40

Why are travel blogging and travel media STILL so WHITE? Not only a rant, but also solutions

travelling while black travel movement african american

The fact that travel media is STILL so white in this day and age is disappointing.  But here are my suggestions for how to increase diversity and inclusion.

In the last week, I’ve been tagged in a number of conversations on social media about the lack of diversity in travel media (thanks Fidel from My Leiover for the most recent tag on Instagram yesterday).  Most of the dialogues appear to be sparked by an article making its rounds on the internet that asks whether the travel community is “too white”.  In it, Australian journalist Ben Groundwater writes:

Think about it: the vast majority of successful travel bloggers and influencers out there, the ones you probably follow on social media and draw inspiration from on a daily basis are skinny, good-looking white people. The travel presenters you see on TV are skinny, good-looking white people. And even the vast majority of successful writers in traditional media are also – well, white people.

There’s a noticeable homogeneity to the voices of travel throughout the world. The majority of the people who document and analyse the globe from a travellers’ perspective are white, and privileged. They see the planet from a certain standpoint. They move through the world in a certain way.

But here’s the thing.  This discussion is far from new– it’s been on the hearts, minds, and tongues of POC travellers for years (POC = people of colour, by the way).

And those who have been following me for some time will know that I’ve been very vocal about the inherent whiteness of the travel industry, penning a number of articles decrying the paucity of “melanin-blessed” folks in the travel space.

In rainy Indonesia last week. Yes, black people travel!

That fact is that mainstream travel media is embarrassingly devoid of diverse faces, voices, and perspectives–  instead, tourism campaigns and travel programming are rife with the same old (tired!) images and viewpoints from travellers who are both white and Western.  This has not gone unnoticed by me or my fellow POC travel blogger/ journalist/ influencer friends.

In this piece, for example, I lamented the fact that even a Google search for the word “traveller” yields images that depict the quintessential globetrotter as white– despite the fact that more people of colour are travelling (for fun, work, education, and spiritual growth) than ever before. I mean, according to the New York Times, the Mandala Research firm found that nearly one-fifth of African-Americans take one or more international trips per year, and they spend $48 billion on travel within the United States *alone*!

This is what you see when you google the word “traveller”

 

And in my article “The Lack of Black in Travel Blogging and Travel Media” (which I wrote in December of 2014!), I point to why the lack of representation of and opportunities for black travel bloggers and journalists in mainstream travel media are highly problematic:

 

Because, for those of us hoping to become the next Anthony Bourdain or Samantha Brown, being blanked by the “big dogs” in mainstream media means losing out on lucrative partnerships, collaborations, and sponsorship deals.

Because, more importantly, not being invited to summits like the one at the White House means that our unique voices and points of view are excluded from the important conversations that ultimately help change the world and inform our global perspective.  

Because, our absence from the mainstream perpetuates the single story of whiteness in travel and helps to perpetuate the notion that travelling isn’t something people of colour do.

Frankly? It’s both disappointing and discouraging that mainstream travel media is still so white and monolithic, even three years after I wrote the above article. But rather than continue to belabour or lament the obvious, here are, in my opinion, some practical, actionable ways to increase diversity and inclusion in this space.

Prioritize diverse voices and perspectives

This is a big one. Brands, tourism boards, publications, and television/digital networks need to make it a mandate to explicitly seek out diverse talent.  Making lofty claims about how they are “equal opportunity” companies does absolutely nothing to increase opportunities and visibility for POC travellers and POC travel content creators.

I’ve said time and time again that the most critical issue in the travel media industry is that the people making the decisions about both who to hire (for jobs/campaigns) and who to highlight (in press features) are typically white;  this becomes problematic because, guess what? Their social and professional circles are just as white and homogenous, too.

Now ask yourself: what do you think happens when the people you surround yourself with look like you, act like you, and think like you? What you do think happens when you’re the status quo, the majority, and don’t have to think about “The Other”?

