Content Creators Who Are Changing the Game in the Travel Industry
You’ll often hear talk about diversifying your feed, listening to varied voices, and hearing the stories of the marginalized. We’ve said as much on our own social media in the last few months – and that’s because it really is so important.
But even when you agree with something in theory, it can be hard to actually put it into action. Our team at YoorToors has made it one of our core values to make sure we represent a range of perspectives in the work we do, not just the thin, white, able-bodied travelers that we so often see. In this blog post, I want to help you do the same in the content you consume every day.
I’ve collected some diverse content creators across a range of media to help you widen your perspective in the hope that we can all soon see mainstream travel become more accessible and welcoming for us all.
Instagram Creators – Mix Up Your Content
Ashley Renne – @heyashleyrenne
Ashley Renne is an intersectional sustainability educator who posts regularly about the interaction between sustainability, race, and travel. I especially love her India series that she started recently – check out the India highlight and I’m sure you’ll see why she’s made it onto this list.
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Being “Light Skinned” in America vs. Other Countries. The way I’m perceived changes depending on what country I’m in. In America, my earliest memory of racial identity happened at age 5. I told a kid named Kevin I had a crush on him and he venomously responded: “Ashley, you’re Black and I’m White. I could never like you.” That moment set the tone for how I would identify throughout my childhood. Black culture was all I knew growing up. It was where I felt accepted, what America viewed me as, and how I identified. But when I began traveling globally, it seemed like nobody knew I was Black – making me hyper aware of #LightSkinPrivilege and my ability to pass through countries with less hassle than those with dark skin. In brown (Asian) countries, people would blatantly trash talk Black people in front of me, not realizing I’m Black. One lady spat, “My son lives in DC and I fear for his life. So many Black people live there.” She then saw my wedding ring and asked if I was married. I nodded and showed her a photo. She said, “But he’s Black.” I smiled proudly. “So am I. My dad is Black, my mom is Indian. We love who we are.” I thought it’d be a teaching moment, but she continued her racist remarks. “Oh. That’s why your hair is so wild. Because of your father. It looks hard to brush.” There are many times I heard: “Why’d you marry a Black guy?” Ironically, it always came from POC in brown countries. Some with skin as beautifully dark as my husband’s. Behold, the ongoing ramifications of worldwide colonialism and white supremacy. Painfully, this includes India. Though I LOVE my Indian heritage, I can’t ignore its deeply rooted issues with colorism or blatant racism my own Black father has endured from Indians. But I digress – that’s a WHOLE other post with lots to unpack. Some cultures have just not been exposed to the many shapes, shades, styles, vernaculars, and mixtures of Black folks and only go by what they see in the media. What this proves is how much of a social construction race truly is. Colorism and racism are learned behaviors that differ across cultures. Question is – what are you doing to UNlearn it?
Diana Sarda-Seong – @flyingwithdiana
A travel attendant bringing an extra splash of sparkles to your feed, Diana’s colorful, vibrant photos and stories are sure to make you fall in love with the places she describes, even if you’ve never been there. Despite being grounded in Miami throughout COVID-19, she’s somehow still creating dynamic travel content that I am hooked on. It must be magic!
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Once things get better, I’m hopping my happy self on a plane to London. There’s still daily flights from American & British Airways here to LHR but I feel like I’m being trolled at times. I’ve gotten back to my travel photos of 2020s, excited taking my new camera out and realized I haven’t shared some others. You may (or may not) haves noticed if you peeped my feed I’ve coordinating a little color feed. Taking a better creative spin onto my account along with my renaming. It’s been one of my goals to take this into more of what I’ve been wanting to do since forever. . . . . #london #england #uk #londoneye #travel #wanderlust #gltlove #fatgirlstraveling #plussizetravel #plussizetraveltoo #lovegreatbritain #louisvuitton #lvbag #londonist #londonstreets #londonlover #travelingwomen_ #londondiaries #visitlondon #damestravel #canon5dmarkiv #londonphonebooth
Jeannetter & Cassandra (& Yoshi) – @westhippiebus
I think this couple may have stolen my dream life, to be honest, but I say that (mostly) free of jealousy. They made their own home on a bus and now travel the US with their tiny canine friend, Yoshi. As an interracial queer couple, their joyful travels are exactly the kind of content we should all be seeing more of.
