‘we Out Here’: Inside The New Black Travel Movement

Discussion in 'News - Breaking News & Political Forum' started by Always~Wear~Joy, Jan 5, 2015.

  1. Always~Wear~Joy

    Always~Wear~Joy Well-Known Member

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    **disclaimer** This is not about travel being new to black people! We know we travel! This is strictly about exposure! kthanks


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    Young, hip, urban millennials are using tools like Instagram to become one of the fastest growing travel markets.

    In the wee hours of Christmas morning, a flight deal was shared in an exclusive Facebook group for urban travelers. An unbelievable fare glitch priced round trip flights on Etihad Airways from select U.S. cities to Abu Dhabi as low as $187, nonstop, taxes and fees included. Whoa.

    This is the kind of thing Nomadness Travel Tribe, a stealth crew of 9,000 predominately African American globetrotters, ages 25 to 40, lives for. At last count, the tight-knit travel clique has collectively visited all but a dozen countries on the map, hosting meet-ups in cities around the world, from New York to Dubai. They even have matching tattoos. And they booked hundreds of tickets within hours.

    “We’re here,” says Evita Robinson, 30, the creator of Nomadness Travel Tribe. “We may be the only black people in India, but we in here. We may be the only black people in Tokyo getting all the looks, but we’re still in here.”

    Thanks to a new crop of emerging online communities, international travel is becoming more real than ever for social media savvy African Americans, a demographic The New York Times noted last year is largely untapped by the trillion-dollar travel industry. Members of Nomadness Travel Tribe booked over 400 flights to the Middle East, Asia and Africa for leisure travel in 2015 over the past two months alone, and that doesn’t even include family, friends, and the folks on Black Twitter, tagging along with them.

    A quick glance at the Instagram feed of Travel Noire, another emerging community for unconventional travelers of color, confirms black travelers are, indeed, out here. And the reason they’re flocking to niche communities is because of “representation,” says Zim Ugochukwu, 26, the creator of Travel Noire, a digital publishing platform with over 100 contributors. “When you see somebody who looks like you doing something you never thought you could do, then that thing becomes possible.”

    These days, to be featured by Travel Noire on Instagram is like a badge of honor for many black millennial travelers. “People will spend their entire vacation trying to get on the Travel Noire Instagram,” says Zim, who is humbled by the community’s growth on the photo-sharing platform to nearly 60,000 followers in little over a year. (Full disclosure: I've been a member of Nomadness the last eight months and several of my photos have been featured on Travel Noire.)

    Nomadness boasts similar bragging rights. A running joke inside the tribe is that the group is like that club with a hundred people waiting outside to get in. You don’t want to wait on line, but all of your friends are inside telling you how poppin’ it is. Except, Nomadness currently has 3,000 pending membership requests. And the wait is about 3 months long, as the tribe’s “high council” reviews prospective members.

    Unlike Travel Noire, which caters to newbie, largely millennial, travelers who may have never ventured outside of the country, Nomadness members must have at least one passport stamp to join the tribe. “There are some people who even make my passport—which has 40 pages added to it—look like child’s play,” says Evita, a three-times expat and former backpacker. “We have members who have been to over 100 countries.” And they all travel affordably, busting the myth that travel is only for the elite.

    “The tribe is really made of people who put travel as a priority in their entire lifestyle,” says Evita. People who barter with their employers for more PTO and telecommuting options instead of salary increases, so they can work remotely from the beaches of Jamaica. People who have, at one point or another, thought: “You know what? I don’t want to be a slave to a 9-to-5 schedule. I want to create my life so that I have more freedom to be able to travel the world, and work and live wherever I want,” she says.


    For the Travel Noire set, it’s about stepping outside of your comfort zone, and realizing what’s possible. “Instead of going to Miami or Las Vegas, you take that same money, catch a flight deal, and you’re off in Johannesburg for the same price,” says Zim, who teaches newbies how to travel hack through Travel Noire’s fellowship program, which is currently accepting applications for the first class of 2015. “By the time they’re finished, they know exactly how to spot glitch fares—they know everything I know, pretty much,” she says. Travel Noire fellows earned about a half million travel miles in 2014.

    “It blows my mind sometimes how fast we move,” says Evita. Her travel clique has been known to arrive at an airport, bags packed, passport-in-hand, within hours of spotting a deal. After a few tribe members missed out on a November fare glitch, pricing round trip flights from D.C. to Nairobi below $400, the tribe launched phone trees on WhatsApp to distribute deal alerts. There are currently seven trees with 100 members each, and one strict rule: no random chatter—no “thank you,” no “yasss”—just deals.

