I am Rahiem Johnson the creator of “Tray Table Seat Back” Travel Blog. Since a young boy, I’ve always had the desire to travel. However, being quite honest we (my family) weren’t financially in a position to travel. Born and raised in Philadelphia, PA to a single mother of four, we were happy to just travel to Virginia Beach for a couple days every other summer, but there was always this strong desire to see the world. During my late teenage years and early twenties, I took my first trip to New York City by car. That trip was followed by my first plane ride to Los Angeles, California. For the next 3 – 4 years there were no vacations, except for the occasional road trip 2-3 hours away, but nowhere too far due to working long hours and my twisted idea that in order to travel you had to be rich. Then one day I woke up and I told myself “I work too hard to not enjoy the fruits of my labor. I’m going to start traveling as much as I can, as far as I can”. I gave myself a goal of at least one international trip a year. It began with my first international trip Summer 2013 to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, and from there it was history. Fast forward 6 years later and I’ve been to over 40+ countries across 5 continents with no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Growing up seeing travel magazines and travel ads, I didn’t see many People of Color used to advertise and promote travel and tourism. TrayTableSeatBack was launched in 2017. It began as a platform for me to blog and share my journey, travel experiences while also disproving a lot of the many misconceptions about traveling. Inspiration hits differently, especially travel inspiration, when it’s someone who looks like you. Seeing more People of Color, hearing their stories and experiences lessens the fear and disproves stereotypes put on specific countries and destinations. As People of Color, its necessary we create our own travel stories and experiences. TrayTableSeatBack was created to be another source of inspiration. Being mindful to never push the narrative that everyone should be traveling and to never belittle or force those who do not have the desire to do so. We write for the people who may have the desire, but may not be sure where or how to start. We want to be the guide and gateway to showing People of Color that although this world can sometimes be scary, intense and uncomfortable there’s so much more beauty in this world than evil.
“If they won’t give you a seat at the table, build your own table” Unknown