One of an occasional series
Every day, Black men and women are stepping into the travel world as tour operators, entrepreneurs and difference makers. In this ongoing IBIT series called “MOVERS,” you get to meet a young yoga enthusiast and a retired expat couple who are all of the above.
Antoine is based in Austin, TX, but much of the year, you’ll find him leading tours almost exactly on the opposite side of the world — in India.
It started when he took up the study of yoga in his teens. That, in turn, led him to lengthy periodic stays in Thailand, a mere four-hour flight to the birthplace of yoga, India.
“I loved living in Thailand, where I taught music and produced concerts, but I really cherished my time in India,” he says.
From there, he wound up in Austin, TX, where he was hired by a luxury travel company to sell tours to India. But it didn’t take him long to figure out that he’d rather be leading tours than selling tours.
Today, he’s still in Austin, but instead of peddling somebody else’s India journeys, he’s leading his own via his own company, Out Of This World India.
He designed all his tours himself and he leads them all himself. They’re more intimate in nature than your typical mass-market tour packages, designed for groups of six to eight people, so you won’t feel lost in a herd of tourists.
“My interests lie with the intersection of spirituality and architecture and I love temple architecture, especially from the regions Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. I also love the Mughal monuments, the caves of Ajanta and Ellora, Bibi Qa Maqbara and Bijapur.”
For 2014, he’s planning a tour of India’s busy and culturally rich Rajasthan region in the northwest of the country. It’s listed in the IBIT Travel Calendar, left. You can contact Antoine for details and pricing information.
“I am also able to create a custom tour for clients who may have different interests and reasons for going to India. I just want to take you there!”
If traveling under sail is one of those items on your “Black Folks Don’t Do That” list, this guy will be more than happy to cross it off for you.
For the last 17 years, Paul Mixon has been making waves — literally so — in the Caribbean — not just as a traveler and tour operator, but as a sailboat enthusiast and expert sailor.
For the record, we’re talking yachts here.
Since 1997, the man who goes by “Cap’N Paul” has been leading an event he called the “Black Boaters Summit,” bringing together Black American yachtsmen — as well as those who want to experience life under sail or just get out on the water — for annual sailing vacations in the British Virgin Islands.
Since 2013, the Black Boaters Summit has been renamed Black Boaters and Friends, which he and his wife, Marvelle, run together and…well, I’ll just let him tell it:
“Black Boaters and Friends (BBAF) was formed to uphold the mission to introduce African Americans and their friends to sailing in the calm, beautiful waters of the British Virgin Islands. BBAF is a spin-off from Cap’n Paul’s Black Boaters Summit.
“Along with the name change, we made a few more changes. Our captains are all local and certified. All expenses are included (including the boat kitty). We have more vacation options. We have individual rates, group rates and “Choose Your Captain” rates. We think we have improved an already good thing and made it easier for more people to get involved.”
When not doing his thing in the Caribbean, Paul is living the expat life in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, home to nearly 20,000 part-time and full-time American and Canadian residents.
A look over at the IBIT Travel Calendar will show several BBAF vacations on offer this year, not all of which automatically involve sailing.
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