50 Black Travel Influencers You Should Be Following on Instagram For Major Wanderlust
The world is experiencing a major moment of social change right now in the fight against racial injustice, and many industries are realizing that there's much more work to be done to amplify Black voices. Historically, the travel industry has been dominated by the perspectives of white males. In March 2018, National Geographic issued an apology for the way they had covered people of color in the United States and abroad since the publication's founding, titled, "For Decades, Our Coverage Was Racist. To Rise Above Our Past, We Must Acknowledge It." But with more people turning to the digital world and away from the printed one, apps like Instagram have given us a platform to share our voices and reflect our travel styles.
Women's solo travel is one niche that we've seen greatly empowered by social media. But while Black travelers generate over $63 billion yearly for the travel industry, their voices are hardly reflected in marketing campaigns, press trips, bylines, or even social feeds. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. If you love travel content, you should be diversifying your feeds with more Black content creators, and if you're not sure where to start, here are 50 writers, poets, entrepreneurs, marketing gurus, and more who are changing the travel industry one country at a time. Hit follow and let these ladies show you the world.
Nneya Richards (@nneya)
First up is me! I'm Nneya Richards, the writer of this article (and other POPSUGAR content), and I'm so excited to share some of my travel peers with you. I'm a travel writer, influencer, and on-air talent. I started my blog, 'N A Perfect World, in 2014 as a curated intersection of travel, food, fashion, and geopolitics inspired by the global-citizen lifestyle of the millennial. Like many of the ladies listed here, I'm a cultural exchange advocate of a West Indian-American background. Follow me as I go off the beaten path around the world giving you hot takes on everything from what it's like to be Black while traveling to why it's harder than you'd think to get a good gel manicure in Milan. When I'm not on the road, I live between my hometown of New York City and #nydolcevita in Italy.
Follow me on Instagram: @nneya
Lee Litumbe (@spiritedpursuit)
Lee Litumbe is the founder and creative director of SpritedPursuit.com, a digital platform that gifts you a transformative experience of Lee's adventures around the world. Spoiler alert: her images are beautiful and breathtaking. Years ago, Cameroonian-American Lee quit her job in corporate finance, sold all of her belongings, and began exploring Africa as a solo female traveler after she saw the need for more Africans to tell the story of traveling around Africa and capture the ever-expansive beauty of the continent. She also leads retreats, so if you like what you see, you can join her on her adventures in the future!
Follow Lee on Instagram: @spiritedpursuit
Francesca Murray (@onegrloneworld)
Francesca Murray of @onegrloneworld will give you serious vacation envy. This Cali girl has traveled to many countries throughout the world but has extensively focused on the Caribbean in the past few years, with her home base being the island of Martinique. After seeing a lack of Black faces in many Caribbean island promo videos, Francesca and her partner produced and shot their own! Francesca gives you island-living inspiration as well as secrets to her beautiful hair and glowing skin.
Follow Francesca on Instagram: @onegrloneworld
Evita Robinson (@evierobbie)
Evita Robinson is the international keynote speaker and creator of Nomadness Travel Tribe, a travel lifestyle brand and community that also launched Audacity Fest, the first travel festival in the US targeting millennial travelers of color. Listen to Evita's TED Talk on "Reclaiming the Globe" and what it means to be a Black traveler coming from America.
Follow Evita on Instagram: @evierobbie
Jessica Nabongo (@thecatchmeifyoucan)
Ugandan-American Jessica Nabongo is the first Black woman to have traveled to every country around the world, reaching her final destination of the Seychelles on Oct. 6, 2019. Check out this Detroit native's experiences traveling while Black as she reminds us of the overall beauty of humanity and that the world can be a pretty welcoming place, which is a great message for the times!
Follow Jessica on Instagram: @thecatchmeifyoucan
Nneka Julia (@nnekaj)
Explore the world through the beautiful earth-tone-filtered lens of writer, photographer, and podcast host Nneka Julia. Her beautiful portraits of her travels are often accompanied by descriptive prose. Nneka also brings a lot of humor, relationship advice, and the art of reclaiming a woman's wasted time with her signature "Waste His Time Wednesday" segments.
