in Chile while I travel around South America. It’s nice to find other people that love to travel, especially when travelling alone. I love new experiences and never want to be stuck in one place – there’s a huge world out there and I’m determined to see as much of it as possible. My sister keeps asking me: “Why can’t you just be normal? Why do you have to move across the world to be happy?” But did I mention that she came to visit a few weeks after I arrived and will be back from Christmas? LOL I’m looking forward to coming to Brazil, maybe for carnivale. Can you suggest any areas or things that I must see?

  10. my cousin, the FLY BROTHER, is the isht! i’m so proud of you and want to be just like you when i grow up! we must take a trip together. i’d love to travel with you! and oh, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

  11. I just stumbled upon your website today! I love it! I am a world traveler myself, having lived in Madagascar, and traveled in East Africa a bit and the Carribean and Central America. After having been back to the states for some years now(still traveling here an there) I am now ready to teach ESL in Korea or another asian country. Your website is giving me inspiration!

    Thanks

  12. Its good to see that your relocation to Brasil is already opening new doors to new endeavors. I have followed your blog for a while now and its always refreshing to read about your latest episodes. Your enthusiasm for what you do springs right from the blog, which is very refreshing. Wishing you a prosperous 2011.

  13. I love your philosophy on life. While I’ve had my share of travel, and have recently relocated to Brazil as well, I also wish I had spent less money on other things and more on travel. Good luck and perhaps we will run into each other on Avenue Paulista one of these day, only a few blocks, but a great big hill, from where I live.
    Born Again Brazilian

  14. I wanted to come through and thank you for sharing your experiences. You are phenomenal writer and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your website “cover to cover.” Your have inspired me to continue my travels around the world, but to do so in a way where it will broaden my perspectives. ‘Preciate you, bruh!

  15. “Because we ought to see more of the world, and we ought to encourage and help our mamas, sisters, granddaddies, frat brothers, favorite cousins, play cousins, ‘cross-the-street neighbors, college classmates, and Shaunda’s lil brother who just turned fifteen to do the same. Because James Weldon did it. And Josephine. And Baldwin. And Du Bois. And Langston. And Zora. And Malcolm. And Barack.”

    You. better. preach.

    This is amazing. Don’t know how I found this, but randomly found your blog via your old blog via a series of other blogs. Beyond inspired by this. All of the black travel blogs I’ve unearthed so far have been written by women, but it is unexplainably refreshing to see one written by a male. Eff all of the harrowing, depressing statistics about black men, jails, drugs, etc. You made it out alive, and have some ridiculous trips (and a great blog) to show for it.

    Be tremendously proud of yourself. I don’t know you, but I certainly am.

    And I may have to create the counterpart “Fly Sister” ;)

  16. Hi,

    I am contacting you because I am a blogger and I also work for an online marketing company where I am part of the management of a number of online brands.

    I have been looking at your website and would be really interested in finding out about advertising on the site, or the possibility of adding a unique article?

    If this is something that is possible or if there are any further opportunities available then it would be great to hear from you.

    Many thanks

    Carley

  17. “Because I don’t care bout no damn top ten Irish pubs in New York” I died when I read this! Why is the truth so hilarious sometimes? I’ve loved the site since I found it last year – not sure why I never saw this about me or what brought me to it now… Anywho, keep doing what youre doing dude! Much appreciated. And I’m coming to SP soon!

    Deidre

  18. I am on a quest as well to travel as much as possible. What is your masters in? Also, tell me more about teaching English as a second language?

  19. I’m gonna link you to my blog and follow your travels. It’s my dream to travel. Broke in America though. But I’ll brainstorm through this somehow. Thanks for your blog and your inspiration!! God bless you man!!

  20. As a fellow traveler based out of São Paulo, I seriously appreciated (and laughed wholeheartedly throughout) your most recent post about waiting at Guarulhos for a flight. Enjoy the rest of your travels and keep posting, your blog is really entertaining and well-done.

  21. Hello,

    I am very happy to hear and find other people of color traveling the world. It is very disheartening to hear that people do not even leave their city or better yet their borough. I am from Brooklyn, NY and I have been leaving in Europe since 2008 after graduating undergrad and absolutely love it. I also spend my money on traveling instead of buying the newest LV or Gucci bag. I rather travel and have the experiences which are much more fulfilling.

    Great website and keep the traveling going
    Brasil is definitely on my list to move too for at least 3mos

    Hope all is well
    Doei xxx

  22. I just stumbled upon your site……….thank GOD! It’s nowhere near where you have been, but I will go on my first real trip to Puerto Rico by myself in three weeks. Reading your blog posts, makes me afraid that I will want to go everywhere and see everything, and only work to travel to exotic locales. Thank you for sharing, I’ve been bitten by the travel bug!

    Kishonda

  23. I’m happy to see more travel blogs from folks of color, especially Black Americans. I found you via Nicole (is the New Black) and I can’t wait to see the cool places you’ve been. I think there’s a slight fear of traveling to Europe for many Black Americans but we need to see more of the world..there’s so much out there to see. I haven’t gotten to travel internationally yet but it’s definitely on my list of things to do next year – trying to plan early! Anywho, ahoy!

