The Joy & Validation I Get From Black Travel Events

Posted by Jay in Travel on December 13th, 2017

Black travel events enthusiast? No doubt you have seen me a lot in the past few months. I have been going to a lot of black travel events or BAME travel events, after my long hiatus. Don’t get me wrong, I am a lover of all travel centred events and conferences. But there is something to be said for events that are catered to me and those that look/live like me. Here are the three latest black travel events I have attended, and how I found out about them.

WOMEN IN TRAVEL CELEBRATES BLACK HISTORY MONTH

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L-R: Vivienne DoviDipali Kastia, Eulanda Osagiede & Laura Bartlett

The first of the three black travel events I went to this year was hosted by Women in Travel CIC. I had the pleasure of meeting the founder Alessandra Alonso at my very first WTM. Even though I had missed a large portion of the Women in Travel event at WTM, I was lucky enough to catch the remaining 15-20 minutes. Speaking briefly with Alessandra, I loved and related with everything she was saying in regards to the presence of women within the industry.

Black history month is celebrated in October in the UK, and Alessandra was hosting an event featuring BAME Female Travel Entrepreneurs. The panelists above gave us all an insight into the reasons behind their travel focused businesses. They shared knowledge through their experiences in getting their businesses started, and how it’s not necessarily always a direct path. The atmosphere was one of solidarity and friendship. These were women that I could look to for assistance and inspiration, and I felt like I could truly just be around them.

After the session had finished, we had gone to a nearby pub and continued talking and trading life and travel stories. It just felt so fun talking to women from BAME backgrounds that were as travel hungry as I am. We bonded so well that I even created a WhatsApp group for all of us afterwards. It allows us to stay in contact, build networks, and find support both online and offline. Side note: If any BAME women reading this want to join, please do drop me a line via the contact page, we’d love to have you!

SHADES OF TRAVEL

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The second of my black travel events was hosted by Vivienne of Melanin Travel and Eulanda (yes, same as above) and her husband Omo of award winning travel website, Hey Dip Your Toes In. I had actually met Eulanda at another Women In Travel event hosted by Alessandra earlier in the year. So I am sure she was used to (read: tired of) seeing my face pop up everywhere.

Shades of Travel was a post WTM party, celebrating and highlighting the diverse voices that are present within the tourism industry. It was a fun event that allowed me to meet people from different sections of the travel world, and find out how they were getting their message out. Having been to the previous event, I was able to see some familiar faces and catch up. Plus, with free food and drinks, you know that I was always gonna be in attendance!

After the event had finished, I was walking towards the station with the lovely lady in green crouching down. Caroline is the founder of Travel Eat Slay, which is a travel apparel company. We had decided to collaborate and have a little filming session in Greenwich. We wanted to highlight our brands, see more of London and just generally have a good time. If you’re interested (of course you are), you can see me rocking their latest fashions on their IG page

BLACK BRITISH TRAVEL MEETUP

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The last of the black travel events I attended was hosted by Doyin and Hannah, creators of Black British Travel Meetup. Whenever you look online, the landscape of the black travelling experience is overwhelmingly American. BBTM was born to highlight and celebrate the travel escapades of black British travelers. The original venue had to be changed to accommodate the number of people that had expressed interest in attending. This tells you just how needed this event has been for a while. Having been to so many other black travel events, I recognised a lot of faces. The panelists were Vivienne of Melanin Travel (yes, I am sure she’s following me), Omo of HDYTI and Clé Hunnigan. Clé and Doyin run the Wind Collective and plan trips for travel obsessed millennials.

The evening was filled with fun and games, allowing us to find out a bit more about one another through travel BINGO! The winner received a solo flight to a destination in Europe. I was able to mingle and trade travel stories with new and familiar faces. It was a very relaxed atmosphere and introduced me to some amazing new people to follow on my Instagram. And actually got me over the 1,000 followers mark on IG, so yay, BBTM!

The panelists provided their tips for making travel work for you, and how they got their start. It had the authentic feel of a meet up. We were all there to learn from one another and enjoy each other’s companies. Hannah and Doyin have already announced that there will be another meet up in the new year, so watch this space! And make sure to follow them on IG and Twitter, so you don’t miss a thing.

One Response

  1. […] video, as well as promote her apparel brand. You may recognise her from my post about all the different black travel events I’d attended last year. We had to brave the wind, rain and other people on Saturday, but we […]

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about Jayon UPDATE: As of 25/09/2015 Nigeria has been removed from the WHO's Polio Endemic List! Having been born in Nigeria, I hail from one of three countries where polio is still unfortunately endemic, the other two being Pakistan and Afghanistan. I had contracted the poliovirus before my ...Read More

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