Travel blogging has changed a lot since I started this site back in 2012. Once we had some absolute vanguards changing what it meant to be a travel journalist. With new and creative ways of telling the stories of people and places that have been covered for decades. But as the industry caught the worlds attention and the dollars started flowing in, the creativity started flowing out. In its place, a cookie cutter formula of curated Instagram accounts and top 5 listicles. But not all hope is lost. There are a few out there still pushing the boundaries and creating dynamic content. From diversity advocates to beacons of positivity. These are the travel bloggers, vloggers, and troublemakers that populate my newsfeed on a daily basis.
Oneika Raymond (Oneika the Traveller)
When I was younger, they told me my nose was too bulbous. I wore my hair away from my face so they could better see my ‘imperfect’ profile. They said my hair was too short and “nappy”. I proceeded to cut off my relaxed ends and rock a teeny weeny afro. They laughed at the dark brown of my gums and asked why they weren’t pink. I smiled more broadly so they could see how white my teeth were against them. They said my skin was “too dark” to wear bright colours. I’m pretty sure you can guess what my response was to that. The road to loving myself hasn’t always been easy but it’s always been paved with rebellion. Haters gon’ hate. The key is to figure out how to love yourself enough so that you can stay blessed and unbothered. * I wrote these words last year but can think of no better time to repeat them. Today, on the International Day of the Girl Child, let’s remember that we should always endeavour to build our girls up instead of breaking them down. Empowerment is the key to continued success.
Oneika is THE Queen of Black Travel. Flat out. And this isn’t me just arbitrarily crowning her. She’s been in the game for almost 10 years. Carrying the torch for women and people of color with a level of humility and grace I can’t even comprehend. Here delivery method, through video or writing, is a perfect mix of facts, opinion, and self-deprecating humor. Even when I thoroughly disagree with her I can’t help but smile and listen. The ultimate question we all have to address as travel journalist is do we want to be heard or listened to. To be heard is easy, but to get people to actually listen/read what you’re saying is another thing altogether. Especially when discussing complicated and divisive subjects such as race and politics. I applaud how beautifully Oneika walks that line.
WHAT YOU NEED TO CHECK OUT: http://www.oneikathetraveller.com/propaganda-in-travel-blogging-writing.html
Ernest White (Fly Brother)
This man is THE most talented writer the travel blogging space has seen in a long time. Flat out, this man can write. And when I say write, I’m talking New York Times Bestseller level. Before I started blogging myself, I found FlyBrother. At the time, Ernest was the only man I could relate to in travel. He was a torchbearer for young black men and continues to push us forward with his honesty and bold presentation. Respresentation and visualization are powerful tools of empowerment. And regardless if he knows or note, Ernest has inspired a new generation of young brothers and sisters to explore the world and write about it.
WHAT YOU NEED TO CHECK OUT: https://www.facebook.com/FlyBrotherFly/videos/706350429565447/
Rob and Natalie (Love and Road)
Can’t ask for a better afternoon, me and my love in a five stars hotel… . . . . . #taipei #taiwan🇹🇼 #timefortaiwan #couplegoals #amorpuro #grandmayfull #travelblogger #viagemeturismo #destinosimperdiveis #rbbviagem #travelgirl #watchthisinstagood #awakethesoul #widenyourworld #tlpicks #forbestravelguide #bosslife #condenast #luxurylifestyle #luxuryhotel #luxuryworldtraveler #vacations #hotelsandresorts #beautifulhotels
Couple bloggers normally annoy the hell out of me. The highly curated nature of the blogging industry is annoying enough, double that with the myth of constant marital bliss and my brain starts to boil. Natalie and Rob are the exceptions to this rule. These Brazilian bloggers are true professionals and have been rightfully featured in print around the world. Showing the legitimacy of travel blogging from Brazil to Taiwan. And let me say this as someone whose met them, they really are THAT in love. Wonderful to see them share their passion and love for travel and each other with the world. Almost makes me want to settle…………..nahhhhhhhh.
WHAT YOU NEED TO CHECK OUT: https://loveandroad.com/1-year-travelling-around-the-world-travel-costs-travel-tips/
Lynn and Noah Camp (Because We Camp)
👻 NEW VIDEO! Ghost and Alien encounters, oh my! . . . . . . . . #VisualAmbassadors #CreateCommune #thecreatorclass #createexplore #TravelAwesome #ExploreOurEarth #Vloggers #becausewecamp #travelvlog #doyoutravel #travelstoke #travelon #traveldeeper #ourplanetdaily #tlpicks #digitalnomad #bestplacestogo #traveltime #filmmaker #cinematic #travelfilm #vsco #beautifuldestinations #travelnevada #roadtrip #thetruthisouthere #ghostadventures #blackbox #aliens
There are just some people who’ve got “It”. I’m not exactly sure what that is but Noah and Lynn have It. I stumbled onto their YouTube channel about 2 years ago and have been hooked ever since. Two of the funniest and nicest people on YouTube. It goes to show how difficult it is to truly break out on that platform because these two are better storytellers and editors than a lot of people with much larger audiences. Absolutely hilarious people and extremely humble. Plus Noah’s beard should have it’s own Instagram account. Just saying. #sponsorships
WHAT YOU NEED TO CHECK OUT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaFOxoDehe8
Roxanne Bamboat (The Tiny Taster)
The last four days in Germany have been wonderful but exhausting. Have barely managed to put up pictures on Facebook and some tweets so I thought today since I have a relaxed day in Munich I’d take the time to post a picture. It’s so hard to try and choose just one but I think this one works because it sums up two very integral parts of Bavaria- beer and a pretzel! This was taken on a cruise down the Danube while enjoying a beer tasting session followed by a heart meal of pork potatoes and sauerkraut ❤️❤️ #Germany #Bavaria #Regenburg #thetinytaster #TinyInGermany #GermanyTourism #pretzel #beer
She’s sooooooo cuteeeeeee. I’m not a softy by any means but whenever I see her my heart melts a little. Her tiny stature makes her brilliant work and food commentary even more grandiose. While I’ll put her easily at the top of my list of favorite “international” bloggers, she’s one of my favorite content producers in general and inspires me to enjoy life more. You can’t help but feel her energy and passion through her writing, videos, and talks. And let me tell you, she can cook. There seems to be a lot of food bloggers out there that don’t know a damn thing about food. But you can’t goo too long on The Tiny Taster Instagram Stories or Snapchat account and not see her cooking up something.
WHAT YOU NEED TO CHECK OUT: http://thetinytaster.com/2016/12/09/the-sights-and-sounds-at-mahaneh-yahuda-market-in-jerusalem/
Mark Wiens (Migrationology)
If humility had a face, it would look like Mark Wiens. Now boasting over 1 million subscribers on YouTube, I’ve been following him since he was barely at 40K. And the one thing I can say about him from then and now, he’s exactly the same. Sure, the production has gotten better and presentation skills sharpened, but it’s his passion for what he’s doing that’s so damn impressive. Mark Wiens is the perfect example of doing what you love for the love of it. When you do something you’re truly passionate about, the money and fame will come. No hacks, no shady deals. Just hard work and commitment.
WHAT YOU NEED TO CHECK OUT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AuXvnCLERA
DJ Yabis ( Dream Euro Trip)
DJ Yabis represents a drastic personal change for me. DJ is one of the most open and flamboyant people I’ve ever seen. He’s also gay. I’ve been on record saying that I was extremely homophobic. I was taught that homosexuality is wrong and that gay men are weak and should be ostracized. I came across DJ at a time of transition in my life. When I was more “open” to interacting and understanding the LGBTQ community. The first time I met DJ, he bounced out of an elevator wearing a fur coat over his shoulders. Beaming with every ounce of pride and self-confidence his body would allow. After spending some time with him I realized how wrong my upbringing was. This man answered every ignorant question and query I ever had about gay men. Without a hint of anger or annoyance. And I can never thank him enough for helping me see the errors in my upbringing. That aside, he’s a talented writer and extremely magnetic travel personality.
WHAT YOU NEED TO CHECK OUT: http://www.dreameurotrip.com/schengen-visa-rejection-horror-stories/
Victoria Ade-Genschow (The British Berliner)
There are a lot of part-time ex-pat bloggers. I would venture to say that’s a majority of our business. But few are even close to the quality standards of Victoria. Offering a unique perspective on the life of a married Black British woman in Berlin. From meeting the Royal’s to family vacations, her blog is full of funny an enlightening content. Victoria perfectly balances here identity as an educator, mother, ex-pat, and travel authority in a way that reminds me just how strong women are. She also reminds me I don’t work hard enough.
Leah Walker ( Leah Travels)
Leah set out to make a life change and is an inspiration for solo females across the age spectrum. As a fellow Texan, I and Leah have a natural bond. Plus, we say whatever the hell we want. I found Leah when she was frequently traveling the world. Creating luxury content. She’s now living a life that a lot of people dream of as a resident of Paris France. Creating luxurious French content for an English audience. Exploring another side of Paris and France that’s rarely shown. And be sure to follow her IG stories. You never know what she’ll be doing. One day she’s being fitted for some fancy Gala and the next she’s searching for fresh basil (she actually bought Mint. lol) to cook Chicken Parmesan.
WHAT YOU NEED TO CHECK OUT: http://leahtravels.com/places/europe/france/paris/10-non-touristy-things-paris