Regrettably, the white people in charge primarily end up engaging, employing, and featuring other white people, who have voices and perspectives that mirror their own. However, implementing initiatives that specifically seek out travellers that are not only racially diverse, but also diverse with regards to their culture, sexuality, ability, physicality, gender identity, etc. combats the exclusion that can often occur.

Decolonize travel writing

Bani Amor, of the amazing blog Everywhere All the Time: Decolonizing Travel Culture, is a noted author and editor who has written at great length about how most mainstream travel reporting is rooted in colonialism, othering, and even white superiority. Other than being low-key racist, this is  problematic because travel media as a whole becomes extremely white-centered and Western-centered.

In these cases, one-sided, privileged viewpoints are being positioned as the standard or norm, and the resulting content is often derivative, lazy, and devoid of intersectionality. However, when we strive to be more judicious, empathetic, respectful, and inclusive in our travel reporting we more accurately reflect the spaces we inhabit in the world, and promote voices that have been silenced or ignored in the past.  And often, these voices can provide more enlightened viewpoints, since as “The Other” or “The Other”-adjacent they have heightened insight and sensitivity to the people they encounter on their travels.

“Mainstream” bloggers and influencers: Use your platforms to amplify POC voices

So many popular bloggers and influencers say they want the space to be more diverse and inclusive, yet few actually use their platforms to highlight the work and experiences of POC travellers and/or travel content creators.  The only person I can think of who has done this was popular travel blogger Adventurous Kate, whose “Viewpoints” interview series explored travel through the lenses of  POC and disabled travellers.  It is SO important to be an ally when you are in a position of power.

POC bloggers and influencers: Collab instead of compete

Speaking of using platforms to highlight others… One of the most unfortunate things I see in the travel space is the reluctance of other black bloggers/influencers/journalists to promote their fellow content creators– for fear of competition or losing out on the (supposedly) scarce number of opportunities out there for us.

I have always believed that there’s enough room in the sky for all of our stars to shine brightly. I take great care in supporting my black travel squad;  I purchase their books, write blog posts about their businesses and ventures (see here and here), and frequently shout them out on social media.

Have I ever told you about my awesome friend Jessica Nabongo aka @thecatchmeifyoucan ? She's the well- travelled boss lady behind @globaljetblack, the bespoke tour company helping people explore the world. It was her stunning photos on IG that drew me to her first. "Who's this striking sister with the baldie travelling to all these exotic places?" I asked myself. I clicked follow immediately and the cyber-stalking commenced. One rainy day she came to New York City and we connected in person for the first time over Thai food in Queens. Over green curry and spring rolls we talked travel and a friendship was borne. For in Jessica I saw myself: a woman with intense passion for discovery, a daughter of immigrants still closely connected to her ancestral homeland, and a global citizen who has lived and worked internationally. If you're not following this girl yet you must do so with a quickness– her feed is bananas. Because Jessica, a tireless wanderer who has been to nearly 100 countries, travels to places like Djibouti as though she were taking a jaunt to Delaware. As it were, we happened to cross paths in London this summer, on one of those rare blue sky, sunny days that make you feel like you could live in the UK forever. After a lunch of Thai food (what is it with us and Thai cuisine?!) we made the short walk over to Bedford Square and took a classic red phone booth photo. Because of COURSE we had to document this international black girl magic. We often talk about the negative aspects of social media, but being able to find and connect with like-minded people is truly a blessing. I'm so happy to now count Jessica among my friends and am excited to see where we meet up next!

A post shared by Oneika✈ OneikaTheTraveller.com (@oneikatraveller) on

Given my standpoint, the refusal to highlight and promote one another’s work, or the jealousy that seems to crop up when one of our cohort is successful in their endeavours, is sad to me.  A tree is only as strong as its roots, so I think it’s in our best interest to cultivate a supportive foundation from which we can grow up (and glow up).   Community is one of the keys to success, in my opinion. Furthermore, when travel media is flooded with more visible minorities from different walks of life, we normalize POC in the travel space… Which not only leads to more representation, but an increased number of opportunities.

