A few years ago, I was giving a lecture at a Mexican university about the challenges I had faced as a travel blogger. At the end of my speech, one of the students asked me if being a woman had made my travels more difficult. It took me a while to find the right answer.
My first instinct was to say yes, but soon I realized that I was wrong. I was surprised to discover that most of my troubles abroad had nothing to do with my gender, but my nationality.
If I am honest, I've had it easier than many other Latin Americans. I am whiter and taller than your average Mexican, and that has given me certain privileges over the years. However, even though my looks protect me to some extent of discriminating behaviors, that is not the case with my passport.
Being Mexican allows me to travel to many countries without a visa, which is itself an immense privilege. Nonetheless, once I arrive at immigration control, things can get tricky.
I will never forget the time I was detained in London Heathrow for four hours because the immigration agent thought I wanted to stay in the country illegally. Or the time that I had to show my bank statement to the US border staff because they did not believe that a Mexican had enough money to take a long vacation. Or the multiple occasions when I have had to present a return ticket because my word doesn't seem to be enough proof.
The hard truth is that traveling is easier for some more than others.
Certain passports and skin colors come with privileges that not everyone has. Nevertheless, I have always thought that being born in a specific country is not a matter of merit, is a matter of chance. That's why getting to know stories of non-white travelers is crucial to democratize traveling.
By knowing what other travelers go through, we can become more empathetic and conscious of the issues that still affect certain ethnicities nowadays.
6 LatinX and POC travel bloggers to follow in 2019
1. Gloria Atanmo — The Blog Abroad
I came across Gloria's blog through her social media channels. After seeing her candid pictures on Instagram and the raw honesty and vulnerability of her captions, I immediately knew she was one of the best travel bloggers to follow on Instagram. But Gloria's talents go beyond the gram.
Although she's originally from North Carolina, Wynee is proud of her Nicaraguan roots. A foodie at heart, this Latina writer gives the best tips to eat your way around the world.
Wynee writes some of the most thorough travel content I've seen. Her style is very fun and relatable, and her positivity and authenticity make her one of the best female travel bloggers to follow. Even though her pictures are lovely and her content is perfectly curated, you won't get that fake vibe that so many other blogs have these days.
We can't talk about the top travel bloggers to follow on Instagram without including Francesca. This California girl will not only conquer your heart with her breathtaking sunset pictures and her colorful bikini collection, but she will also offer you the best tips for every kind of trip.
Francesca has done a bit of everything: she has solo traveled, she has studied abroad and she has even worked as an English teacher in France. Her blog gives valuable information about traveling around Europe and exploring the United States. However, her Caribbean contentis the star of the show. After reading just a few posts, you will want to pack your bathing suit and jump on the next plane to Jamaica.
Luisa is a fellow Mexican traveler who is committed to showing the real side of our beautiful home country. Forget about touristy resorts and crazy spring breaks; her blog specializes in giving you an insider's perspective of Mexico.
Through her posts, you will be able to explore unknown beaches, archeological sites, and the famous Pueblos Mágicos, or, Magic Towns. Her knowledge about local food, historical facts, and Mexican folklore makes her one of the best travel bloggers to follow.
Luisa is a former flight attendant, so it is not surprising that wanderlust runs in her veins. Her vast experience and her detailed posts make her the perfect virtual guide for all your Mexican adventures.
If you are looking for some atypical travel bloggers to follow, then you will love Carol. Her family comes from the Dominican Republic, so she is no stranger to the difficulties of exploring the world as a Latina woman.
Her insightful writing style focuses on debunking travel myths. Additionally, she reinforces the importance oftravel as eduction — traveling to broaden your mind and your knowledge of the world. Besides sharing her travel experiences as a woman of color, she also writes about the challenges of family travel. I would say that Carol is willing to talk about what other travel bloggers don't want to talk about, and that's what makes her awesome!
With a passion for luxury and some mad photography skills, it is not surprising that Cameron is one of the best travel bloggers to follow on Instagram. His feed is anything but boring. Full of pastel colors and surreal locations, this Public Relations expert knows how to connect with his audience.
Cameron grew up with Taiwanese parents working in the aviation industry, and has been traveling ever since he was young. Cameron truly has the ability to take any trip to a whole new level. He is always looking for the most exclusive and stylish places. If you are in search of trendy restaurants, elegant hotels, and unforgettable experiences, Cameron is your guy. He is also an advocate of solo travel and his on-point sense of fashion is always front-and-center in all of his content.