Travel

5 Black Travel Influencers You Need to Follow

posted on June 30, 2020 | by Heather Bien

5 Black Travel Influencers You Need to Follow

Our travel may be slow this summer, but that doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy scrolling through our Instagram feeds for inspiration and creating itineraries for yet-to-be-booked trips in the future. 

But, as you bookmark another Bali resort, stop for a second to take stock of the travel influencers you follow. How many of them are women of color?

The lack of diversity in travel blogging and travel influencers is something that’s been talked about quietly for several years now. Many of us were living within our own social media bubble, not realizing that so many of our likes went to accounts that all looked the same. Thankfully, with {long overdue} attention now being given to diversifying our workplaces, our social circles, and, yes, our feeds, it’s time we all focus on learning and bringing new perspectives to the accounts we follow. 

Social media may seem light and fun, but, remember, the voices you see on your feed every day are the voices you internalize. If you want to listen and learn, you need to actively seek representation in the influencers you choose to follow and engage with.

And, it’s not just about pretty pictures –– it’s about lifting up diverse voices who give representation and encouraging others to follow suit. Angelica Talan, a lifestyle and travel influencer who recently shared her own vulnerable story with Arlington Magazine, told us “I’ve always felt that representation in all fields and industries is essential, especially as a travel influencer. With my blog, I’ve been fortunate enough to take my kids to several countries including (Canada, France and Switzerland) and over 20 major cities here in America. My goal is to be able to inspire others to travel to places that maybe they hadn’t thought about prior to seeing a family like ours who looks just like their own family.”

Angelica Talan, Angelica in the City

Angelica Talan, who you’ll find blogging on Angelica in the City and Instagramming over at @angelicatalan, is perhaps the warmest, most energetic, authentic person you’ll follow and her travel recommendations are always top-notch. She’s a go-to for everything from domestic destinations, like the iconic Inn at Perry Cabin or the trendy Sagamore Pendry Baltimore, to international adventures (for the mothers here, you’ll definitely want to check out her post, Paris With Kids!). And, if you happen to live in the DC area, follow along with Angelica’s other blog: Clarendon Moms. Not only does she cover lifestyle tips, but she dives into getaways (with and without the kids!).

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Just trying to blend in ☀️🌵 1 or 2? 📍:@dbgphx 📷: @pootie_ting ************************************************ The Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix is the most unique garden showcasing unique trails & beautiful plants that thrive in some of the hottest & driest parts of the world. You can stroll through 5 thematic trails while exploring the fascinating beauty of the Sonoran Desert, from towering cacti & alluring succulents to brilliant wildflowers & lush trees. The garden has 4,482 species in the living collection, a butterfly exhibit & lots of wildlife. ************************************************ #arizona🌵#desertdweller #cactusparty #cactusobsession #cactusmagazine #hikesocial #cactusart #instagramaz #cactusgoals #arizonalove #cactuslovers #fox10phoenix #travelinfluencer #cactus🌵#mytravelcrush #travelblogger #plantmama #angelicainthecity #dcinfluencer #lilduval #dctravelblogger #hm #cactalicious #cactusmania #myphx #pythonpants #snakepants #cactusinstagram #downtownphx #leithclothing

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Alicia Tenise

Alicia Tenise, @aliciatenise, is an awesome follow not only because she frequents my favorite city, Charlottesville, VA, or because her photography strikes the perfect balance between editorial and authentic (her talented photographer boyfriend is an added bonus!), or even for her love of wine travel. The reason she really is an awesome follow is that her guides break down travel into super accessible, quick trips that are realistic for busy, working women. Plus, I appreciate Alicia’s total honesty in this post: Why I’m Not Booking Any International Trips Until 2021. It’s on all of our minds and I appreciated reading the perspective of someone who does this for a living.

Ciara Johnson, Hey Ciara

Solo travel and a young, adventurous woman who quit her job to pursue her passion. These are the things a millennial’s dreams are made of. Ciara Johnson is living those dreams. On her blog, Hey Ciara, and her Instagram, @hey_ciara, Ciara shows followers not just where to travel, but how to travel. She breaks her travels down in a way that’s relatable and she not only writes great travel guides, she covers topics that are travel-adjacent –– think posts like 20 Tips to Master the Art of Eating Alone or How a Travel Blogger is Handling COVID Anxiety.

Cynthia Andrew, Simply Cyn

If you love color, then @simplycyn is a follow you need to brighten up your feed. Cynthia Andrew, a New York City-based lifestyle blogger and attorney, has traveled far and wide to the most stunning locations across the globe. Her photography is saturated with color and transports you to golden, sun-drenched afternoons. This guide to Comporta –– a city in Portugal I’d never even heard of! –– has me drooling over the vibrant shades of blue and white. Plus, she’s currently pregnant with twins and continuing to take the most stunning, high-fashion photos. 

Gina Danza, Wild Gina

Full disclosure: I am not an outdoorsy traveler. But, I couldn’t help but include one travel influencer who specializes in jaw-dropping photography of the great outdoors. Gina Danza, who you’ll find on her account @wildginaa, is a photographer, director, and writer –– basically, she’s an all-round badass creative who captures Mother Nature at its most impressive. Gina sees shapes, colors, angles, and texture in landscapes that pick up on both incredible details and massive scale. Her eye for light is other-worldly. You need her in your feed.

So, now we’re turning to you? How are you seeking to follow travel influencers (or any influencers!) that promote inclusivity and offer a perspective that’s different than your own? We’d love to know some of your favorites! Plus, stay tuned –– we’ll be sharing some of our favorite Black influencers in the wellness vertical next week.

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Summer 2017. I was on my way to pick up Chipotle for my ex and I. The same route I always take but this time, I noticed something new. A rock climbing gym. I saw this sign multiple times next to a brighter sign that said “baseball cages”. However, never paid attention to the little sign slightly behind it as I zoomed past it on the highway every few days. I mentioned the climbing facility to my ex fiancé over dinner however by the conversation, I figured he didn’t really have much interest. I decided to go alone later that week. It was a Wednesday night and ladies were half off for a day pass and gear. I walked in and was welcomed to a small gym with ropes. FEAR. I did not like heights and I didn’t even think of bringing a friend. Then, I caught a man on the back wall. “Do you need a spotter or ropes for that wall?, I asked the attendant. “No! It’s bouldering and super fun.” I was intrigued. I paid my fee and gear then walked around with the white, male attendant as he showed me around. All white people. I felt eyes on me as I passed a couple on top rope and another group taking turns on lead. “And, here is the bouldering area. There is a sheet on the wall with grades and how to fall. Pretty simple.” I nodded as he smirked and walked away. I was alone. I looked at my smelly rental shoes and opted to keep my socks on. I looked around at the other climbers who had their fancy shoes and shiny gear. It brought back uncomfortable memories of grade school as I had paperbags on my books instead of the new book socks because we couldn’t afford them. I took a deep breath and saw the chalk bag next to me. I watched the lone guy in the boulder area across the way. He dipped his hands in the chalk and slapped his hands together like a hulk smash. A cloud of smoke appeared and I did not want that in my eye. I slowly dipped my hands into the chalk bag and felt this velvet soft powder elevate my senses. It was like a placebo effect of a pre workout for your fingertips. I walked over to the wall as I covered my hands in chalk. “V0…”, I squinted and whispered to myself. I stood in front the first hold and placed one, nervous hand on the jug. (Continued in comments)

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