When you get a seat at the table: Say Our Names

My extremely talented and successful friend Lola Akinmade Akerström wrote a compelling article about the power of subconsciously lifting others.  In it, she explains the importance of  saying other people’s names when we find ourselves with coveted seats at important tables:

Because sometimes, just saying “work harder” isn’t enough.

In some cases, it can be an inhumane crime if we are the ones who hold the key to unlock a world of opportunities for the person to whom we say “work harder”.

We all have the power in our own way and within our own spheres of influence to drastically change someone else’s life. To make that hard toil they constantly face on a daily basis a little easier for them.

It’s the difference between a friend just vocalizing their support for you or actually giving your name to that special contact they have that could potentially change your life.

Oftentimes, when we operate from a mentality of scarcity, we feel like there isn’t enough to go around and we hold on for dear life to the little we have instead of spreading it around.

This piece resonated with me SO MUCH. Whether you are black, white, or green, you have the power to spread the seeds of your success around by referring worthy colleagues and friends.  In the case of travel media, which is blindingly white, we would do well to say the names of talented POC content creators to editors, marketing managers, and campaign leads.

I write this because I have been really lucky to have allies in the space who have said my name to “people who matter” in the industry.  One of the people who has consistently done so is Lillie from Around the World L, an OG blogger whom I’ve actually never met in person!  Nevertheless, she has gone to bat for me many a time, even though she has no personal interest or gain in the matter.  Thank you so much for being such an amazing advocate, Lillie– I so deeply appreciate it.

Casual racism is still racism, so featuring diverse voices and perspectives is important in order to educate. Read my blog post on the topic here

 

POC travel bloggers and travel journalists you should know

Who then, are POC bloggers and travel journalists you should follow?  Besides the incredible Lola and Bani, folks like Erick from Minority Nomad,  Eulanda and Omo from Hey Dip Your Toes In, Travis from Mister Levius, Lavina from Continent Hop, Andrew “Gunnarolla” Gunadie, Jessica from Catch Me If You Can,  Carol from Girl Gone Travel, Ashley from Travel Lushes, Fidel from My Leiover, Travel Channel Host Kellee Edwards of Kellee Set Go, Ernest from Fly Brother, Dani from Hotel Whisperer, Kerwin from Cruisin’ Altitude, Rachel of Rachel Travels, Heather from Globetrotting Mama, Gloria from The Blog Abroad, Nicole from I Luv 2 GlobetrotRoni the Travel Guru, Sarah from Jet Set Sarah, Nadeen from The Sophisticated Life, Olivia from O Christine, Annette from From Annette with Love , and Victoria from The British Berliner are killing the game right now… And this is really just the tip of the iceberg.

 Call out the lack of diversity

Discussions like these are important.  Challenging the status quo is catalyst for change. Speak up and out about the lack of diversity in travel media, be the change you want to see in this space, and offer suggestions for how to remedy the issue.

It’s 2017 and we need to do better.

PIN & SHARE with all your friends!

Have you noticed the lack of diversity in the travel industry?  Do you think representation matters?  If so, what are your suggestions for making travel media as a whole more inclusive?

Further reading:

The Lack of Black in Travel Blogging and Travel Media

Casual Racism in Travel Writing

For Us, By Us: 5 Black Travel Groups You Should Know

Being “The Other” in India and Beyond

What Being Black and Abroad Means to Me

How Not To Do Travel Writing: A Glossary, by Bani Amor

Say My Name: Thoughts on Subconsciously Lifting Others, by Lola Akinmade Akerstrom

10 Female Travel Bloggers of Color You Should be Following, by Samantha O’Brochta

You Might Also Like

40 Comments

  • Reply
    Fidel
    December 13, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    Wonderful!!!!
    You brought solutions to the table. You didn’t make it sound like we are out for handouts and hookups. Thank you!