Kev & Dee – @accessibleadventurers
I first came across Kev & Dee’s page while interviewing them for our #WhyDoWeTravel feature and I’m so glad I did. Their feed is a fun mix between holiday stories and educational information about what it’s like to travel with a physical disability. Their page is the very definition of edutainment.
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Pretending we are on a beach in Hawaii for our staycation 😉🏝 #Staycation2020 #Halifax #NovaScotia #BeachDay #CrystalCrescentBeach #ExploreNS #AForAdventure #HalifaxNoise #AccessibleBeach #Wheelchair #AccessibleTravel #Quadriplegic #InterabledCouple #100OutOf100 #WheelLove Image description: Kevin and Dee are posing on Access Trax beach mats in front of turquoise water. Dee is wearing a floral swimsuit and Kevin is swearing a yellow Hawaiian shirt and white shorts. They are both smiling
General Tips and Tricks for Diversifying Social Media
My last piece of advice would be to not limit yourself to my suggestions here. Don’t click follow and think that you’re done! Follow hashtags that will open you up to a wider range of people. Engage with marginalized creators. Slowly but surely, the algorithm will come around and more BIPOC, queer, disabled, and other marginalized creators will show up on your feed. Start out with a few (#lgbtqtravel, #quuertravel, #blacktravelfeed, #accessibletravel, to name but a few); look at what hashtags your favorite marginalized creators are posting under and follow those too. Finding people from different backgrounds whose content you genuinely love is the way to go; the marginalized creators are not there to tick boxes for your feed, but to bring extra joy and fantastic content into your sphere. With just a few clicks, you can really shake up your feed.
Travel Bloggers – The Best Kind of Reading List
With a dedicated website section to her experiences “Travelling While Black”, Oneika is a great place to start if you want to understand more about why racial diversity in travel is so important. Not only that, but she’s also been to over 100 countries, so you can bet she has some stories to tell! Kick off with this blog post to hear more of her experiences and what can we do to put solutions into action.
Shivya Nath – The Shooting Star
“Just a girl who travels” reads her tagline, but her blog posts and stories go so much further. We’ve discussed the benefits of slow travel before on YoorToors, and Shivya is one of those few putting it into practice. She consciously travels slowly and sustainably and engages with indigenous communities. Her way of life is the epitome of mindful travel and I guarantee you’ll be inspired after reading just one of her posts.
Annette – From Annette
Creator of Fat Girls Traveling, a body-positive Instagram account with just under 36k followers (as of August 2020), Annette is an advocate for fat fashion and fat travels alike. Increasing visibility through her social media work and offering actionable advice to fat travelers on her associate blog, Fat Girls Guide, there is no lack of content here when it comes to seeing a wider range of bodies absolutely smashing it in the travel space.
Video & Audio – For the Aural Learners
Although there hasn’t been new content for about a year now, there is a great backlog of inspiring and positive content about traveling as a Black man, how respect the local culture of where you’re visiting, and more heart-warming videos from Phil here. Watch them all in a day, or let the fun last weeks – either way, you won’t regret it.
A podcast run by two Black women, Nubia Younge and Frantzces Lys, Chronicles Abroad seeks to inspire and motivate professionals over 35 to travel the world. They believe it’s never too late to start traveling and seeing the world, and the stories they present on their blog and podcast are each as inspiring and diverse as the next.
Run by women of color for travel of color, the five-person team behind On She Goes seeks to give women of color the confidence to travel as they please. They showcase a full range of stories from different women of color to show the range of experiences they encounter.
Do you have any recommendations of your own? We are always looking to expand and update this list, so drop your own favorites down in the comments below!