Follow Nneka on Instagram: @nnekaj
Kalisa Marie Martin (@kalisamarieeats)
If you travel for the love of great cuisine, chef and traveler Kalisa Marie Martin is definitely one to follow. This chef travels around the world cooking up content to make our mouths water from behind our phone screens. Follow her for amazing recipes and recommendations.
Follow Kalisa on Instagram: @kalisamarieeats
Rahawa Haile (@rahawahaile)
There are Black women in every sector of the travel industry, and if you love hiking, be sure to follow Eritrean-American writer Rahawa Haile. Rahawa is currently working on a book for HarperCollins on the Appalachian Trail after being one of the few people of color to complete the entire trail hike. She shares snippets of her love of the outdoors and the hiking industry, as well as her thoughts on travel and movement for Black women in small-town America, specifically in the north and south along the trail.
Follow Rahawa on Instagram: @rahawahaile
Annette Richmond (@fromannettewithlove)
Marketing in the travel industry is often not size-inclusive, but award-winning writer and body-positive activist Annette Richmond is here to change that. She's the creator of @fatgirlstraveling, an account that focuses on "Fat Activism through the Travel lens." Follow Annette for some beautiful travel wanderlust and travel tips.
Follow Annette on Instagram: @fromannettewithlove
Oneika Raymond (@oneikatraveller)
You may have seen TV host Oneika Raymond on the Travel Channel's Big City, Little Budget and One Bag and You're Out. This multilingual globetrotter can teach you how to explore your favorite places on a shoestring budget and with solely one bag packed. Follow Oneika around the world with her growing family and special appearances by her adorable infant daughter, Kira.
Follow Oneika on Instagram: @oneikatraveller
Cynthia Andrew (@simplycyn)
Fashionable attorney Cynthia Andrew manages to find the most colorful backdrops in every place she visits. She also has an enviable wardrobe, and with major home renovations and twin boys on the way, Cynthia is a great follow for how to navigate major life moments while still on the go and looking fabulous!
Follow Cynthia on Instagram: @simplycyn
Ciara Johnson (@hey_ciara)
Houston-based solo female travel blogger Ciara Johnson of @hey_ciara has been collecting stamps in her passport and inspiring other women to travel solo for years. Ciara has a refreshing candidness and shares her vulnerabilities while traveling with her followers. From how to save money for travel to the best apps to use for booking, she makes sure to not just show you where you want to go but also how to get there.
Follow Ciara on Instagram: @hey_ciara
Bri Ari (@briyoumetravel)
There's something about the notion of a traveling poet that's so romantic, and Bri Ari, award-winning poet of @briyoumetravel, does not disappoint. Sometimes we even get a beautiful calligraphed glimpse into her notebook! Bri is also the creator of @buoyant.travel, a digital homage to Black travel with beautiful photos of Black people jet-setting since the advent of the commercial flight.
Follow Bri on Instagram: @briyoumetravel
Imani Bashir (@sheisimanib)
Travel writer Imani Bashir is a full-time expat with her husband and adorable toddler son. (She actually lived in Wuhan at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.) A global diversity advocate, Imani shares her perspective on being a Muslim Black woman abroad, pregnancy risk, and other women's issues. Already teaching the next generation, Imani is also the author of Follow the Takeoff Toddler, a children's book series that helps cement a love of travel in kids from an early age.
Follow Imani on Instagram: @sheisimanib
Asiyami Gold (@asiyami_gold)
Nigerian-born visual storyteller Asiyami Gold Wekulom has such an overwhelming demand for her particular photography eye that she's had bestselling photography presets and runs successful creative agency AuCoStudio. Explore the continent of Africa and beyond through Asiyami's majestically curated eyes.