    It’s sad when the only time influencers mention us are when we are their photo props. My post was sparked by a photo which disturbed me and I’m glad it sparked a discussion. We have to make people aware these issues exists and work together to make sure it changes.

    • Reply
      Oneika
      December 20, 2017 at 4:13 pm

      “It’s sad when the only time influencers mention us are when we are their photo props.” THIS! I finally saw the post you were talking about and had to shake my head. Acting like we were accessories. I was offended.

  • Reply
    Dani
    December 13, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    This is such an important blog post – I will be sharing it in my email newsletter so that my own readership can learn about this! Although I have been travel blogging for over a year now, I am still relatively new when it comes to gauging who else is in the industry and what ‘names’ I am familiar with. However, I have noticed a distinct trend: absolutely all of them (except for you) are white. I really like what you propose to try and change this with (i.e. amplifying POC voices), and I really hope I can prioritise this in my future collaborations. Keep up the great work!

    http://www.thegingerpassports.com

    • Reply
      Oneika
      December 20, 2017 at 4:12 pm

      Thanks so much Dani!!!!! Both for your comments and for sharing this article!

  • Reply
    Jesse Goldstein
    December 13, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    Nomadic Matt has regularly featured guest posts from LGBT travel authors for a while now. One of his most recent blog posts is an interview with Lola Akerstrom

    • Reply
      Oneika
      December 20, 2017 at 4:12 pm

      Yes! Matt is great with this. He actually featured me in an article years ago as well.

  • Reply
    Ashley
    December 13, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    As always, loved hearing your thoughts. This was an excellent article that clearly stated the problem and provided reasonable ways to solve it.
    Brands, advertisers, publications, and TV stations definitely need to do their part in working with more people of color. And in the meantime, POC bloggers, influencers, and journalists must support one another.
    If it’s one thing I’ve noticed, it’s that white members of this industry have mastered the art of working together and promoting each other. I see it all the time. Popular white Instagrammers traveling together and appearing in each other’s photos, the top white travel YouTubers collabing on videos, etc. I used to ask myself why they didn’t have have any POC in their cliques. But the real question is, why aren’t WE as POC forming our own cliques and lifting each other up as they do?

    • Reply
      Oneika
      December 20, 2017 at 4:12 pm

      Girl… That’s the million dollar question! As I noted in the post, it’s due to this mentality of scarcity we seem to have, which is so unfortunate. I truly believe we would be so much further ahead were we to collaborate!

      • Reply
        Ele
        January 8, 2018 at 1:17 pm

        “If it’s one thing I’ve noticed, it’s that white members of this industry have mastered the art of working together and promoting each other. I see it all the time. Popular white Instagrammers traveling together and appearing in each other’s photos,[…]” I think people should make friends with people they like and not because of the skin colour-that would be racist. If we like people, the colour doesn’t matter. Do you want to introduce quotas for POC friends people should have?

  • Reply
    JaMeka
    December 13, 2017 at 6:16 pm

    Yes! I applaud you for writing this! As a blogger myself (over 3 years now!) it is so frustrating at times to see how quickly I’ve seen non POC bloggers/vloggers easily receiving so many opportunities within a short span of time, meanwhile I have to beat down doors just to get noticed. I’m not saying they probably didn’t work hard for it, because maybe they did and hard work pays off – but they just seem to have it easier because they represent what the current travel industry/influencer circles look like. Great work once again Oneika 🙂

    • Reply
      Oneika
      December 20, 2017 at 4:09 pm

      Thanks JaMeka! It’s a struggle but we mustn’t get discouraged!

