Danielle James is a writer and diversity in technology advocate. Every month I feature a black female blogger who is doing it up! Born in New York City to a Jewish mother and Jamaican father, she currently lives in Brooklyn. Her blog, Two or More, focuses on writing outside the box. Let’s learn more about her:
Tell us about yourself. What do you do?
I'm a Marketing Events Specialist at MongoDB. I launched and currently manage the company's diversity initiatives, including the MongoDB Diversity Scholarship, the Female Innovators initiative, the Black Network at MongoDB, and #changetheratio, an internal event series for NYC high school students who are learning to code through nonprofits.
Outside of work, I'm all about writing creative nonfiction. I’m Jewish and Jamaican, which often seems to confuse people, so identity is a recurring theme in my work. I'm currently working on a book and recently started sharing shorter pieces of writing via my blog, Two or More.
What city do you hail from and what do you like most about your hometown?
I was born in New York City, grew up in Belgium, and found my way back to Brooklyn after high school. I love the diversity of the city and how New Yorkers from all walks of life come together.
Where were your favorite places to travel to in the world and why?
Thailand: I went there to train in a Muay Thai camp, and it was beautiful! Also, it's the birthplace of Muay Thai, a sport I've been practicing for 10+ years.
St. Maarten: I've enjoyed every Caribbean island I've visited so far but have a special affinity for St. Maarten. In addition to the island and beaches being gorgeous, the islanders speak both French (my native language) and Dutch.
Why do you think it is important to travel?
I've been lucky to grow up in a mixed family with members located in different countries across the world. As a result, I've been to a lot of places since a young age. Similar to reading books, traveling exposes you to cultures, situations, ideas, and people that you don't always come across in your area, even if you live in NYC. When you travel, you can't help but become more open minded and more understanding that there is always more than one way to live.
What do you want your legacy to be?
I want my writing to be my legacy. I want to inspire others as well as encourage dialogue, and new thoughts and ideas.
Anything else you would like to add for those who want to travel but aren't sure how to?
If you'd like to travel but don't have the funds, start by going to states within the U.S. Cultures and mentalities vary from state to state. And you can take a bus and stay at an AirBnB (or a relative if you have one) to offset costs. Also, if traveling is a priority, consider looking for a job that requires regular travel. While I have visited many countries throughout the world, I only visited the same states when traveling within the US. My current job allows me to go to plenty more. Each time I travel for work, I request to add at least one extra day to the itinerary to sightsee.
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