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Snippet of Did COVID Stop Travel?

From Audio: Did COVID Stop Travel? | EP. 59

station description Melanin and Miles is the weekly travel podcast for millennial and gen-z black women... read more
Melanin and Miles Travel Podcast
Duration: 14:12
This week we interviewed Cassy Isabella. She is a multi-disciplined creative, hailing from Toronto, who has been working in both the travel industry and social work field for over four years.
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This week we interviewed Cassy Isabella. She is a multi-disciplined creative, hailing from Toronto, who has been working in both the travel industry and social work field for over four years. Her combined passions make it her priority to curate travel experiences that are not only fun but are done in an ethical and affordable manner that gives back to the local communities they touch. Listen as she talks about how she started traveling, her most recent travel experience, and starting The Roaming Republic.
Find out more about Cassy on IG @bellaworldwide or on The Roaming Republic website
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but, um, back to travel. So, like, what would you say? Is your favorite thing about travel since you've been really invested into it? My favorite thing about just some e There's not just one thing like there. Yeah, so many things I love about travel. Um, meeting new people like exposing yourself to, like, different cultures that you wouldn't obviously be exposed to in your own backyard. Pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone like it just really challenges you to think outside of your own comfort comfort box. And I love that it's really grown me in so many ways. I've learned so much through travel, probably I've learned the most through travel. And yeah, it just like shapes helps you to see the world from a different perspective and helps you understand that, like the way you think and see the world is not the only way to see the world and think there's so many other ways out. There s Oh, that's probably in a nutshell. What my favorite thing about travel is, Um, yeah, I love it. I love like how it's always something new that she could be doing. And it's not like I don't know. They're repetitive everyday thing. You're doing a life. Absolutely so we know you obviously love to travel And you have been traveling. Can you, like, let the audience know where you literally just got back from, I guess. Like a day or two ago. Yeah. I just got back from Turkey, which is really, really dope. That expat trip was very eventful. It started out really slow. I honestly was like, Oh my gosh, I hate turkey. I don't ever want to come back here in the beginning but as countries tend to do like I as you explore and learn more about it, um it got better as the day has got went by and I explored more, got Thio hook up with a local photographer to shoot and, um, we he showed me around a lot, so that was really dope because I got to get a locals perspective of the country of Istanbul, which is where I started out. And it was it was fun. I really, really enjoyed the southern part of Turkey. I flew Thio Dahlman and went to come Back Valley, which was incredibly insane, like it's just this like beached area with big mountains and incredible views and just all the water sports. You can think of that you like paragliding down there and stuff. And there's just these really cute cabins in the mountains that you can stay in. And it's just like a completely different experience in Istanbul. And that was when, like, I really, really, really enjoy the trip. So obviously it's during co vid. Um, so I'm not. I didn't get the full experience of Istanbul, like many people told me they had, like, apparently is really lively. It's fun. The energy's high things are obviously different because of co vid, and but I really, really enjoyed it nonetheless. So, yeah, that's really cool. I've never actually I've never been to Turkey, so I don't know what's the one thing you would say for, like every tourist needs to see when you get there? Um, definitely go to Kobach Valley High Energy to go out of the regular Istanbul, which is where people usually go or cap. I didn't get to go to Capito Kia, um, where the air balloons are, Um, I highly highly encourage people to not just stay in Istanbul. The flights around Turkey or super cheap. It was $30 to get from Istanbul Thio, Thio, Delman where we flew. And that area is just like a beach area butty where you can get either an all inclusive resort A cabin in the mountains, a bunk beachfront bungalow. Uh, people, a lot of people go camping out there. It's really popular for that. So whatever your speed is, there's like something for you. It's just a really dope area. And it's completely different, Like paste in Istanbul on the rest of turkey. So definitely encourage you to fly out to a different city. If you do travel there, don't just dio Nice. Yeah, I definitely need toe plan a trip. That also is very nice. Eso how long were you actually there For the third too. So maybe two weeks, I believe. Okay. Yeah, I was out there for two weeks. Yeah, and like, what would you say? Besides like I know you said like, a lot of people weren't really out because of Kobe. But what would you say is the most challenging thing about, I guess, travel in general, with Kobe going on, the most challenging challenging thing is how quickly things change because you could go to a country. And the rules are one thing when you left and by the time you're heading back, it's a completely different thing or country, and they're not up to date on the changes and you might encounter challenges because of that. So my sister came with me for the first part of the trip. The reason why we went there was for her birthday trip on. She went from Turkey to Greece. That was the plan anyways. And when she was leaving the airport, they Turkish airlines would not let her leave to go to Greece because they were saying that Canadians were not allowed into Greece, which is incorrect. Um, Turkish people are not allowed in degrees right now, but Canadians are. But they were telling her The reason why you're not allowed to go to Greece is because Canadians are not allowed in degrees. And I think that that that that especially like abroad maybe, um, Canadians air lumped in with Americans. So maybe e like maybe they just assume like, oh, Canadian American, same thing. Um, but that's not the case. I don't even think. Yeah. Yeah. Sorry, I was going to say, I don't think I think Americans are allowed in, but that's not right. Americans are not allowed to Greece yet. They're allowed to Turkey. But so she had to change her flight. Um, she changed it to go to Italy instead. And they still didn't let her go to Italy. So literally the country it wasn't even like Italy was not allowing her in Turkey was not allowing her to go into Italy. Wouldn't crazy Turkey. So they were like, No, we can't go to Italy. You're not allowed into Italy either. Italy is open toe all tourists. There's just certain tourists have to quarantine for two weeks, right? So they had that information wrong as well. So if you change your flight to Germany and they were like, you're still not allowed to go to Germany, even though Germany is literally open right now, so do they just want her to go back to Canada or something, like I understand, just like, yeah, they were just like you have to be going back to Canada. You can only connect. Their information was incorrect. So that's the frustration with traveling during covert. You just never know