My name is Kea Wakesho Simmons; I am from Charleston, South Carolina; raised on James Island, where the Gullah Geechee culture originates. During my formative years, I decided to leave high school in the tenth grade and join Job Corps in Kentucky, where I eventually obtained my GED. Following my time in the Job Corps, I returned to Virginia, which has become my second home. In Virginia, I gained confidence and grew into a more mature individual, especially after becoming a mother for the first time in 2006. To further my personal growth, I enlisted in the United States Army as a human resources specialist and served for five years, including deployments to Iraq and Korea. During my time in Korea, my passion for travel was ignited, fueling my desire to explore the world.
In 2011, I left the military, and shortly after, I accepted a civilian contractor position in Afghanistan, where I worked for the next three and a half years. During this time, I assumed responsibilities for coordinating the movement of over 5,000 personnel and managing administrative procedures, significantly contributing to the mission’s success. I fulfilled contractual obligations in Estonia, Bulgaria, and Iraq for seven and a half years. Living and working in these countries allowed me to embark on global adventures, visiting 45 different countries and residing in seven.
As a result of my extensive travels, I wanted to share my experiences and knowledge with the world. Thus, I co-founded the travel concierge firm World Views, where I served for five years. I offered various services through this company, including business development, humanitarian aid, and relocation assistance. One of my notable achievements was leading a group of over one hundred individuals to Kenya, where I introduced a fresh perspective on Afro-tourism in Africa. Recently, I expanded my efforts to Central America. In 2023, I relaunched my business under Traverze Culture, continuing to provide the same services. The primary objective of this initiative is to facilitate in-person tourism worldwide, showcasing the accomplishments of African people on a global scale while also advocating for changes in tourism policies alongside government officials.
My future plans include expanding Traverze Culture to encompass 63 countries across six continents. I aspire to raise awareness about the significant contributions of African and black individuals worldwide. Bringing this vision to reality is one of my utmost goals, and I am steadily approaching its realization.