Michelle Green-Thompson is a self-confessed addict. Fortunately, her compulsive behaviour bears positive fruit.
Michelle has published a book called Those Who Travel Meet Themselves.
The book contains stories from black South Africans about how travelling has changed their lives. A second edition is in the making. Alongside the book, Michelle also hosts monthly talks about travel at the Curiocity backpackers’ lodge in Maboneng in Joburg. See the picture above, where one of Michelle's young followers is listening intently to one of her talks. The idea is to banish the idea that black folks don’t travel – and to encourage the younger ones to broaden their horizons.
TMTV asked Michelle a few questions about her passion project.
-Please give us a brief bio of yourself: where are you from, family, education etc?
I'm from Ingogo, Newcastle, a born and bred farm girl. I studied in Newcastle. After matric I went on to study at Wits University. I'm currently at Unisa doing my honours.
My family is a melting hot pot, very South African. My parents are keen travellers, and my very first road trip beyond the border was with them to Mufulira in Zambia. I will never forget how they drove through the night to make sure we never missed our first day back at school.
-What inspired you to publish this book?
I'm nuts about travel and its impact on one's views in life. I got tired of hearing "black South Africans don't travel" and never finding a wide variety of travel books that tell black stories at Exclusive Books.
-How many editions have you published?
One edition. I'm currently working on the second.
-Where is the book distributed?
Currently you purchase it at our book readings. I haven't figured out my distribution yet.
-What has the feedback been from readers, ie how has the book changed their perspective on travel and what have they learned?
I have received a lot of great feedback. People want to be involved. They want to see their stories. I have deviated from having the readings at bookstores as I want people to experience different parts of their town, no matter where the reading is taking place.
Michelle’s social media pages are as follows: