Just in case you haven’t noticed, I’m Black (*cue gasps*). Being a woman of color impacts every aspect of my life and especially travel.
It is fascinating experiencing varying treatments in the countries I travel to simply because of the color of my skin and my gender. Whether that means being mistaken for a prostitute in the United Arab Emirates and Reykjavik, Iceland, or being able to blend in with the locals in Cartagena, Colombia and La Romana, Dominican Republic.
I’ve never been as into reading travel blogs as I am now that I have my own. I love discovering and subscribing to other travel blogs and particularly supporting travel bloggers of color. The unique perspectives they provide, and selfishly, the validation that I am not alone in my experiences is refreshing.
Even if you are not a person of color, following travel writers of color is beneficial. Following diverse travel bloggers has helped me:
- Discover new writing styles. As a fresh blogger developing a unique writing style is important. I make it a point to read articles from other travel bloggers on a weekly basis. Observing how the writers speak to their audiences is helpful. Whether a writer uses comedy, incorporates another language in every post, or changes up their tone depending on the topic is interesting to make note of.
- See a different perspective. One of the main pros of travel is getting to experience new cultures. Reading travel blogs, while not the same as traveling, allows me to view destinations through the writer’s lens. Even if it’s a place I’ve already visited, it’s good to experience locations again by reading other writers’ narratives.
- Become aware of my (limited) privilege. As a multilingual, cisgendered and able bodied woman there are advantages I have that other travelers do not. Following travel bloggers has made me cognizant of the benefits afforded to me and more knowledgeable of the struggles that others face when traveling.
- Validate my experiences as a fellow traveler of color. As a person of color it can sometimes be hard to discern if the treatment you’re receiving is due to racism, sexism or simply cultural differences. When traveling not all moments are pleasant, but knowing that others have gone through the same things as you is reassuring.
- Defy the stereotype that travel is only for bougie Black people or wealthy POC. While some of the travel bloggers I follow focus on luxury travel and have more coins than Oprah, the vast majority do not. There’s a misconception that travel has to be expensive. Every post that I read by a travel blogger visiting destinations such as the Maldives, Bora Bora, and Bali on a budget help prove that this notion is untrue.
Travel Bloggers of Color to Follow
Amber Jones is one of my favorite travel bloggers. She has such a positive outlook on life and that shows in her writing. I’ve featured her on my site twice and think everyone should be following her on social media. Amber’s writing teaches me how to develop a unique tone with a mix of humor and educational facts. Read her guest posts here.
This site was started by Diamond Tokuda. Bona Voyage is a valuable travel resource for LGBTQI travelers. Traveling while being a member of this community provides some unique challenges. Bona Voyage is here to help make each journey a little easier. It provides info on safe countries to travel to and gives unique perspectives on areas from locals. Besides offering travel information the site will also focus on hate crime laws, laws regarding gender identity/expression, and other issues affecting the LGBT community. Although the site is not yet fully launched, it is bound to be groundbreaking.
Travel Latina is a travel site created by Alexandra Tracy Chavarriaga. It is dedicated to featuring womxn from Latin America and the Caribbean. I particularly love Travel Latina because it features more than just one blogger. It is an awesome resource for those looking to learn about the Latina experience when traveling. Content ranges from beauty tips to the frequent #FindYourPark features that center on natural sites around the world.
Destinee is a Virginia girl turned New Yorker. She is a group planning aficionada and expert at taking weekend trips to domestic locations. Her blog posts are often informative without being boring. She also reviews events in NYC and Broadway shows. This year Destinee has trips planned to Cuba and Portugal, so be sure to follow her site to get her unique perspective on both locations.
Started by Khalif Hayes aka “Mr Carry On” this site will challenge everything you think you know about packing light. Khalif is a packing guru and extremely well-traveled. He’s currently living in Prague as a part of the introductory class of My Wander Year. His blog content includes reviews, tips, and features from other travel bloggers. He also provides useful content on packing and footage from his trips on his YouTube channel.
Please share the links to sites of any travel bloggers of color you follow in the comments below. Also, if you’re a travel blogger of color drop your site’s link. I’m always looking for new blogs to follow.