There’s something inherently comforting about returning to your stomping grounds, that familiar place where your roots are deeply embedded, and inspiration flows like a steady river. This sense of belonging, however, was something I haven’t experienced in quite some time. Recently, I decided to traverse the bustling streets of Fort Lauderdale via public transportation, a mode of travel I haven’t engaged with since my childhood.
The Broward Central Transfer Station was my first stop. Stepping off the bus, I took a moment to absorb my surroundings, feeling slightly out of place in my crisp tie and Swiss-made Movado watch. With Bose headphones snugly fitted over my ears and Ireland Penny Mark sunglasses shielding my eyes, I waited patiently for the next bus, pondering on the fact that, in my travels, it’s been rare to see another African American skin tone in the same area as me.
Growing up, the sight of skin tones similar to mine was commonplace. However, in my adult years, such occurrences have been few and far between. This discrepancy, paired with the challenge of finding simple products I grew up on, often left me feeling out of place. But on that day, as I stood there, I felt an unyielding confidence - a certainty that I was there because I owned the place, or perhaps, was about to take it over.
The bus ride took me through deep-side Lauderdale, Oakland to be precise. The sight of dreadlocks and vibrant clothing brought back a rush of youthful memories. An hour and 45 minutes later, I found myself at Planet Fitness, where my California Black Card came in handy. A session on the hydro body massage bed and the massage chair worked wonders in alleviating the fatigue accumulated from countless flights.
My final destination was a joyous reunion with Ghost, my furry black and white dog companion. Our reunion was made even more special with a Publix deli chicken sandwich in hand, fueling us for the journey ahead. The return trip to the airport was a mix of anticipation and careful planning, as we navigated the inaccuracies of the bus routes. Our best option was a Delta flight to Raleigh Duran, with a connection to our final destination on the west coast.
And now, as the clock strikes 11pm, Ghost and I are comfortably seated by the window and middle seat of our flight, the city lights of Fort Lauderdale becoming mere specks in the distance. Be sure to tune into TikTok live to see how our night unfolds!