In this edition of Celebrity Travel Addicts, we speak with Rachel Hill, the travel influencer, writer, author, and public speaker behind Rachel Travels! We chat with her about what sparked her love of travel, why solo travel is so important to her, how traveling helped her fight depression, and much more! Check out her recommendations of things to do in one of her favorite destinations around the world and find out which countries are up next on her itinerary!
I grew up as an only child, so I read A LOT of books. I was always so fascinated by the beautiful and majestic places in the world. So I promised myself when I was older, I’d see all of those amazing places with my own eyes. In high school, I was in a magnet program that was focused on International Studies. My senior year in HS, I had the opportunity to travel to China for a month and Italy. I have been traveling ever since!
As a woman, I believe it’s vital to travel solo. We have to wear so many hats that sometimes we can lose ourselves or get wrapped too deeply in things outside of ourselves. Traveling solo has always allowed me to take a step away and recalibrate. It has taught me how to trust my intuition, decide what I want out of my life and experiences, increased my confidence, and has made resilient.
Depression is rooted in worrying about the past. Traveling allowed me to see that despite it all, people all over the world have made mistakes or experienced traumas and are still persevering despite the circumstances. Traveling allowed me to see that there is virtually nothing you cannot work through or get over.
Florida is great because it’s warm almost the entire year! Not to mention our gorgeous beaches, amusement parks, and there’s always something to do and experience. Mexico is a wonderful country because there are also so many things to see and experience; there are beaches, big city living, deserts, and everything in between! Not to mention the proximity to my family in Florida and the inexpensive cost of living in Mexico makes it ideal for me.
However, I miss South Africa every single day. I attracted a beautiful tribe of family and friends there. The only downside is the 17+ hr (at a minimum) flights make it difficult to see my family/ friends in the States often. I was missing out on all my friends’ weddings, birthday parties, and family gatherings! I had FOMO like an MF!
Honestly, I’d say I travel about 50% of the year. I visit all types of places for personal and work reasons. Now, I am shifting to “sitting still” and building out a few projects and exploring my States in the USA.
My audience is primarily Black American Millennial women. I aim to show my audience that it’s possible to create the life that you want. To step into our worth and have the experiences we deserve. And that traveling is a fantastic way to step into this power. I also create content on how to create an impactful and influential brands, and how to position their companies for brand partnerships.
In no particular order, my Top 3 favorites are:
1) South Africa
2) Lapland, Finland (The Arctic Circle)
Oh! This is fun! Let’s go with South Africa. There’s so much to see and do in this beautiful country:
The last time I counted, I believe I was at 70!
My Top 3 favorite cuisines are:
My absolute favorite restaurant in the world is a place called “Little Addis” in the Maboneng neighborhood in Johannesburg, South Africa! The vegetarian dish is fantastic! I’m not a huge meat eater, but the stewed lamb dish is next level!
The film “Sarafina!” (warning: it’s a musical!), introduced me to some of the history of South Africa. It’s still one of my favorite movies to date. After living in South Africa for almost a year, I appreciate the film even more.
Hands down… Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar! The architecture is beautiful, the wifi is fast, there are Apple Mac books areas, quiet rooms, great food options, and it’s super clean!
Honestly, people are super nice in most places in the world. I’d say some of the most loving people have been in Myanmar, Bali, South Africa, and Thailand.
My mother! I didn’t realize how “cool” she was until we started traveling together. We make sure to make a “Mother-Daughter Trip” at least once or twice a year.
I LOVE reading, so I’d say reading or listening to a good book is a great way to kill time while traveling.
Hmmm. I’ve been fortunate to go to some incredible and unique destinations. I’m not sure if Mongolia would be considered “exotic,” but it was one of those places that were so different than many places I visited before. One of my favorite places I’ve visited thus far.
I could never travel without:
Antarctica! It’s the last continent that I need to visit.
“Enjoy the seconds!”
I’m not sure yet, but I want to visit Portugal, Spain, and Vietnam before the end of the year.
Named one of the “11 Influential Black Women in Travel You Should Know”, by Travel Noire, Rachel Hill is a trailblazing Travelpreneur, Speaker, and Published Author. With a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in Marketing, she has merged her expertise in Digital Marketing and passion for travel into a global brand for Millennial, Women of Color.