As a proud Cali girl turned expat, I’m happy to introduce our first interviewee from California!
Meet Capi 🙂
Capi is a 38-year-old Brown Mom Abroad living in Jamaica!
BMA: When did you first get your passport?
Capi: 7 years old. I remember being so proud of all the stamps. I felt so worldly. Honestly, to this day I love looking through my passport stamps. There are so many memories in such a small book
BMA: What city or country is your favorite place to visit and why?
Capi: The Philippines. The people are so warm and friendly. When they find out I am half Filipina they are so genuinely excited.
BMA: What city or country was your worst place to visit and why?
Capi: I don’t think I could say an entire country or any single city was the worst to visit. I’ve had bad experiences but nothing so horrible I write off the entire country!
BMA: Is there any city or country that you have absolutely no desire to visit? Why?
Capi: If the trip were free, I would go anywhere but I’m not too keen on vacationing or living anywhere the cold months outnumber the warm. I also wouldn’t be interested in visiting a place where there is elevated political unrest. Traveling should be carefree.
BMA: Can you list all the places you’ve lived and how many years in each place?
- California – 22 years
- Arizona – 5 years
- Kansas – 4 years
- Jamaica – 16 months
BMA: Have you experienced discrimination for being brown while traveling abroad? Can you elaborate on your experience?
Capi: Sadly enough I think the most discrimination I experienced was in Kansas, never abroad. In Kansas I got a lot of, “What are you?”or “Do they do that where your people are from?”
This was a recurring exchange:
Midwesterner: Where are you from
Midwesterner: No, I meant where are you REALLY from…
Me: Answer is still California.
Just because I’m brown doesn’t mean I’m not every bit as American as they are.
On the other side of things I have actually experienced what I would refer to as “white privilege” while traveling through parts of Asia and the Caribbean. A simple example – I took our dog to the vet this week to get groomed and when I walked in the young man handed me paperwork, took our dog and began processing my payment. A lady seated and patiently waiting asked him in a heavy patios accent (I assumed she did so thinking I couldn’t understand) if he was giving me VIP treatment like everyone else does. Awkward.
BMA: What made you decide to live abroad?
Capi: The American Dream became impossibly exhausting. My husband and I were living under insurmountable debt and life became a matter of treading water. We came across an opportunity for both of us to work for a growing Caribbean company based in Jamaica. I couldn’t pass it up; I always dreamed of living on an island. However, in my dream I didn’t have to work so hard.
BMA: Can you list all the cities/countries you visited?
- Dominican Republic
- Grand Cayman
- Turks and Caicos
BMA: What do you wish you knew before you decided to move abroad?
Capi: How to properly pack for island life and expat life. I would have packed less home goods and more summer wear. I also wish I knew more about the education system. Jamaica isn’t an “online” kinda country. If you Google “top Jamaican schools” you will be lucky to get relevant info. All the info you gather is via speaking to other people. Researching ahead of time to the detail I would have liked was impossible.
BMA: Did you meet your husband in your home country or while living abroad?
Capi: In the US
BMA: How long do/did you plan on living abroad?
Capi: We didn’t come out here with an exit plan. I wouldn’t recommend that. If you are going to make the decision to live abroad, you have to be all in. If you have one foot back in your home country, you will never adapt to your new culture.
Follow her journey abroad!
Thank you Capi for being a part of Brown Moms Abroad!