Follow Asiyami on Instagram: @asiyami_gold
Kellee Edwards (@kelleesetgo)
You may know Kellee Edwards as the host of the Travel Channel's Mysterious Islands, where she takes us across the globe seeking out the most remote islands on Earth. Kellee has more ease than most people getting to these locales though — she's a travel journalist as well as a pilot! From flying to scuba diving, Kellee definitely inspires you to get outside of your comfort zone and explore the world.
Follow Kellee on Instagram: @kelleesetgo
Zim Flores (@zimism)
It's hard to talk Black travel without talking about Travel Noire, the travel site, community, and app that was started by Zim Flores as an Instagram account highlighting Black people traveling. Zim sold Travel Noire in 2017, but you can still follow her adventures around the world and the new phase of her life via Instagram.
Follow Zim on Instagram: @zimism
Justa Lujwangana (@curiousontanzania)
Justa Lujwangana, "a Tanzanian-Brooklynite on a journey," spent her adolescence in the US before returning to her home country of Tanzania 10 years later. Seeing the lack of information on Tanzania in the US and falling in love with it more and more, Justa soon realized she wanted to get the narrative about how beautiful her country is out there and offer authentic tourism experiences. She founded Curious on Tanzania, which offers customized travel and adventures in Tanzania with a focus on sustainable tourism.
Follow Justa on Instagram: @curiousontanzania
Gabby Beckford (@packslight)
TEDx speaker Gabby Beckford took her first solo trip to Iceland at age 17 and never looked back. She mentors young travelers, aids them in study-abroad opportunities, and of course, packs light, which, to Gabby, also means not bringing the baggage of your past on your journey ahead!
Follow Gabby on Instagram: @packslight
Yagazie Emezi (@yagazieemezi)
Yagazie Emezi is a photojournalist from Aba, Nigeria, whose work focuses on stories surrounding African women and their health, education, sexuality, and human rights. You may have seen her work anywhere from Vogue to The New York Times to Al Jazeera, capturing the dignity and grace of her subjects for audiences around the world.
Follow Yagazie on Instagram: @yagazieemezie
Claire Soares (@upintheairclaire)
Former Fortune 500 sales exec Claire Soares liked to travel, and travel well. After growing frustrated at not seeing enough Black faces in the luxury-travel industry, she left her position to create Up in the Air Life, a company focused on curating luxury experiences around the world geared toward African American travelers. Follow her as she shares not only travel tips but the secrets of her success as a serial entrepreneur and how she built a million-dollar travel business!
Follow Claire on Instagram: @upintheairclaire
Paola Mathé (@findingpaola)
Lifestyle blogger and photographer Paola Mathé resides in Texas with her husband and child and is a frequent globetrotter. Her ability to see beauty in the everyday and wanderlust vibes make her feed a constant source of inspiration for both destinations and decor.
Follow Paola on Instagram: @findingpaola
Ashlee Major Moss (@ashleemajormoss)
London-based content creator Ashlee Major Moss's beautiful images will leave you jonesing for faraway shores and beautiful sun-drenched girls' trips.
Follow Ashlee on Instagram: @ashleemajormoss
Gloria Atanmo (@glographics)
Solo female travel creative and life coach Gloria Atanmo is even on Oprah's radar! Yes, that's right, she's been featured in O magazine and has inspired countless women to make the leap out of their comfort zones, whatever that may be in life. Gloria also graces us with her amazing humor with a regular Nigerian comedy feature on her feed.
Follow Gloria on Instagram: @glographics
Skylar Marshai (@skylarmarshai)
As a social strategist for The Creative Collective NYC, an agency that produces impactful multicultural storytelling, Skylar Marshai knows how to tell a memorable story through a photo. Her Instagram feed is a perfect curation of Skylar's journey around the world that blends her loves of design and travel in a really soothing and visually stunning space.
Follow Skylar on Instagram: @skylarmarshai
Kesi Irvin (@kesitoandfro)
Kesi Irvin quit her job on Wall Street after saving for two years for a trip around the world with the idea of "following the summer." Well, Kesi's been traveling for four years now and been to 60+ countries, and she loves delving into experiences that most tourists don't think of. She's candid with the ins and outs of learning to monetize a travel blog and how to travel long-term successfully. Follow her for travel inspiration, but especially if you're thinking about becoming a travel blogger yourself!
