Before I get into what it’s like being a black person traveling in Montenegro, I should let you know that this post is actually part of a series on my blog called Being a Black Traveler in Eastern Europe and Slavic countries.
That is why this summary of my experience as a black traveler in Montenegro is not so long. So check out the whole Eastern Europe series when you are done.
Disclaimer 1: I am a tall, thin, American girl who wears a lot of make-up and cute dresses. I am sure that being an “exotic” girl in the Slavic world contributes to my mostly positive experience, and a lot of my black female friends have had similar experiences. Although, being an “exotic” girl can often be exhausting and uncomfortable around immature people with little diverse life experiences, but for the most part, it is positive. So as you read my experiences, keep in mind that my gender and my nationality, I am sure, can sometimes play a part in how I am treated.
Disclaimer 2: Let me also say immediately, I have seen no racism in Eastern Europe towards myself or other black people I am friends with or simply know of–whether they’re light skinned, dark skinned, African expats or tourists, or black expats or tourists from Western countries.
Racism particularly is a learned behavior passed down from generations of families in western countries where there are generations of black citizens to practice racism, discrimination and segregation on. Eastern Europeans haven’t had centuries to develop these institutionalized and social habits. So while of course, yes, you may hear the odd story or two of one bad apple being racially inappropriate…. Compared to the thousands and thousands of horrendous incidences, crimes, police brutalities, corruption and horror stories coming from USA and Britain–Eastern Europe is as harmless as a fly. Please remember that.
Okay, so what is it like being a black girl traveling in Montenegro?
I received a lot of long stares and people surprised to see a black person in Montenegro, as I did in all the countries in the Balkans. A few people stopped me to take a selfie with me as well, which I don’t love to do. You can read more about why I don’t love fulfilling selfie requests in my post about the 8 mostly amazing things to expect as a black traveler in the Balkans and Eastern Europe.
Montenegro is growing from strength to strength in tourism every year. But even at that, compared to Croatia, I felt like more Montenegrins working on the seaside tourist towns were eager to strike a conversation with me because their most popular towns are still not seeing as many black travelers as Croatia’s seaside towns. Also, many people working in Montenegro during holiday seasons are Serbians. Half the people I met in Montenegro that were excited to talk to a black girl were Serbians.
Click here to go back to my series on being a black traveler in Eastern Europe and slavic countries.
Are you a black woman interested in living in an Eastern European country, or any foreign country really, but worried about logistics such as getting your hair done, finding your favorite make-up products, culturally awkward dating, etc.? Check out my Black Girl Traveler Survival Guide
if you are interested to know how I work around living in a country that doesn’t have all the comforts of home for black women.