I have a confession to make.
When I go to the airport, I always count how many Brown people I see.
Brown as in Latino, Native American, Polynesian, East Indian, African-American, Asian, Filipino, multiracial, etc.
You see, I have this ongoing dialogue with myself, my family and my friends about how few people that actually look like me – when you start comparing – travel. I’m not suggesting that the number is zero; I’m just suggesting that the numbers aren't balanced. I’m sure there are some stats that back me up somewhere.
launching national advertising campaigns aimed at Latinos and creating a Web portal aimed at African-Americans like BlackAtlas.com, it is likely because American Airlines wants to tap into the existing market of Latinos and African-Americans that already travel which, based on the current US demographic trends, are most certainly on the rise (not to mention that travel likely begets travel). We all know that this shift in demographics is changing as quickly as I sit here and type and any brand or major corporation worth its salt knows that too.
But there is one stat that I can confirm. Only 30% of Americans own a passport. That’s right, 30%. Since that’s the case, I wonder what percentage of that 30% look like me or you or anyone from a multicultural background? And let’s not talk about how many children don’t have passports either; that’s got to be another stat entirely. As a travel camp owner and annual Paris concierge, my aim is to give girls of all ages a world view. And because I agree with my husband’s declaration that, “The first thing I would grab if the house was on fire is my passport,” I have just started a program that provides young girls with their very first passports. (Special thanks to April Thompson of Absolute Travel Addict and a fellow Women on Their Way Local Nation contest winner for sponsoring a girl too and a big shout out to General Motors for providing the transportation! Woot!) My hope is that gifting a young girl with a passport will encourage the rest of her family to do the same, whether there is an overseas trip planned or not. As is the rule in life, it’s about being ready when opportunity knocks.
And now for my other confession and the main reason I’m writing this post: This past week marked the gentle push and subsequent birth of Wandermania™, an online community that explores every shade of travel. Like anyone facing a new beginning, I’m a little scared. But my inspiration for creating and giving birth to an online space for travelers, wannabe travelers, travel writers and travel bloggers of every shade isn't scary at all and comes from many sources.
The Amazing Race? With every challenge the teams face, they ultimately make their way through the maze of nasty tasting food, unfamiliar languages, and sometimes even mind-boggling road blocks only to come out A-OK with someone ultimately capturing the prize. Wandermania™, an important and necessary platform, is my amazing prize. Now if I could only win a million dollars.
Note: If you follow or know of any travel writers or bloggers from any genre (i.e., adventure, luxury, family travel, etc.) that might find Wandermania™ of interest, please feel free to send them to Wandermania™'s current homes on both Twitter and/or Facebook (for now) where they will be received with open arms. Keep in mind that there is a natural connection between food, culture, photography and travel, so don’t forget about the foodies, photographers and the culture junkies too. Wandermania™ is open to travel bloggers and travel writers of every shade.