In the wee hours of Christmas morning, a flight deal was shared in an exclusive Facebook group for urban travelers. An unbelievable fare glitch priced round trip flights on Etihad Airways from select U.S. cities to Abu Dhabi as low as $187, nonstop, taxes and fees included. Whoa.
This is the kind of thing Nomadness Travel Tribe, a stealth crew of 9,000 predominately African American globetrotters, ages 25 to 40, lives for. At last count, the tight-knit travel clique has collectively visited all but a dozen countries on the map, hosting meet-ups in cities around the world, from New York to Dubai. They even have matching tattoos. And they booked hundreds of tickets within hours.
“We’re here,” says Evita Robinson, 30, the creator of Nomadness Travel Tribe. “We may be the only black people in India, but we in here. We may be the only black people in Tokyo getting all the looks, but we’re still in here.”
Thanks to a new crop of emerging online communities, international travel is becoming more real than ever for social media savvy African Americans, a demographic The New York Times noted last year is largely untapped by the trillion-dollar travel industry. Members of Nomadness Travel Tribe booked over 400 flights to the Middle East, Asia and Africa for leisure travel in 2015 over the past two months alone, and that doesn’t even include family, friends, and the folks on Black Twitter, tagging along with them.
A quick glance at the Instagram feed of Travel Noire, another emerging community for unconventional travelers of color, confirms black travelers are, indeed, out here. And the reason they’re flocking to niche communities is because of “representation,” says Zim Ugochukwu, 26, the creator of Travel Noire, a digital publishing platform with over 100 contributors. “When you see somebody who looks like you doing something you never thought you could do, then that thing becomes possible.”