  • Reply
    Lillie Marshall
    December 13, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    Thank you so much for your tireless work on this!!! And to clarify, when you wrote that I have “no personal interest or gain in the matter” of going to bat for you, I actually do. Your work is awesome, and the world is a better place when it hears from you. That is to say: I (and all of us, for that matter) have personal interest and gain in living in a better world! 😀

    • Reply
      Oneika
      December 20, 2017 at 4:09 pm

      You rock Lillie! <3

  • Reply
    Julia Guerra
    December 14, 2017 at 2:11 am

    Loved this article! I’m Guatemalan American and I have family who are of white, black, Latino, Asian and Pacific Islander heritage. Inclusivity and diversity were important values that I was raised with. So while traveling, it always bothered me how there was a lack of diversity. I think you’ve got some great points on how to promote diversity. One thing I would like to see is more diversity in stock photos. There’s nothing that bothers me more than seeing white people “volunteering” with poor African or Cambodian children.

    • Reply
      Oneika
      December 20, 2017 at 4:08 pm

      Yes to diversity in stock photos!! And travel poverty porn is a huge pet peeve of mine as well.

  • Reply
    Caroline Achieng Otieno
    December 14, 2017 at 4:27 am

    This is an important conversation…our voices need to be amplified. I feel left out in this space though..most of the travellers you mention are those who’ve lived their lives in the Northern hemisphere, they are African-American bloggers. Any time you mention black traveller mum’s, you don’t mention African traveler mums. What happens to African bloggers? Are we not considered people of colour facing the same problems in this space? Africa is rising and it’s important that we are included in these conversations.

    • Reply
      Oneika
      December 20, 2017 at 4:08 pm

      Good observation! Honestly, it’s not a deliberate omission: the folks I’ve mentioned are all friends and colleagues within my “sphere” so to speak. A few are indeed African (Lola) and/or Afro-Caribbean or Afro-European (Jet Set Sarah and Victoria The British Berliner). Do you have a list of African travel bloggers/influencers to follow? Please share!

  • Reply
    Roobens
    December 14, 2017 at 4:29 am

    Oh wow, what a great post! Yeah I really think we (I’m black) should collab more instead of compete. It’s a win-win situation, and there’s enough space for all of us. My blog is definitely not as big as yours, but I always try to write thing from my point og view, as a black man. Seems like people like it, I have more and more readers every week (not just black!).

    • Reply
      Oneika
      December 20, 2017 at 3:57 pm

      Agree!!! So important for us to join forces when possible!

  • Reply
    Brandi
    December 14, 2017 at 4:32 am

    Excellent article and on point solutions! Thank you for the list of travel bloggers I can follow, too!

    • Reply
      Oneika
      December 20, 2017 at 3:28 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it!

  • Reply
    Nailah
    December 14, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Thanks, as always, for a thoughtful, well written article, Oneika! I took a bit of time and went through your list of POC Bloggers and Journalist and followed all of them on Instagram and/or Liked on Facebook if I wasn’t already doing so. Just a little part, but will do what I can to support as I know how important that is.

    • Reply
      Oneika
      December 20, 2017 at 3:28 pm

      Yay! Thanks Nailah!!! Hope you are well, girl!

  • Reply
    Uju
    December 14, 2017 at 11:18 am

    Very important blog post. I love following bloggers like yourself and Lola who are out there proving that there are no limits when it comes to travel. Even though as POC (and women, or other minorities) the ‘travelling while X’ thing does come into consideration. You are totally right about operating from a source of abundance rather than scarcity, there’s more than enough room for everyone to shine. We need to big each other up!

    Thanks so much for pointing me towards some other bloggers to watch and for giving this issue a voice. I might describe myself more of a ‘local travel’ blogger, as my blog is mainly on things to do in London with kids (although we do go beyond). But a big part of what drives me as a blogger, is showcasing the fact that Black families can and do belong in spaces previously only ‘marked out’ for white or upper class backgrounds. I’m especially happy when Black readers come up and tell me how much I’ve inspired them to go out there and do more with their families. That’s the same feeling I get when I read your blog or indeed other content by creatives of colour. We can, and will, do more. Stay blessed x

    • Reply
      Oneika
      December 20, 2017 at 3:28 pm

      Uju! I love this! Please continue to blog about you and your family– it’s a market that’s highly underexploited in the travel space!!!!!