Follow Kesi on Instagram: @kesitoandfro
Sidney Walker (@sidneydaniellle)
When creating the blog and agency Black Travel Journey, Sidney Walker set out to make the face of travel more inclusive and diverse by curating some of the most beautiful images of Black travelers on the brand's Instagram account. Black Travel Journey has expanded, and she's done just that and more.
Follow Sidney on Instagram: @sidneydaniellle
Bianca Maxwell (@biancamaxwell)
Travel breakouts are a real thing, so traveler Bianca Maxwell created the Skinary app, a health-tracking app for your skin that tracks your lifestyle, diet, and cleansing habits with daily selfies to figure out the cause of your breakouts. Bianca is definitely one to watch in the tech and travel spaces, and her skin happens to always look radiant as she shares her adventures.
Follow Bianca on Instagram: @biancamaxwell
Anquanette Gaspard (@cruzanfoodie)
Saint Croix-based traveler and entrepreneur Anquanette Gaspard reminds us that we can have an authentic island experience without having to stamp our passport — in the US Virgin Islands. The CEO of Virgin Islands Food Tours narrates the islands' history through food. Follow Anquanette for the best eats in Saint Croix and beyond as well as some serious carnival masquerade envy!
Follow Anquanette on Instagram: @cruzanfoodie
Maureen Powel (@maureenpowel)
Are you ever amazed with how perfectly some people can match their outfits to their surroundings? You'll fall in love with stylist, traveler, and Amsterdam-based mom Maureen Powel's feed. With frequent appearances from her daughter, you'll have constant fodder for mom-and-me outfit inspo!
Follow Maureen on Instagram: @maureenpowel
Alicia Tenise (@aliciatenise)
Alicia Tenise creates lifestyle content for the every-girl millennial traveling the world in search of the best food and drink. She also shares colorful fashion finds and her honest struggles with mental health. Wine enthusiasts: Alicia is with you and has recently started her WSET classes to be a certified wine enthusiast and a better wine writer!
Follow Alicia on Instagram: @aliciatenise
Sojourner White (@thesojournies)
As a traveling social worker and writer, Sojourner White's Instagram is packed with both lighthearted travel tips and the extremely compelling social work she does in many of the countries she visits, like working with refugees in Berlin. She also frequently enlightens her audience as to what social work actually means and how many jobs it encompasses. With her focus on gender equality, Sojourner definitely leaves each place she visits better than she found it.
Follow Sojourner on Instagram: @thesojournies
After finishing her studies in graphics and marketing, Racheal wanted to make sure everyone had the most amount of information to incorporate travel into everyday life. Check out her feed for vlogs, tips, and simple hacks on packing, booking trips, saving money, and more to make traveling become more of a lifestyle rather than a luxury.
Follow Racheal on Instagram: @racheal.x
Maryjane Byarm (@maryjanebyarm)
In 2018, Maryjane Byarm challenged herself to visit 100 countries in 365 days. Today, she's surpassed 100 with no signs of stopping. Her love of travel stems from facing a dark period in her life in the US and wanting to leave. After going to visit her sister, a model living in China, Maryjane hit the road and didn't stop.
Follow Maryjane on Instagram: @maryjanebyarm
Jewels Rhode (@_traveljewels_)
Jewels Rhodes has a master's degree in public health and creates content through the lens of travel and wellness. She's also spoken up about the misrepresentation of Africa in the media, which helped spark her love of travel. Jewels wants to be a part of shaping the narrative and changing misconceptions about the continent.
Follow Jewels on Instagram: @_traveljewels_
Cassy Isabella (@bellaworldwide)
Danasia lets us in on travel through her appreciation for urban landscapes and city architecture. Follow her feed for beautiful city snaps, wonderful restaurant recommendations, and Insta-worthy cafés.
Follow Danasia on Instagram: @theurbanrealist
Having traveled to over 49 countries solo, Keem teaches online courses on how to plan amazing getaways while getting the best value for your dollar.
Follow Keem on Instagram: @thepassportabuser
Jessica Ufuoma (@theufuoma)
Jessica Ufuoma couldn't find much of a space for someone like her when googling travel tips, so she created one herself! She creates content for people who look like her, may need visas to travel, and have full-time jobs. She's helping people travel better and smarter — think responsibly, ethically, sustainably, and with intention.
Follow Jessica on Instagram: @theufuoma
Follow Sam for your daily dose of bold colors, body positivity, and self-love. Not only is she a digital media creative, but Sam is also a theater artist, and her photos often seem like beautiful sets out of cotton-candy dreams. When not in the Pacific Northwest, she spends a lot of time in London and traveling around the globe — more than 30 countries so far!
Follow Sam on Instagram: @callmeadventurous
Candace Salters (@candaceabroad)
This expat, who's been on the road since 2016, is the host of the Abroad & Co. podcast for millennials wanting to combine their career, business, and travel goals. After leaving London, Candace made plans to live in China, but she's currently in Thailand after a major pivot due to COVID-19. Follow along to see how she's navigating life in Asia amid a pandemic and to learn the pros and cons of life on the road.
Follow Candace on Instagram: @candaceabroad
Angela Moikeenah (@gela_moiks)
After leaving the United Kingdom, Angela set her sights on sunnier isles and made her home in Morocco, where she now works as a holistic therapist. She also creates holistic travel experiences for creatives. Follow Angela's journey as she lives her best life in Morocco with newfound serenity.
Follow Angela on Instagram: @gela_moiks
Stephanie "She" Ifendu (@stephxshe)
Stephanie "She" Ifendu is a traveling photographer and creative director. Her passion for creating timeless images is only matched by her zest for exploring.
Follow Stephanie on Instagram: @stephxshe
Nina Reeder (@reederandawriter)
Follow lifestyle journalist Nina Reeder as she travels the globe looking for the best spots for food, fun, and family travel. Also a mom of two mega-adorable kids, her family often make appearances on her Instagram.
Follow Nina on Instagram: @reederandawriter
Olivia Christine Perez (@ochristine)
After living with lupus for over 15 years, former New Yorker Olivia's curiosity led her to explore the outdoors and the wellness travel space. Incredibly, travel and her lifestyle brought her lupus into remission. It's Olivia's goal to normalize diversity in the outdoor and adventure spaces.
Follow Olivia on Instagram: @ochristine
Barely have a budget to travel with? Mally has you covered. A "broke ass girl who loves to travel," Mally shares with you how to travel and not wind up in debt or drain your savings. And you'll laugh a lot along the way.
Follow Mally on Instagram: @brokeassgirltravel
Tameika Gentles (@tameikagtravels)
Fitness and nutrition guru Tameika Gentles loved exploring so much she created a separate account for it! On her travel account, she shares tips about eating right while on the road as well as health retreats.
Follow Tameika on Instagram: @tameikagtravels
Follow expat Tia as she navigates life in Abu Dhabi. She's candid about work, love, and her travels as well as tips for your next vacation to the United Arab Emirates.
Follow Tia on Instagram: @tiatakestheworld
Lọlá Ákínmádé Åkerström (@lolaakinmade)
Lọlá is an award-winning Nigerian photographer and travel writer based in Stockholm, Sweden. She's the editor-in-chief for Slow Travel Stockholm and is a frequent contributor to National Geographic. Lola's lens is unparalleled, with incredible portraits that render vivid portrayals of her subjects.
Follow Lọlá on Instagram: @lolaakinmade
Onyi Moss (@mossonyi)
Every photo on British-born Onyi Moss's feed is beautifully curated and editorialized. Follow her for beautiful travel images straight out of the pages of a high-fashion shoot that exude romantic luxurious glamour. And in true English rose form, lots and lots of florals.
Follow Onyi on Instagram: @mossonyi