I have been inspired to write this particular post after reading an article by one of my favorite travel bloggers, Oneika the Traveler. I have also been inspired to write this post after viewing so many various travel blogs out there and seeing the number of actual minorities in travel blogging in contrast to the number of whites. That is certainly not something that I can relate to. But the truth of the matter is, I need people that I can relate too. I need minorities out there that I can relate to. If they can travel, so can I. I want to follow their journeys.
Why is it that their blacks are not well represented in travel and in the media? Who is telling the travel story from a black point of view? If you type in “traveler” into Google (a suggestion that I got from Oneika), it yields nothing but whites, pictures of young, white, good looking individuals. Is it that blacks can’t afford to travel? That they don’t know where to travel or how to travel? To me, and my fellow female travel bloggers out there, it is so disappointing that main stream travel is so white. White people are not the only ones who travel and I would like to see more of my sisters and brothers represented out there. You know, on Instagram, I follow a stream of travel bloggers and influencers, and of them, a very small fraction are ones who I can actually relate to. That is why some of my favorite travel Instagrams are Black & Abroad, Black Travelistas, Black Travel Journey, Oneika the Traveler, Rachel Travels, HeyGorjess, Cali Dream Travel and Black and Abroad. They show me that people just like myself can travel and do travel and are out there and being seen and heard and they are constantly making waves in the industry.
So, what then can we do about this? How can we solve this problem? How can we solve this lack of diversity?
Prioritize Diverse Voices and Perspectives
We need to prioritize diverse voices and perspectives. We need to realize that minorities travel too and their is an entire population of people that are simply being ignored. Reach out to them, talk to them and bring them into the conversation.
Take More Diverse Pictures
Even when I take a look at images from travel groups and travel agencies, the majority of pictures are of whites. That doesn’t exactly make me feel welcome. And maybe I am not wrong. I have done tour groups, three times, with Gate 1 Travel agency actually. And every single time, the majority of people, and by majority, I mean 99.9% of people were all white. What do I get out of a trip like that? How do I even begin to relate to people? It actually reminds me of when I was looking at colleges, and I looked at Emerson. And yes, I ended up graduating from Emerson College, but, nevertheless the school was so white. Even with diversity initiatives. I recall sitting in classes, and often times being the only minority in the class. Not very welcoming at all. People need to know that blacks are out there doing it and traveling and seeing the world.
Start the Conversation
There is an entire generation of blacks who will surely be eager to have representation out there and to start the conversation. We have to ignore the road blocks and the myths. Forget this notion that travel is too expensive. Hunt for those deals. Book a hostel. Book an air bnb. And please do not feel left out. We have to change and that change starts now!!