    "We may be the only black people in India, but we in here. We may be the only black people in Tokyo gettingallthe looks, but we’re still in here
    Within five minutes of the Christmas Etihad fare glitch, Diamond Tokuda, who runs two Nomadness trees, booked a flight from Chicago to Abu Dhabi for $208. An hour later, he scored a second flight to Johannesburg for $380. “I honestly wasn’t thinking about specifics,” says Diamond, who is Japanese (Nomadness Travel Tribe welcomes all travelers who live an urban lifestyle). “I just booked the deal.” And so did the tribe. By the end of the day, the names of over 200 members, who booked flights, was neatly organized in a shared Facebook document, and sorted by departure dates, so the tribe could break off into smaller groups to coordinate travel plans and meet ups in Abu Dhabi, Johannesburg, Mumbai, Manila, and New Delhi (all fare glitch cities) through November 2015.

    But it’s not all travel hacking and flight deals. These online communities are establishing familial bonds between strangers. “We’re going to Arkansas to visit the Japanese internment camp where my family was in World War II,” says Diamond, 30. “I’ve been looking for someone to go with forever, but tribe people were just like, ‘Let’s go.’” And that’s the beauty of finding your “people” in niche spaces. “You don’t have to wait for your friends,” says Evita. “You can roll with us.”


    Essentially, what Evita and Zim have created with Nomadness Travel Tribe and Travel Noire, respectively, is not only shifting perceptions on black travel —it’s changing lives. “There are a ton of testimonials,” says Zim, who recalled an 18-year-old girl, who didn’t have a passport before following Travel Noire, but decided to take a year off before college to live in Ecuador because the community inspired her. “I’ve cried over a lot of them.”

    And there’s more to come in 2015. Brands like Lo & Sons and Delsey are already tapping Travel Noire to connect with black travelers. “A lot of brands didn’t think that people of color traveled beyond the Caribbean islands, Miami, Atlanta and Las Vegas. As such, they didn’t spend money advertising,” says Zim. “This is almost a $50 billion market annually spent on travel in the U.S. alone. For people not to build that into their strategies is a huge missed opportunity.”

    Evita, who recently announced a partnership between Nomadness Travel Tribe and the creator of the wildly popular YouTube series “Awkward Black Girl,” Issa Rae, hopes to capture the same attention, when she launches a one day, paid, #NMDN travel conference in fall 2015.

    This all sounds ambitious, but it reflects the attitude of the travel community these two black millennial women represent, which is, as Evita puts it: “I’m going to make whatever moves it takes, no matter how scary, or how big, and shape my life the way I want it.”
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2015
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  2. JustSitNBePretty

    JustSitNBePretty Well-Known Member

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    I read this the other day. I was wondering if any women on here was a part of any of the travel groups. I would love to become a member. Oh, and figure out how to travel for cheeeap.
     
  3. LiftedUp

    LiftedUp Well-Known Member

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    New? I'm just trying to catch up to my mother and all her travels in her child free days. She also belonged to a travel group. A travel and photography group actually. These concepts are ni all that new just repackaged.
     
  4. Always~Wear~Joy

    Always~Wear~Joy Well-Known Member

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    JustSitNBePretty I've been in Nomadness for a few years and have made great connections and friendships! I actually met up with some when I was in London a few months ago and had dinner and drinks. I like it because it's so easy to meet people when you have wanderlust in common. You should join!
     
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  5. Always~Wear~Joy

    Always~Wear~Joy Well-Known Member

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    I think the social media aspect is whats making it "new". It's sparking a lot of interest for blacks 25-35. They can "see" it and know it can be done. It's inspiration :yep:
     
  6. Foxglove

    Foxglove A drop of golden sun

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    I found out about them last month from Oneika The Traveler who I've been following for a while when she wrote about the lack of black faces in travel blogs (or the lack of inclusion of black bloggers).
     
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  7. JustSitNBePretty

    JustSitNBePretty Well-Known Member

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    Thanks @Always~Wear~Joy. I just requested to join. I don't expect to get approved soon with a waiting list of over 3k members but I'm looking forward to being a part of the group and sharing info!Did you purchase the Abu Dhabi flight deal?
     
  8. gimbap

    gimbap Well-Known Member

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    I requested to join the group on Facebook after seeing this article yesterday. Let's see how long it takes for me to be approved.
     
  9. OhTall1

    OhTall1 Well-Known Member

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    I'll Google later tonight to see if I can find more info, but does anyone know if there are similar AA travel groups? I'm not the key demographic for either of these groups - not a millennial, not a newbie traveler - but would be interested in something like this.
     
  10. Holla

    Holla Well-Known Member

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    I read that article and joined all sorts of facebook groups after that for the Abu Dhabi trip. It is interesting to see SOOOOO many Black people talking about their travel plans. Most of the time when Black people are making group travel plans it's usually a beach trip to Miami or a cruise. I like this "new" exposure that Black people are getting to other Black people who are going to places like Abu Dhabi :)look:) because not all of us want to do white parties at a Nikki Beach somewhere or yacht parties in the Caribbean year after year.
     
