With COVID restrictions lightning up around the country, people are booking long-awaited travel plans. Travel content creators have niched out roles as travel guides for those looking to get out of town to explore.
These five travel content creators use social media to document their travel experiences and offer their followers lifestyle tips. But these women are more than just content creators. They’re writers, designers, event producers, PR mavens and photographers who use travel as a vehicle for their creative pursuits.
Here’s how social media allowed these creatives to inspire women of color to venture into travel as a means of hobby and business.
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Baia Dzagnidze, Red Fedora Diary
Baia Dzagnidze is a travel-loving journalist who started her blog, Red Fedora Diary, after backpacking in Southeast Asia for four months in 2014.
Upon returning to her home country, Tbilisi, Georgia, she set out to merge her love of writing and traveling. She decided to call herself a “Digital Nomad” and began to build her travel writing portfolio. At the start of 2017, she quit her office job to concentrate on writing articles for various publications and focused on her travel blog and accumulated bylines with different travel publications.
“I travel mainly to less-known destinations, like the Balkans, Caucasus, and Eastern Europe,” she said. “One of my angles is somewhat budget-friendly destinations and things to do in a particular city. I also love finding quirky places in a town, hunting down street art, or Soviet Architectural masterpieces. I also give practical tips on how to get from point A to point B.”
Baia said her readers mostly come from Google search rather than social media.
Instead, she uses social media channels to drive traffic to the blog while sharing micro-blogs on Instagram and Facebook. Utilizing the story feature allows her to share first impressions and quick tips instantly while traveling. Once she returns home, she schedules more detailed social media posts on the destinations she explored.
Many of the publications Baia was writing for during the pandemic stopped accepting pitches due to the economic shutdown. As a result, she traveled less frequently but resolved not to lose hope.
“It was pretty hard as many of the editors I used to work with either stopped commissioning pieces about the countries I could write about or lost their jobs,” she said. “I couldn’t get any pitches approved for several months, which was very frustrating and demotivating. Luckily, I had my blog to shift focus for a while and not think about the rejections I was repeatedly getting. I even got a remote job in customer service for a few months to pay the bills, but I never gave up on my travel blogger career.”
Sarah Badran, Creative Currency
Sarah Badran is a Los Angeles-based event coordinator for her brand, Creative Currency, as well as Def Jam. She has produced art shows, fashion events, music concerts, and showcases across the United States in Austin, Los Angeles, New York, Miami, New Orleans, and Atlanta.
“I grew up traveling a lot with my family,” Badran said. “We always made it a point to explore new places when I was a kid, and that exploration influenced the way I think about life and my career. It influences my decision-making to think with a global mindset.”
Working in event production for a major label has Badran traveling three to five times a month. On these expeditions, she is looking for host cities in preparation for future events. While she’s out, she chronicles her travel experiences on her website, Creative Currency. Badran noted when selecting a city to produce an event, she looks to its cultural imprint for what makes it unique.
“Every city has its own story, and it’s crucial to research the culture before an event. I usually try to avoid touristy places and immerse myself with the locals. I like finding unique buildings and art around each city and highlighting that,” she explained.
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Yariella Coello, The Beauty Backpacker
Yariella Coello said she has always had a passion for travel and writing. When she booked a solo backpacking trip around the world, it felt only natural for her to start a blog and share her adventures. She started her blog, The Beauty Backpacker, which ended up also being a way to evolve her digital and creative skills, and eventually, her business.
“My audience is usually keen to bookmark a specific destination for their next trip,” she said. “So I tend to get questions around travel logistics and costs. I’m also asked for recommended local beauty brands and top cafes and independent shops. Traveling solo is so empowering. There is no better feeling than waking up not knowing what could happen next, every single day. It may sound cheesy, but the internal journeys you take when backpacking are just as good as the external ones.”
Coello has visited over 50 countries, including the Amazon Rainforest, a remote island in the Philippines, as well as a shopping expedition in London. She uses her blog to deliver dispatches and images from her adventures, along with travel tips and destination guides.
What truly makes her blog unique is Coello’s focus on beauty. With every trip, she regularly posts global beauty discoveries she’s made from around the world.
“Travel and beauty have historically been underrepresented by women of color. There is still a long way to go, but I’m proud to play my part in moving things in the right direction,” she said. “Just to know that a young Latina can see someone that looks like her out on the road, embracing both adventure and her unruly curls, makes me very happy.”
Ginger Harper, The Ginger Marie Blog
Ginger Harper is an inspiration for female African-American travelers. On her travel website, The Ginger Harper Marie Blog, she tackles multiple travel elements like wellness, food, and fashion.
“My blog and brand are around things I already do,” she said. “And travel is such a big part of my life, it’s one of the easiest things for me to include. It’s fun being able to make recommendations to my community and see them go on trips and do things that they otherwise might not have even known to do.”
Harper was a military brat, and her family often moved around. When she moved to Dallas, she found a place she loved enough to call home but missed discovering new adventures. So her blog became a forum where she could chronicle her trips, which she takes once a month where she gets to “scratch an itch that I probably would have had to move to scratch earlier.”
“My brand encourages women to live life unapologetically and to the fullest,” she said. “So when I travel, and specifically when I share my travels, I almost always have a jam-packed itinerary so that I can show people as much about the places I visit as possible.”
Amber LaFrance, CultureHype
Amber LaFrance is constantly scouring the country for the next big artists in music, art, and fashion. She believes travel is essential to her career at CultureHype by connecting with reporters and expanding her network as a publicist and marketing expert.
“I am a huge foodie and prefer staying in people’s homes across the globe instead of hotels for a more personal experience,” she said. “I plan most of my travel plans around food, to be fully honest. Staying at people’s homes is such a unique experience. I ask questions about local recommendations and like to experience the world through their eyes. I figure if we have the same home decor aesthetic and style, we’ll most likely enjoy the same kind of experiences.”