  • Reply
    Kierra
    December 14, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    Wow! I loved this piece so very much. It is articles like this that make me want to work harder to build my platform in the blogosphere. I am so inspired that I’m thinking of ways I can help uplift my fellow POCs in this industry, even though I am not yet an “influencer”. Surely as I grow in my writing, my blog, and my social media presence I want to be known as the one who always gave credit where credit was due, and the one who showed unconditional love to other melanin-blessed influencers. Thank you for offering up your suggestions, and for shining light on this topic. I will always support you!

    • Reply
      Oneika
      December 20, 2017 at 3:27 pm

      Thanks Kierra!

  • Reply
    Elijah Rodriguez
    December 16, 2017 at 11:20 pm

    You said exactly what I’ve been thinking! As a Latino travel blogger it’s always frustrating to see how white the travel blogosphere is. It’s so important for those who are white and popular to give POC a voice for those (like us) who need it. I love your blog!

    • Reply
      Oneika
      December 20, 2017 at 3:27 pm

      Thank you so much Elijah!

  • Reply
    Ashlea @ A Globe Well Travelled
    December 17, 2017 at 11:42 pm

    LOVE this post, Oneika! I was just talking to my husband yesterday about how Disney has cast all the typical ‘white men’ in the new Star Wars movie as the bad guys, and the good guys were a very diverse and much more relatable group. Hopefully this is a positive change that will be passed on to other forms of media, especially in the travel industry!

    • Reply
      Oneika
      December 20, 2017 at 3:26 pm

      Oh wow, I wasn’t aware! That’s amazing!!!!!!!

  • Reply
    Kristin
    December 18, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    Do you think it’s a product of privilege more than anything? Let’s not take into account the print media—when I was still a staffer in NYC, every staff I worked with was pretty diverse in both sexual orientation and skin tone (I worked for entertainment and fashion publications, predominantly, but NYC is an anomaly when it comes to diversity in media, IMO…here in the South, it would likely be 95% white)—but focus on influencers, and not just bloggers like you and me, but let’s start with Instagrammers, specifically. As you alluded to, SO many of the ones that populate my Explore page are all white, of a certain age range, wearing the exact same things, going to the exact same overly-grammed locations. It’s all so boring and white-washed, and this is why Instagram has lost its luster for me. I also guarantee you they aren’t making money (at least at first)—they’re either paying their own way or doing so in exchange for free travel and/or products (*groan*). Do you think it’s the privilege of being on daddy’s bank account and being able to afford this lifestyle (the ubiquitous “I quit my job to travel the world” syndrome) that has created this homogenous viewpoint in the online space?

    The good news is that eventually they’ll all have to go back home and get real jobs. But aside from all your carefully researched and well thought out points above, does it merely start with that most basic sort of privilege that these people can afford to fund their own travels and in a day and age when publications aren’t footing the bill, that’s what’s most important when you’re first starting out? And I’m also curious by what constitutes “mainstream media” in this day and age, with so many of the beloved publications shuttering and staffs slimmed down to the barest of bones. Are we as bloggers now “mainstream?”

    Great post and points that have really made me think. This is why I love your blog!

    • Reply
      Oneika
      December 20, 2017 at 3:26 pm

      Great point Kristin! I definitely think that socioeconomic status and generational wealth play a role in whether or not we travel. I come from an immigrant family, both my parents moved to Canada in their late teens under the supposition that such a move would provide greater economic and educational opportunities. They were successful in their endeavours so I grew up staunchly middle class and never wanted for anything. However, though my family certainly had the financial means to travel to places other than the Caribbean and the USA, we did not. It just wasn’t a thing we saw ourselves “doing”, because nobody (meaning black folks) around us were doing it. Travel was functional: a way to return to our ancestral home and/or see family.

