Submitted on Monday, 1/23/2023, at 1:18 PM

Medium – Richards, a blogger and contributor to publications such as Condé Nast Traveler and Teen Vogue, answers questions from Maria Angelova about her life as a world traveler and creative professional. “Putting a face to my bylines let BIPOC people know I went into these spaces and you can too. We belong here,” she says. “I deeply believe that travel bridges gaps and misunderstandings. We are ambassadors.”

Raised in New York City in a family of Jamaican immigrants, Richards majored in women’s and gender studies and studied abroad in Milan as an undergraduate. Today she lives between NYC and Northern Italy. In the interview, she notes the importance of travel to her family and to her grandmother in particular. She describes experiences of racism in Paris and Southeast Asia, but also points out how travel can foster decision-making skills, personal confidence and new friendships.

Richards cites resonant quotes from James Baldwin and the screenplay for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. She also gives advice, encouraging readers to keep journals, listen to world news, savor small pleasures, and practice compassion and empathy. “Do one thing each day,” she says, “that takes you out of your comfort zone.”