At just under a hundred pages, this book is a quick, at times humorous, easy to read Black perspective on navigating Incheon, South Korea.
It’s clear from the get-go that The Blerd (as in Black Nerd) Explorer is focused on helping Black travellers and expats navigate the Asian country he has resided in since 2016. With particular focus on Incheon, the author leans on his personal experience and observations as a Black man navigating the country. Throughout the book, the author delivers advice with personal narratives as context.
Early on, the writer dives into some of the experiences that might be unique to the Black traveller. While non Black readers are certain to gain helpful information, it should be understood that this is the lens he is using to share advice. The author anticipates the common concerns and addresses them in a practical fashion. For example, he dedicates an entire chapter on how Black travellers might be received by city residents, including acknowledging stares and unusual questions.
In addition, the writer is equally upfront about writing from an American perspective and that is evident, particularly when he provides comparable services outside of Korea.
Occasionally, the author delves into blerd territory, so expect some very niche suggestions in a few places. But overall, he stays mindful that his audience is diverse. First-time visitors, especially students and solo travellers, will find this book most valuable as it clearly caters to an adult audience for the most part. Family travellers may find the generalized information helpful but should not anticipate children-related counsel. However, there are enough nuggets to be applicable and adjusted to individual needs.
In addition, this book assumes the reader has determined the necessary travel requirements to enter the country, so don’t expect visa related information here. Instead, it gives a good overview of how to navigate Incheon, and by necessity, South Korean culture in general. Its limited focus, however, means those interested in other parts of the country will most likely need to seek out supplement guides.
As with all travel guides, readers should have a measured degree of caution, as much of the book is based on one person’s experience. But given the dearth of Black travel information, this is a good start to contribute to the conversation.
The Black Traveler’s Guide to Incheon, South Korea ebook is available on Amazon Kindle, Google Play, Barnes & Noble, and Apple Books.
All book reviews are the personal and subjective opinion of the reviewer. No compensation was received for this review.