      There are so many other POC families who come from a similar background, this is why I think it’s important to provide aspirational imagery, anecdotes, opportunities for people like me to adopt a similar travel lifestyle! <3

  • Reply
    Alexis
    December 19, 2017 at 5:15 am

    I love when you write things like this! It’s such an important conversation. It always amazes me how monochromatic the perspectives on different destinations is. I hate how I actively have to search for bloggers that look like me rather than being able to Google “what to do in Barcelona” or “what to do in Bali” and having a mix of perspectives to read.
    You and Glo are my favorite bloggers for a reason! I love reading about the travel experiences of other black women.
    That’s why I’m starting my own blog. So many of my friends have never heard of any other black women traveling the world solo and I think that’s a problem. We need more bloggers like you guys showing folks that when black women travel 1)the slayage is real 2)we don’t all die or get kidnapped(literally the concern of every one of my family members) and 3)life changing travel experiences are for ANYONE and EVERYONE.
    Thank you for being amazing! And thank you for mentioning other bloggers for us to follow!

    • Reply
      Oneika
      December 20, 2017 at 3:20 pm

      Yes, PLEASE PLEASE start your own blog! It’s so important for POC to amplify our voices– as you say, the “monochrome” perspectives simply do not represent us!!!!

  • Reply
    Amanda
    December 20, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    Such a great post — I can say I’ve always wondered if I was missing out on opportunities because I wasn’t good enough/working hard enough OR if it was brands and destinations seeing my hijab and not wanting to associate with me, that it could be damaging to them in someway to align in that way. I would love to see way more diversity in the travel space (and everywhere!).

  • Reply
    Creatrix Tiara
    January 2, 2018 at 5:29 am

    One thing that’s missing here: visas and immigration.

    I’ve been travelling since I was a literal baby and for most of my life, I was on a Bangladesh passport, which meant that I needed visas for damn near everywhere on the planet. And not like 5-second ESTA style visas either – stuff that needed everyone’s financial documents and blood samples and what not. My family valued travel (Still does – my parents have a hell of a year planned already) so this was a hassle we were all willing to undertake, but it did restrict our opportunities somewhat and make everything super costly.

    I’m now on a Malaysian passport, which makes things about a billion times easier (though I still need a US visa but I got one of those now woo). Even so, I have to pay close attention to things like the Travel Ban because that has repercussions on Immigration everywhere in the world. Every border crossing puts me at risk of being detained, questioned, stuff seized by customs, even deported – just because I look brown and have a Muslim-sounding name from a Muslim-country passport. And even when I’ve arrived successfully in the country, I still have to carry my passport with me (at risk of getting it stolen or lost) just in case I get stopped on the street.

    A lot of professional travel opps don’t want to go through that visa hassle, especially if there’s money involved (because then Immigration wants you to have a work visa which is often much more complicated than you really need but there’s no good short-term options). Might as well give it to people who won’t need a lot of paperwork!

    • Reply
      Ele
      January 8, 2018 at 1:19 pm

      Visas are political things, unfortunately. They are not based on skin colour but on the country’s economy and political situation.

  • Reply
    Aitza B
    January 6, 2018 at 6:55 pm

    Collab part is so important. Maybe I’m not looking in the right places but I have such a hard time finding black bloggers supporting each other regularly. I’ve seen nb-latinx bloggers do this and Asian ones too.

    I’m not a “there’s room for everyone” kind of gal, but a “if there isn’t room, dug your own space and pack your friends in” person. I don’t think I’ll ever be a “travel blogger” but I’m going to share my travel experiences and the voices of those with similar lived experiences. Hopefully help to open doors for them.

  • Reply
    Annette Richmond
    January 20, 2018 at 7:47 am

    SUCH an important topic! Thank you for using your platform to inform and educate others. As well as shining a light on newer bloggers and some solutions. It’s so easy for us to complain but coming up with viable solutions take time, effort and energy. As always, thanks for including me. I appreciate you more than I can say with words! <3

  • Leave a Reply