Interviews

Black is Beautiful: Interview with Adrienne Jordan of @ajeveryday

Thank you so much for chatting with us today! Could you tell us a little about your story and what you do, for anyone who doesn’t know you yet?

I’ve been an adventure travel writer with a focus on health and wellness for the last 9 years. My favorite thing to do when traveling is to get my blood pumping in some way and then write about my experience for various publications. I’ve run half marathons in Philadelphia and Washington DC; swam in the Devil’s Pool in Zambia; road biked through Angkor Wat, Cambodia; and scuba dived with hammerhead sharks in Bimini, Bahamas. My work has been featured in publications such as National Geographic Traveler, The Washington Post, USA TODAY, Travel + Leisure, AFAR, Esquire, Forbes and many other outlets over the years. I also recently launched my own adventure travel blog.

Photo by @emitoms

What change would you like to see change or happen in the travel and photography industries? What advice would you like to give to brands?

I would like more recognition and equal pay for black travel influencers so that we are given the same opportunities as other influencers in this space. I recently heard of a beauty blogger press trip to the Caribbean where white bloggers were paid, and the black women were not. I would like to see black travel writers, influencers, and photographers being recognized for their powerful influence over the multibillion-dollar spending power of the African American community. When reaching out for partnerships, I would recommend brands acknowledging the disparity and then telling the influencer how they want to bridge the pay gap for a particular opportunity.

What are some challenges or issues you have faced as a Black female traveler?

Thankfully, overall, I have had a positive experience as a Black female traveler, which could be due to the structure and nature of press trips. We are hosted at the best resorts, finest restaurants, and have some of the most thrilling experiences organized for us. For example, last fall I went on a fully sponsored dive press trip to St. Lucia and it was a week of some of the best experiences, from diving, amazing local food, and block parties. I had no complaints!

Photo by @emitoms

When I travel for pleasure outside of work, there are times where I may get stares from the predominately white groups on ski slopes or at high end restaurants. However, I take that as an opportunity for learning experiences for those people to know that travel is diverse and you may see black travelers pop up at these venues.

What piece of advice would you give to new Black female travelers?

For Black female travelers taking their first big trip, I would recommend reaching out to all types of travelers-female, black, LGBT-depending on the demographic in which they identify. They can use Instagram or Twitter to find people with similar backgrounds that have been to the destination they wish to travel to in order to get advice on where to stay, eat, and explore. I think this “DM” method would work well over travel guides because it would be real advice in real time by real travelers.

Piece of advice to give non-black travelers?

Say hello to someone that you may not usually speak to when traveling. Spark up a conversation with a black or Hispanic traveler, a foreigner, or someone that they would not normally be comfortable speaking to. That would allow a conversation to ensue that might just surprise them in how they connect or have more similarities than differences.

What are some myths and misconceptions about traveling as a black female solo travel that you’ve found to be untrue?

That we only eat one type of food or may not like to do adventurous things when we travel. I have met black divers (not as much as I would like) on dive boat excursions; at wellness spas in remote places; going to a nightclub alone; whitewater rafting; among other niche experiences.

Photo by @emitoms

What are some states or countries that have been kind to you?

I love New York City, being the world hub of media and publishing. I live 20 minutes outside of the city, so being hosted at new hotel and bar openings; exclusive press events; free Broadway shows; and other functions where my press pass is like gold is super enjoyable. I also loved Myanmar for its diverse landscapes; Norway for its extreme physical beauty; and Nigeria for the local food and produce markets.

What are some states or countries that haven’t been so kind?

I wouldn’t like to throw a blanket over an entire state or country. Rather, there may have been moments that I may have experienced a discriminatory encounter, but I don’t allow that to hinder my overall view of a place.

Photo by @emitoms

Tell us what you’re up to next and where we can find you

I am going to continue to grow my adventure travel blog. I also have a section of my blog that is open to guest voices to share their first-person experiences traveling. Now during the pandemic, many of those stories are about COVID-related travel. You can also find me on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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1 Comment

  • Reply goinsee June 22, 2020 at 12:49 am

    I feel that such a shame when people racist about their skin colours and also to the poor and rich.

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