Friday, June 21, 2013

An Awesome Travel Network for People of Color

I was at a party when I got into a conversation about my travels to Canada, nine Latin American countries, and four Asian countries, and the first question out of their mouths were, wow, were you in the service? Why is it that the only way I can travel is through military service? A woman, added, how else could I have traveled? Duhhh, I make reservations, hop on a plane, and fly! There seems to be an assumption that if you are Black, you don't travel. Yes, I was in the service, but only four of the 14 countries to which I traveled were service related. 

It was five years ago when I stumbled upon a very active travel group on Yahoo made up of Blacks from around the world,  and suddenly, the traffic among its members slowed to a complete halt. I posted a message inquiring of everyone's whereabouts, and that's when I learned that members have been defecting to Nomadness Travel Tribe on Facebook.   

Nomadness is a community nearly 9,000 members of which 85% are African-American and Latino who consistently shatter the myth that people of color don't travel. These folks, ages 20-60, from all walks of life, share stories, advice, photos, and conversation about their personal travel experiences in almost every country in the world. This community, better known as “The Tribe,” has meet-ups all over the world, one of which I hosted here in Oakland last summer.

The “Tribe” was founded by Evita Robinson, a young genius from the Bronx, NY, who has traveled to considerably more than 100 countries around the world. Evita found herself feeling somewhat lonely as the only Black face she'd see for weeks during her travels, and through her longing to interact with other travelers of color, created the Nomadmess Travel Tribe.

For me, it has been a joy to get extensive advice from people who have traveled or lived in places I want to visit as well as for me to get people connected with the friends and families I've personally met during my own travels. I too have offered extensive advice to others. In my two years as a member of the Tribe, I can testify that you are guaranteed to get your questions or concerns addressed as you plan your next trip by simply posting on the Tribe's Facebook message board. This is a forum where everyone is glad to help, and if they cannot, they will certainly connect you with those who can.

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