  24. love this…. a man after my own heart. For minorities who travel globally, not only do we have different goals once the plane lands, but our experiences while traveling can be quite different and eye opening, as well. Regardless of it being positive or negative , it always makes me think “we/I need to travel more”

  25. Like many of those commenting before be – “I just stumbled upon your blog.” I know it’s never too late to try anything, and now that I am retired, I have the time to travel as I’ve always dreamed. I would like to spend no less than 3 months in an environment and culture where I can totally immerse myself, (longer in the right situation). I have traveled internationally a few times, and I share your encouraging words that as African Americans, we owe it to ourselves to venture and explore another spectrum of this universe . What advice would you give me as a single, retired woman who’s adventurous and willing? “When the student is ready, the teacher will come.” ..Unknown.

  26. This blog is so inspiring. I am a freelance fashion writer and I just want to get up and GO, and travel the world. I am finally awake from “the matrix” and want to become more enlightened about this beautiful world we live in. I just do not know where to start. I do not have much money but I am so ready to just GO before I go nuts lol ! Great blog!

    http://www.fashionjunkiiee.wordpress.com #shopindie

  27. Pingback: Travel Mythbusters: It’s Far Too Dangerous Traveling Alone - Intrepid Motion

  28. This website is so inspiring. I live in Paraguay, South America. I´ve been trying to discover the other black travelers around. I know we’re out there. Congrats on this.
    I´m definitely going to stay posted.

  29. Hey Fly Brother,
    I like your site. Let’s exchange Links. Please list me with your favorites and I’ll put your link on my site as well. Let me know.
    Kitty J. Pope
    AfricanDiasporaTourism.com

  30. Hey Fly Brother,
    I like your site. Let’s exchange Links. Please list me with your favorites and I’ll put your link on my site as well. Let me know.
    Kitty J. Pope
    AfricanDiasporaTourism.com

  31. I came across your site when I searched “Palacete Ibis.” I have some old photos of the building when my family lived there in the mid 1940′s. I noticed in July, 2012, that it is for sale. Hope they don’t tear it down.

  32. Hi Ernest,

    My husband and I are friends with Lillie Marshall in Boston and mentioned you as a fun travel blogger who lives in Berlin! We’re actually in Berlin for the next two months and would love to meet up some time over drinks or dinner to meet you and hang out! We figure that a friend of Lillie’s is almost certainly someone we’d like!

    I’m a little nervous after reading your post on your five top cities to live in…I”m not sure I’m ready for Berlin in the winter! I’m from Boston, but still…

    Cheers,
    Holly

  33. you are so right on with not giving a damn about the top 10 Irish pubs ion New York. And I heard it was Russia who had the most beautiful women on the face of the earth supposedly. I’m like have these people ever been to Brazil, Colombia, Panama, Trinidad. It is extremely vital to have a black perspective while traveling. I moved to Panama in 2011 taught english and formed a hip hop group with local Black Panamanians. Before I went I read countless travel blogs from white expats about their experiences, (the ease of women the frustration with price gauging) I didn’t expeience any of that in panama. Me being a US citizen meant nothing because I’m black, however i lived in a crazy hood there and never got robbed or bothered or price gauged. Thanks for giving the black perspective broseph!

  34. January 4, 2013

    Dear Fly-Brother,

    As most of the people who have left you a message, I discovered your blog thru a winding maze and some rabbit trails that originated from either “HuffPost Travel” or “MatadorU”. Currently, I’m a furloughed International Flight Attendant who just wants to get her “wings” back. Though most of my travels have been for work on layovers, the destinations are many: Bali, Tanzania, Bahrain, Turkey, Angola, Kuwait, Germany, Italy, and Spain, just to name a few. However, I have set my sights on travel blogging and writing with an interest in discovering the African footprint in the places that I visit to encourage and inspire other Afro-Americans to venture out and explore as well.

    I would like to pull from your extensive and enlightening knowledge and expertise on travel blogging and writing. Whenever you have a free moment and want to “drop some knowledge” on a sista, please feel free.

    I look forward to hearing from you. “Thank you!”

    Yolanda Scales

  35. I just found you in a tweet on Speakers for the Dublin TBEX. I started my Website/Travel Blog in Feb this year and went to my first TBEX on Toronto last month. I LOVE who you are and what you are about. As a Mom to 2 biracial kids (now adults), I share a passion for “living in full color”. I used to say I was color blind (because I don’t see the color of ones skin, I see the inside of their heart and soul) but I really like your description better :-) I’m sure you have a long list of potential women wanting to be your mate for life, but I would like to (without her permission or knowledge) add my daughter to it! I COMPLETELY approve of you to be her future husband and our Son :-) You can check me out to see I am not (completely) crazy at my website: http://www.TTsTrippin.com. and on twitter @TTsTrippin, cuz I trip-both literally and figuratively!

  36. Great write up! We’re “Canada’s Favorite Interracial Couple” ;), my wife born American but of Puerto Rican parents – travelling we encounter strange situations, not only because she’s coloured, but because we’re also a weird looking interracial couple. Interesting to see a blog that deals with travel from a different point of view and look forward to following you!
    Frank (bbqboy)

  37. Pingback: Flashlight Friday! Be Fly | Traveling Ev

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