This isn’t your usual round-up of best family blogs to follow. Unlike the hundreds of round-up posts out there featuring blond-haired and light-skinned families smiling into the camera, this list only features families of color. But before anyone calls me out for preferential treatment, or being, dare I say, reverse racist, hear me out.
For as much as we talk about diversity, the world of family travel still remains fairly homogeneous. Magazine and advertising images still predominantly feature white families. The Family Travel Association, of which I am a media member, has over 80% of media members who identify as white. And in the general worldschooling circles that I interact with, families of color are not always common.
I’m sure it’s not an intentional exclusion. There are dozens of factors contributing to why we don’t see a lot of families of color in travel. Most stock images lack diversity. Limited resources can prevent some families of color to travel. And it can be hard to find role models out there showing other families that travel isn’t just limited to white families.
Showcasing families of color who travel
I’m a firm believer in the power of representation. Families need to be able to see themselves represented in the images and stories out there in the world. Family blogs are great for travel inspiration and tips. But if they’re not always representative of diverse families, then they do a disservice to those families.
Nowadays, Instagram is one of the biggest sources for travel inspiration. One travel survey (The Portrait Of The American Traveler) reports that 10% of travelers use social media content to help determine the destination of their next vacations. Among millennials, that percentage is 31%. As the use of Instagram increases, the need for representation and diversity in the travel images out there also increases.
That’s why I recently created the Instagram account, @brownfamiliestraveling, dedicated to showcasing families of color who travel. Each day, I repost a photo of a family of color traveling. The families share why they travel, or what challenges or lessons they learn traveling as a family of color.
Diverse family blogs to follow
When it comes to blogs, I am realizing that there are many fantastic blogs out there from families of color. But they’re not always getting the recognition or the attention they deserve.
Below, I’ve compiled a list of seven diverse family blogs that will inspire families to travel with their kids. Take a look at the families featured, and give them a follow on Instagram!
The World Is A Book
“We travel to show our kids the world’s beauty, to learn about different cultures and be immersed in history. We wanted to instill [in them] the love of travel and exploration.”
I started following Mary about five years ago. At the time, it was hard for me to find family blogs written by families of color, so I was excited when I found hers. The title of her blog stems from a quote by St. Augustine, and speaks to the power of travel to teach us about the world. Mary and her family have traveled through North America, South America, Asia, and Europe. You can also find tips for international travel with kids on her blog.
Follow Mary on her blog, The World Is A Book
“We travel with our son to expose him to the world, to teach him, as well as [to] learn together as a family.”
We don’t often see families of color in the outdoors. In fact, according to the North American Camping Report published by KOA, non-white campers make up only 29% of campers in North America. That’s why I love what the Chu family is doing! They are traveling around the United States in their camper trailer and trying to visit all the national parks in the United States. While they haven’t done much international travel with kids yet, they have explored the United States quite extensively!
Follow the Chu family on their blog, Traveling Chus.
Those Crazy Nelsons
“I travel with my kids because I’m committed to showing them that the world extends beyond our 5 mile radius, that people are different all over the world, and that culture and customs should be honored, not seen as weird.”
I met Samantha recently at the Women In Travel Summit in Portland, Maine. We chatted for a bit, and it turns out her family also did an around the world trip too! These days, Samantha and her family are helping other families bring more travel into their lives. Their using what they’ve learned from traveling full-time to help other families travel.
Follow Samantha and her family on their website, Those Crazy Nelsons
“By experiencing many different things in new cultures throughout the world, we hope to foster open minds and open hearts to learn and grow in new and unexpected ways.”
When I was preparing for our trip around the world, I started following other families on Instagram who were doing big trips of international travel with kids. One of the families I found was the Anderson family. Initially prompted by a desire to trace their lineage, they also travel to connect more as a family and become more open-minded. I love their slow-traveling style because it’s just like how we prefer to travel.
Follow the Andersons on their blog, Exploring Legacy.
“It’s fantastic to travel as a multicultural family because we get to visit places that teach us about our heritage. Or, if we’re going somewhere beyond our cultural background, we learn together and when others are curious about our multicultural mix, we can teach them, too!”
I came across Lisa’s blog a few weeks ago, as I was looking for diverse family blogs to follow. What I loved about Lisa was that in addition to her gorgeous photos, she comes across as a regular, down to earth mama. I love that her family is multicultural. It’s reflective of many of the families of color out there in the world. As we become more connected globally, our histories and stories also become more connected and intermixed.
Follow Lisa on her blog, Fabulous Habits.
“We have been traveling together for almost 20 years… way before the days of Instagram. We travel to connect and spend time as a family and to explore and experience new places.”
Often, when we talk about family travel, we refer to traveling with young kids. But kids grow older. Having a grown son, myself, I can attest that traveling with an adult child is quite different than international travel with kids who are much younger. When we met up with my step-son in Milan, Italy recently, we let him take the reins in picking restaurants and figuring out where to explore. What draws me to Priya is how she and her family continue to have travel adventures together, even though her kids are practically grown up. I love that she continues to cultivate a legacy of travel in her kids.
Follow Priya on her blog, Outside Suburbia.
“It’s important for families of color to travel outside of the us so that our children are exposed to narratives about people that look like them, crafted by people that look like them.”
One of my favorite family blogs to follow, especially on Instagram, is African Boheme. Sunnie shares such beautiful photos, and her blog posts are always thoughtful and honest. Like me, she shares a passion for sustainable family travel, and I think it’s something that we need more of in the travel space.
Follow Sunnie on her blog, African Boheme.
Encouraging more families to embark on international travel with kids
The biggest benefit of showcasing diverse family blogs is that they provide inspiration to other diverse families. As I mentioned before, families who can see themselves reflected in the images and stories published by magazines, advertising material, and blog posts, are more likely to travel more with their kids.
We’re still a long way from a truly diverse travel community. But I’m hopeful that it will happen some day.
Do you have diverse family blogs that you follow that I’ve missed? Share them in the comments!
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