even if you have the right information, you don't. The agent that you're dealing with might not have the right information and might prevent you from traveling because things are changing so quickly. There's obviously language, barriers and information that's being transferred around as well, so they might have misunderstood the information thio to mean something. But when I'm reading the information that I'm seeing for Germany's trapped on Germany's government information, there was nothing that should have prevented her from along to go from going in. So finally she booked a flight to London and they left photo London because London is literally yeah, that should be open. Yeah, London has not not even close their borders during this entire pandemic to anyone. So she finally flew to London from London, went to Greece. So that's yeah, So it was just like you just never know, even if you know the information correctly and have right up on the information how you're going to be received. So definitely, like checking with other people who, you know, have traveled to those countries to see what their experience has been like, Um, a lot of research as much as possible and don't book in advance on. It's not worth the headache because of how quickly things are changing. A lot of countries that have opened up are having to lock down again or impose curfews at the very last minute, like I had a friend who went to Dominican Republic and while he was there, that a curfew got like a curfew was instilled. So nobody was allowed after allowed out after 5 p.m. And he, like left once he touched down because of that. So it's like you just never know how one thing to finish or my girl lives. Health Korea right now. And they've gone back into lock down because a lady went to church and infected a whole bunch of people. So the they cases are rising again in South Korea. So it was just like you just never know how quickly things can change. Yeah, that's really crazy. Where you first ticket, like tested or anything? No, no. Where was I forced to get tested in Greece? To get into the country, you have to fill out like a form online, which generates a QR code. And, um, the Q R code tells them when you get there. They scan your QR code when you get there, and it tells them whether or not you should be tested. I believe it depends on what country you're from. That determines that. I flew there with my boyfriend and he's from London and he had to get tested and I didn't What? QR codes were scanned. And I'm from Canada. He's from London, but we both flew from the same place. Which is why that told me that it must have to do with where you're coming from. Uh, um, Yeah. So I haven't had to get tested anywhere. I went. I literally just like travel. And then when I get back, I just quarantine for 14 days. Okay? Yeah, Well, that's crazy. So I've been wondering, like what it's been like because I've only traveled domestically. You haven't really gone anywhere out of the country, so I've been wondering what it's been like. Okay, so now we're going to kind of shift the conversation more from the travel you've just been doing towards, like, how you were able to get more into the travel industry. Uh, okay. So yeah, So prior to entering the travel industry Cassie accumulated 10 years of experience and event planning and that included Ah, lot of planning like wedding planning, empower youth empowerment events, workshops Ah, lot of other stuff. But eventually in those all throughout Toronto. Eventually she started doing travel planning. So she curated black travel Meetups in the U. S. And then she also co created the roaming republic. So for those that don't know what these things are, can you tell us what the roaming republic is about? Yeah. So the Roman Republic is basically a travel community. Um, started between with. Started out with me and my late friend Said who passed away last year. Unfortunately, um, thank you. We met through Instagram, basically just like the black travel community. Both of us were instagram travel bloggers, a part of, like this group of black travelers who basically helped each other grow our accounts. And we just clicked through their um and I had just started hosting Black Travel Meetups in New York. So I had done to back to back Meetups with over 40 people in New York, just like a bunch of travelers who wanted to connect and meet up. And then I had put out there If anybody who wanted Thio collaborate on a group trip and he had put out that he wanted to host a trip to Thailand. So I had hit him up when I was like, Hey, if you need any help like let me know And he was like, I was literally just about to ask you if you wanted to help me do this and I'm like, Yeah, cool. So we literally just, um, connected through WhatsApp got on the face. Time call discussed like how we wanted to do it looked at villas and what the plans were and put it out there. Bella Worldwide and said in the city present Thailand 29. What was 2018 at the time? Put it out there, and the first trip was, ah, large majority of seeds friends because he had put it out first. So e think it was in January 2018. We started planning, and the trip happened in August, and it went so well, we worked so well together that we decided to launch another trip to the same villas within two weeks of us coming back on. It sold out in less than 24 hours. And then we put out another trip, like a month later to Costa Rica, which at the time was my favorite place. And I had been there twice at the time and that sold out again in 24 hours. And then we discuss, like, how I wanted to start a group travel company, and he wanted to do the same thing. So us doing it together, it would be a really good idea. And because we work so well together, it just made sense to do that. So we just like brainstorm names, Um, for like, a month. I think it took us to to come up with a name. I built our website and created the Instagram page, and we launched it, launched the Roman Republic in December 2018, and it was very well received, and we've just continued to launch trips to places that either he's been to or I've been to from then, and it just continued to grow and grow and grow. And after he passed away, unfortunately in May, I didn't really have much time to think about it, because the next trip was like a week later, um, to Costa Rica and which was it would have been our first trip that we released under our name. I think, um, S o. R official trip and I just went forward with the trip and continued, um, continued running the company with all the trips we had released and officially incorporated company because at the time, we hadn't really made it an official company yet officially incorporated it in November and have continued with it since then. So obviously, Cove, it has affected it this year. So Ah, lot of things have been put on hold and have affected the all the plans that I've had forward moving forward. But yeah, that's essentially how we started, how we kept going and how we continue to keep going. Um, it's grown into, like a community of roamers who just really, um, connect. Now a lot of people have started doing their own trips or just like connecting with each other to do little trip. So it's like become a community of people who just like all of travel and get to become a part of this like branch of the majority black travelers who are passionate about traveling and just having a good time abroad, so yeah, pretty dope. That's really cool. And it's, like, great that you're able to still keep it going, even after all, Like everything that's
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