Having traveled to over 20 countries and counting and then living abroad with her husband for 3 years, Erica Knowles-Nelson founded the travel blog â€œGetting to Know the Worldâ€ (G2KWorld) as way to encourage cultural diversity, awareness and international travel within the African-American and inner-city communities. An experienced world traveler with Bahamian and American heritage that was born and raised in Miami, she decided at an early age that she would broaden her horizons. SheÂ asked her parents to send her out of the country for her â€œSweet Sixteenâ€ to the beautiful Island of JamaicaÂ and that trip wouldÂ beÂ the spark that led her on a world tour. Erica is currently based in Miami and CocoaFab correspondent Danielle Stedman got the inside scoop from this travel authority on where to visit while in the Magic City.
When did you start travel blogging?
I started the blog in April of 2011 right after my husband and I were thinking of moving to New York. The plans to move to New York fell through and I was talking with my sister one day and she mentioned moving out of the country to teach. I then started looking into the same opportunity for myself and Mathew which led me to my first trip to Peru.
If you want a night out on the town with your girlfriends in Miami where should go to?
My girls and I would go down to Wynwood Art District. There are so many cool places to check out like R House and Wynwood Kitchen and Bar aka â€œThe Kitchenâ€. [There are also] numerous galleries, bars and street art exhibits.
For tourists, what are your must-dos?
Get off of South Beach! Go to areas of Miami like Coconut Grove, Wynwood, Downtown Miami, Brickell and Coral Gables. There are so many exciting and interesting places outside of South Beach.
Whatâ€™s your favorite destination and why?
Well, I have twoÂ favorite places. The first one to visit is India, because it is very unique in culture and maximizes the exposure to your senses. You can wake up one morning to a variety of sounds and smells;Â walking the streets you can take in the wonderful smell of curry and food in one second and in the next the horrid smell of cow manure. India is a very crowded place, it has a colorful landscape and to me it is a country of duality. One of the best things is that transportation is very accessible. I have spent over three weeks in India and loved every minute of it.
Now as far as vacationing goes, Jamaica is my favorite place to go. I get variety in that I can really relax there on the beach and then later on that night go to an incredible party where I have a blast; and not to mention the Food! I love Jamaican food.
How many stamps does your passport have? Where are they from?
I have 28 stamps on my passport. They are from Peru, Bangkok, Thailand, North/East/West Africa, South East Asia, the Caribbean, Central America, Europe and South America.
You call Miami your home. Can you share with our readers your perspective on the city?
Miami is a culturally diverse city but can be very segmented at the same time. The diversity here is a large part of its attraction. You can get the experience of visiting different countries of the world, just by visiting different neighborhoods in Miami. It is a wonderful place to live and has a lot to offer its residents but at the same time you have to make an effort to be in the loop of activities and all that it has to offer because there is so much. Right now there is an expansion in the development of business here which is great for entrepreneurs.
Where should people eat before leaving Miami?
La Rosa Restaurant. This place has the best Cuban food you can eat here in Miami. When you come to Miami you have try Cuban food, it is a must, and one of the most authentic cuisines here.
Where is the best place to shop in Miami?
There are variety of places. I like to shop on a smaller scale and with local designers, so there are so many places here in Miami. I am really into African clothing, so these are some of the designers and places that I like to shop:
If you are lookig for more main stream or higher end places to shop, Aventura Mall and the Bal Harbour Shops are really popular.
Check out Erica’s travel blog: