11 Black Travel Trailblazers for Your 2018 Watchlist
2018 is literally around the corner, and NOMADNESS is ushering it in with 11 Black Travel Trailblazers to put on your watch list for the New Year. The word trailblazer is fitting for everyone on this list. Whether working as a team, or an individual, running travel groups, or flying solo -- all of these people are charting their own versions of a new path for the culture.
Zakkiyah Myers & Rohan Gilkes - The two who made Airbnb sit up straight in 2017. As the industry of home sharing continues to challenge the hotel market for its grip on quality lodging for travels, this dynamic duo spearheaded #AIRBNBWHILEBLACK, using the experience and movement as their moment for change. Founding Innclusive as a 'For Us By Us' option for people of color Zakkiyah and Rohan have carved out a serious niche for themselves.
Libryia Jones - Founder of Wanderist Life, 2017 was a transformative year for Libryia because it housed the culmination of her inaugural year-long, round the world adventure, My Wander Year. Over a dozen travelers set out to spend three months in Prague, Chiang Mai, Cape Town, and Medellin to round out twelve months of location independent work and adventure among likeminded wanderists. Through her platform, travelers can opt in for one month to one year long excursions around the world.
Kenna Williams - Within the NOMADNESS Travel Tribe, Kenna has reigned has the official Tribe Cheerleader, and an Ambassador, for years. Her lively personality, genuine nature, and homegrown meet ups has created a space for her to flourish as the face of her own #bookdatisht & #DubaiBlackOut trip brands. Kenna has organized multiple trips to the UAE over Halloween weekend, including a massive crew of over 500 black travelers in 2017. Running most of these buyins through her personal Facebook Page, she can be found on Instagram.
Rondel Holder - Creator of Soul Society 101 , for years their Instagram page has consistently provided a platform that focuses on the intersection of black travel + nightlife both domestic and abroad.
Kellee Edwards - In thirty years of programming, 2017 honored Kellee with being the first EVER full-time Black female travel host on Travel Channel. (a moment of silence). Mysterious Islands is one of two new productions that Kellee is the face of for Travel Channel in 2018. But wait...not only is Kellee the host. She's the pilot. Her infectious smile, bright energy, and badass love for adventure gets our stamp of approval. We're honored to have Kellee representing us in mainstream media.
Kent Johnson & Eric Martin - These are the Brothers behind Black and Abroad. This travel movement started behind the misplaced concept that Black people don't travel. If you dig deeper, it's stereotypically said that Black men travel even less. Black and Abroad flies directly in the face of that myth. While initiating trips around the globe, Black and Abroad has shared their experience in merchandising imagery, media and have even launched a Student Ambassador program and travel scholarship.
Jubril Agoro - Millenials have utilized technology to share stories across the world like no other generation before us. To that end, Jubril formed the popular YouTube Channel, Passport Heavy. The channel functions as an in-depth, video based, travel guide to many of your favorite destinations around the world. What's dope is the focus isn't just visiting these places, but what it would look like to live in these locales.
Sonjia “Lioness” Mackey - Arguably the biggest adventurer on the list, Sonjia has taken her lust for adrenaline rushes and created an online community for those looking to meet their life bucketlist items head on. Bucketlist Beasts was born to allow the world to experience the balls-to-the-wall style of travel that is Sonjia's signature.
Tanai Benard - How many people believe that travel is ideally suited for single people and couples? Once kids enter the equation travel is supposed to decrease, right? Not if you ask Tanai Benard and her traveling triad that makes up 4 Deep Around The World. Tanai has documented her struggles & her triumphs as she travels the world, lived four deep in the United Arab Emirates, and shared these experiences with her three children every step of the way.