  11. andromeda

    andromeda Well-Known Member

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    I'm still mad I didn't get the etihad deal. I'll have to live vicariously through my sis and friends. What Zim has done in such a short period of time is truly amazing. I love her story and accomplishments.

    know someone right now who's in Bahia and has traveled extensively pre this "movement" and has been tagging all of her photos trying to get picked up by TN.

    It's really amazing how social media - especially Instagram - is exposing people - who otherwise might have only done Caribbean vacations and cruises - to truly international travel. And encouraging those well-versed in travel to "share the wealth".
     
  12. DayStar

    DayStar Well-Known Member

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    Nice!!!!......
     
  13. Nomadiclady

    Nomadiclady New Member

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    LaChaBla - good question. My renewed passport arrived today. I'm not a member of any travel groups but I do have wanderlust.

    I cosign to this:

    "The tribe is really made of people who put travel as a priority in their entire lifestyle,” says Evita. People who barter with their employers for more PTO and telecommuting options instead of salary increases, so they can work remotely from the beaches of Jamaica. People who have, at one point or another, thought: “You know what? I don’t want to be a slave to a 9-to-5 schedule. I want to create my life so that I have more freedom to be able to travel the world, and work and live wherever I want."
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2015
  14. ScorpioBeauty09

    ScorpioBeauty09 Well-Known Member

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    I follow Travel Noire on Instagram and Tumblr. Freaking love it!:grin: I love seeing black people travel all over the world. Can't wait til I can get back to traveling.:yep:
     
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  15. JustSitNBePretty

    JustSitNBePretty Well-Known Member

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    Holla You ain't NEVA lied. Every last one of my group of friends talking bout they wanna do a girls trip and the options are always Miami or Las Vegas. Both places I've been. All 3 groups have been planning these trips for the past 3 or 4 years now and plans still haven't materialized. They still stuck on those two places (and Jamaica). Meanwhile I've been to Ghana, London, Paris, Puerto Rico, Canada (and I could've gone to Trinidad if my exams didn't stress me out so).
     
  16. CarefreeinChicago

    CarefreeinChicago Well-Known Member

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    This is right up my alley, I have had so many beach vacations that where awesome but I am looking for something a little different now that I am older.
     
  17. Always~Wear~Joy

    Always~Wear~Joy Well-Known Member

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    I missed it :(. I'm still kicking myself about that!!!
     
  18. naturalmanenyc

    naturalmanenyc Well-Known Member

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  19. Always~Wear~Joy

    Always~Wear~Joy Well-Known Member

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    I don't know of any similar groups but I'm sure they are out there. However, you are the demographic for this group!!! Please join Nomadness. I don't know how old you are but I've met members from 19-60+. The only requirement for Nomadness is at least 1 passport stamp :) Seasoned travelers are very welcome!!!!
     
  20. ThirdEyeBeauty

    ThirdEyeBeauty Well-Known Member

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    Ah so this is why I like LHCF. Where else can I find so many interesting and intelligent women of color posting on a wide range of subjects including things I would never know without this site.

    There are so many regular black people and people of color out there but we are not regular.
     
  21. ambergirl

    ambergirl Well-Known Member

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  22. Kimbosheart

    Kimbosheart Well-Known Member

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    I love this! I'm still hurting that I missed the ticket to Abu Dhabi but... it will probably come back around. Most of them do.
     
  23. gimbap

    gimbap Well-Known Member

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  24. Kiowa

    Kiowa Well-Known Member

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    "

    With Wifi on domestic planes, and Wifi being installed on international flights this has become a great reality...
     
  25. Solila

    Solila Well-Known Member

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    Funny, I have noticed that I get more IG hits from travel photographers. None the less, black people traveling is such a beautiful thing!
     
  26. FelaShrine

    FelaShrine Well-Known Member

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    ditto. am I the only one lookig sideways at urban travellers, negro travellers. you have the funds to travel, you be traveller. the end abeg.
     
  27. FelaShrine

    FelaShrine Well-Known Member

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    That said nice to see countries other than DR :yawn: being mentioned
     
  28. andromeda

    andromeda Well-Known Member

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  29. BillsBackerz67

    BillsBackerz67 Well-Known Member

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    Was just talking about this to my friend. I'm visiting a slew of places this year and my Thailand tour is less than 2 months away. Plus I'm making the long drive this Friday to Texas for my 13 week nursing assignment and I hope to take full advantage of seeing the state while I'm there.. Im geeked for Big Bend National Park. I'm trying to decide what state I want to work next after my contract is up. Depends on how this first assignment goes.

    I do not consider going to Vegas and Miami as someone being well traveled. But it's so funny how people have interesting places right in their back yard and don't take advantage of it. I have a friend who lives in SC and has Never been to Charleston...like what?! Bruh. But brags about going on wack cruises and NYC. Stop with the basicness.
     
  30. misspriss

    misspriss Well-Known Member

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    Cool thread - I just requested to join the group. I'm looking to do more international travel, so maybe this will help me save some $$$
     

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