While the hype of Marvel’s latest iteration may have died down (just) a little, ‘Black Panther’ has smashed all sorts of records including the highest-grossing solo superhero movie ever with over $1 billion. There are plenty of powerful social messages to be learnt from the first box-office record-breaking almost all African-American cast and director-helmed film, but we’re interested in what Black Panther can teach us about travel. Beware, there be spoilers!
Nothing is as it seems
To the outside world, Wakanda looks like a third-world nation dependent on agriculture and not much else. This presumption is further solidified by the Wakandian rulers protective facade to keep their advanced technology and ample resource of Vibranium hidden from the rest of the world in order not to invite conflict or war. Likewise, don’t be so quick to judge an off-the-beaten path destination based on what a handful might depict, good or bad (or Instagram, for that matter). Indeed, in the Busan market scene which turns out to be the entrance to a high-roller casino, nothing is as it seems.
Bring a gift to someone’s home
The Wakandians are a pretty suspicious bunch, and they guard their country’s secret very closely. Which is why when Killmonger arrives bearing a gift, he is greeted with open arms, to the chagrin of T’Challa and his allies. We’re not saying you should stake your claim as the ruler of a fictional country and kill your predeccesor , but if you do want to be treated well, you might want to bring a little present for your host. It’s just good manners.
Less is more
Black Panther’s superhero costume is understated, but full of tech goodies, thanks to the upgrades made by his wise-cracking sister Shuri. From the tribal necklace that allows Black Panther’s costume to miraculously appear, to his noise-cancelling ‘sneaks’, and Vibranium-weave suit that absorbs kinetic energy, this superhero outfit is more technologically advanced than anything worn by Iron Man. When you’re travelling, you want to make sure you dress appropriately for the occasion, without calling too much attention to yourself (though TBH if you’re wearing a glistening unitard, you’re going to get a few stares). But always make sure you’ve got an ace up your sleeve – be it statement accessory or an IT piece.
The pivotal moment that kicked off the events in ‘Black Panther’ is the theft of some Wakandian Vibranium by Andy Serkis’ villain Ulysses Klaue. Needless to say – BAD. Wherever you travel, it’s probably a good idea not to steal, whether it’s natural resources (like shells or plants) or a Bintang sleeveless T-shirt. It may lead to run-ins with the law, and that’s the last thing you want to deal with when in a foreign country. Again, just common courtesy!
Travel with a squad
The ruler of Wakanda is protected by his royal bodyguards – the very fierce Dora Milaje, who also happen to be highly-skilled female warriors. We’re all for solo travels, but we recommend travelling in a squad, or at the very least, with your own version of Okoye or Nakia, who will have your back at every point. It’s important to trust (and like) your travelling companions, because you’ll see them 24/7 while on your trip, and it just doesn’t make sense to travel with people who don’t share the same philosophies and values as you.
Image credits: All via Marvel Studios