Travel is an inherent part of life for many multicultural individuals– it’s in our DNA. As multicultural Americans our ancestors have moved from continent to continent, fusing together cultures along the way. It’s only natural that travel is a big part of our lives… so naturally, you’d think that the travel industry would be diverse, right? The answer, unfortunately, is no.
The travel media industry seems to be overwhelmingly white– and even the White House got it wrong in 2014 when they hosted the White House Travel Blogger Summit, and failed to bring together a group of diverse bloggers to discuss diversity, study abroad and travel opportunities.
In a must-read blog post entitled The White Blogger Darlings and the White Organizers Who Love Them, Navdeep from Ishq in a Backpack explains that POC are rarely recognized saying that not including POC is the “standard protocol of how well-intentioned White people organize things.” Pointing to lists of “Best Travel Blogs” that often leave out multicultural bloggers, Navdeep says that leaving POC out of “Best Travel Bloggers” list and not including them in conferences, for example, “re-enforce the notion that people of color don’t travel, or write, or draw in high traffic on their travel blogs. Which of course is total bullsh*t and a wholly constructed reality. Nobody travels more than People of Color.”
Navdeep’s point, of course, reinforces what we started by saying… traveling is in our DNA. It’s not that we are not talented, or that we don’t want to travel, or that we don’t travel. It’s that we are lacking opportunity and recognition.
Oneika from Oneika the Traveller, explains it well:
[There is] a general lack of representation and recognition in mainstream travel media. Because we never seem to be invited to these sorts of events. Because “Top 10” or even “Top 100” lists never seem to include us. Because big brands never jump to work with us. Because we rarely, if ever, get featured in travel shows or tourism ad campaigns.
Multicultural travel bloggers are exactly the kind of bloggers the industry should embrace– their cultural backgrounds give them unique perspectives on every aspect of travel: culture, language and more. And dare I say— a much more nuanced and fuller picture than a White travel blogger could ever have.
Carol Cain has often highlighted the lack of diversity in travel media, and has spoken often about sticking out like a sore thumb, being the only minority in a room full of travel bloggers. She says that while she doesn’t believe in just throwing a bone just because someone is a minority, “I do think that those in the media, in the business of conference coordinating, and in campaign organizing, must work harder so that the message goes further and reaches a wider audience.”
It seems that, as in other industries, it’s not that talent is not there–there are many talented travel bloggers in the African-American, Latino and Asian communities– it’s lack of opportunity.
We have to elevate the voices of multicultural travel bloggers, who have beautiful photography and stories to share with the world. But it’s also more than that– it’s important to shatter stereotypes– that minorities don’t travel or that we don’t want to travel. It’s also about shattering cultural stereotypes and teaching young children that they can travel if they want to. It’s about increasing opportunities for young people to be able to study abroad and explore the world.
So without further ado, we want to highlight some amazing multicultural travel bloggers you should definitely be following:
CAROL CAIN – GIRL GONE TRAVEL
Carol Cain is a Dominican-Puerto Rican travel blogger based out of NJ. She has traveled the world and has amazing photography. Carol was recently a TBEX speaker.
JESSICA VAN DOP DEJESUS – THE DINING TRAVELER
Jessica van Dop DeJesus is a Washington, DC – based travel media specialist with a focus on food and attainable luxury travel.
A photo posted by Jessica van Dop DeJesus (@diningtraveler) on
Bani Amor is an Ecuadorian queer travel writer and photographer from Brooklyn who explores diasporic identities, the decolonization of travel culture, and the intersections of race, place and adventure in her work.
“If you’re not lost, you’re at a place that somebody has already found. If you’re comfortable or familiar, you’re in mapped territory. If you feel like you know where you’re at, somebody’s already done it. So if you want to create something new, you need to get completely lost.” Junot Díaz #ecuador #backpacking #decolonize #writing #travelwriting #queersinnature #travelersofcolor
ERNEST WHITE III – FLY BROTHER
Ernest is a writer and educator who has written for numerous outlets all over the world. Why did he create Fly Brother? “Because people of color – particularly black Americans – are traveling overseas for work, fun, or education more than ever before, but most travel-related magazine, newspaper, and Internet articles speak from a voice and perspective that I just can’t relate to.” We couldn’t have said it better.
A photo posted by Ernest White II (@flybrother) on
ANA ASTRI-O’REILLY – ANA TRAVELS
Ana is a Latina blogger who has two blogs, one in English (Ana Travels) and Apuntes Ideas Imágenes in Spanish. She loves history and likes to weave history in her travel pieces.
MIA HERMAN – TRAVEL WITH MIA
Mia is a flight attendant and aspiring photographer on a mission to see the world.
A photo posted by Mia Herman (@travelwithmia) on
JUNO – RUNAWAY JUNO
Juno is from Seoul, Korea. She is currently exploring the world and on a quest to find “home.”
ANNA – SLIGHTLY ASTRAY
Anna is Chinese but grew up in LA. She describes herself as a “twenty-something former civil engineer/construction manager who traded my hard hat and stable income for a backpack and indefinite adventures.”
A photo posted by Anna (@slightlyastray) on
It’s a family affair! Follow Sona Charaipotra, a writer based out of NY, her husband Navdeep Singh Dhillon and kids in their worldwide adventures! Who said parents can’t travel and have fun doing it?
NOEL MORATA – TRAVEL PHOTO DISCOVERY
Noel Morata is a Hawaiian Asian/Pacific Islander travel writer. He describes his site to be at a crossroads of culture, food and luxury experiences.
A photo posted by Travel Photo Discovery (@nmorata) on
REASE KIRCHNER – INDECISIVE TRAVELER
Rease left corporate America and works as a Spanish translator, translating and traveling when she wants to. She says “It kind of scares the shit out of me. It also makes me really happy.”
OLGA MARIA – DREAMS IN HEELS
Olga is a Cuban/Puerto Rican travel blogger based out of NYC who explores the world in heels!
I’m thrilled to be one of the February 2016 Global Girls featured at Shegoesglobal.net Instead of joining the romantic masses, this month She Goes Global featured 5 bad ass solo female travelers from all around the world. Go to their site and learn about each of our unique perspectives on what it really means to travel the world as woman- alone. Remember that Self-love is the best way to find true love. Follow your path and go places! #wanderlust #friday #travel #global #feature #travelblogger #travelexpert #solofemaletraveler #girlswhotravel #traveler #globelletravels #lugano
A photo posted by Olga Maria ✈️👠Dreamsinheels (@dreamsinheels) on
ANA SERAFIN-SMITH – TRAVELING LATINA
ONEIKA – ONEIKA THE TRAVELLER
Oneika is a Canadian living in Hong Kong and traveling all over the world! She caught the travel bug while she was in university and studied abroad– the rest is history.
Facts about the Victoria Falls Bridge (pictured behind me)… 1. It crosses the Zambezi River 2. It’s 420 feet high 3. I jumped off of it *ERM WHAT?! * Yup, the crazy folks at @jollyboysbackpackers convinced me and the hubs to literally jump off a bridge aaaaand we were crazy enough to actually do it! Blog post and video ( yup, there is a video!) of the great leap coming real soon.
A photo posted by @oneikatraveller on
NNEKA – AFROS Y PAELLA
Nneka went to Madrid to teach English and fell in love with Spain. That time inspired her to leave her job as a reporter and make the change of a lifetime. Her blog Afros y Paella is “the space where she explores travel, spirit, writing and life.”
A photo posted by Nneka M. Okona (@afrosypaella) on
Who did we miss? Share your favorite multicultural bloggers below!