Ladies We Love is a monthly interview series with women from around the world that provide us with inspiration through their travels and personal stories. This week we got to know travel writer and entrepreneur Rachel Travels.
After retiring from Corporate America at 27, Rachel made the decision to travel the world indefinitely. Through creating travel content, online courses/ masterclasses, writing and speaking, Rachel inspires millennial, women of color to recreate their lives through travel and educates women on how to become online travel influencers.
1) Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from, where do you live currently?
I am from Orlando, FL. Currently, I am living in Johannesburg, South Africa.
2) How did you get into travel blogging?
Travel writing and content curation kinda found me! After leaving my Corporate job, I decided to backpack across South East Asia solo. I started my blog, RachelTravels.com, as I way to share my travels with my family and friends on one platform. I’d share some of the posts on social media and started posting my photos. From there, people were asking me about specific experiences, how to navigate through certain countries and so it started from there.
3) Your mission is to help shift the perception and narrative of what it means to be a black traveler. Please tell us more about this.
If you’re not a Black Traveler, it would be a bit difficult to give context to what that means, looks, or feels like. However, as a Marketer (my background is in Marketing), I know for certain that as Brands are creating campaigns and promotion destinations, it looks very one-dimensional.
There are so many perceptions and stereotypes about People of Color and it spills into the travel space.
My goal is to show that POC, specifically Black, also have various travel styles, budgets, and one Brands will have to switch up their promotion to tap into diverse markets.
4) What has your personal experience been like as a black woman in the travel industry?
Personally, it’s being amazing! But as mentioned above, there is still an opportunity for the travel industry to recognize diverse markets. Including compensating Influencers of Color the same way you would other Influencers.
5) You are open about having dealt with anxiety disorder and depression while working in Corporate America. Do you have any advice for women struggling with these disorders?
Get help! Seriously, there is no point in suffering silently. Whatever “help” looks like for you, be it a therapist, groups, yoga, prayer, meditation – make it a priority.
Even if this means shifting your environment, then do that too.
6) What do you enjoy most about travel blogging? What do you enjoy least about travel blogging?
Being a Travel Content Creator has been amazing! Some of the best aspects is being able to travel the world, meet amazing people, and having unique experiences that I wouldn’t otherwise have. Some of the least enjoyable aspects are the amount of time it takes to post the “perfect” photo/ videos.
7) What is your favorite place you’ve visited thus far, and what destination is currently at the top of your bucketlist?
This is still one of the hardest questions for me to answer. I love so many destinations for various reasons, so I cannot just name one.
Antarctica is at the top of my Travel List! Then I would have traveled to all 7 continents!
8) Please tell us a weird or fun fact about you most people don’t know!
Hmm. Totally not travel related but, I absolutely hate the smell or beets!
9) Favorite travel quote?
“Better to see something once than hear about it a thousand times.” – Unknown
10) Do you have any advice for women trying to break into the travel industry?
First, I think it’s important to decide if you want to create a career in the travel industry because it “looks cool” or because you really desire to make an impact.
Next, be original. It seems as though many people who are just starting out, haven’t quite found what makes them unique, authentic, and relatable. Seek that out. It seems as though so many people start out imitating others. Be true to you and your WHY, and you’ll find success!
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