6 Instagram accounts to follow for travel inspiration in 2019

Pool at Tensing Pen_Negril

Need some travel inspiration in 2019?  The Instagram feeds of these black female travelers are guaranteed to light a fire in your belly to get up off your couch and go explore the world. But before you click follow, be warned: you’re also likely to catch a serious case of wanderlust envy!

@thecatchmeifyoucan

Jessica Nabongo is a go-getter millennial on a quest to be the first black woman to travel to all 195 UN member countries and observing states, including the Vatican and Palestine. Born in Michigan to Ugandan immigrants, she left her six-figure pharmaceutical job with Pfizer to wander the globe in her 20s, and she hasn’t looked back since. She says capturing scenes from everyday life is her favorite thing to do because sharing an honest portrayal gives dignity and humanity to the people living in the countries she visits. That single-mindedness of purpose helps her to highlight aspects of a place that many other photographers often overlook or simply miss.

@spiritedpursuit

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A few weeks back, I hit a pretty big social media milestone – a whopping 100K+ of you kind souls have now joined me on this crazy journey I’m on. I don’t care much for focusing on numbers (they’re infinite after all, someone will always have more, and they don’t reflect your value as a person), but I’d be remiss if I didn’t take the opportunity to say thank you and reflect a little. • Some years ago, I was going through my quarter life crisis, experiencing heartbreak, struggling with the end of a friendship with my then best friend (turns out losing a friend can hurt more than a boyfriend), working at a job I hated…all around the same time. I had dangerously low self esteem and to say I was depressed is an understatement. I felt so lost, so emotionally drained, and completely stuck in a life I didn’t want. Feeling helpless, I turned to the internet and started my humble little Tumblr for some creative therapy. My only goal was to pour all the love I kept trying to give to other people back into myself and just focus on the things I was passionate about. Fast forward some years and it evolved into what my website is now. • For years it was just my passion project; something I did in my spare time. I worked full time as a Business Analyst (getting creative with my PTO became a real skill lol), but hated it and knew I wanted to leave. So I eventually took a leap of faith to not only pursue my creative work full time, but also move back within Africa to document it. • Things haven’t always been as glamorous as they tend to look online. Often times I feel like I jumped off of a cliff and am continuously building my parachute as I free fall down. But in the end, the journey has been beyond what I could have ever imagined and I’m so grateful for it all. There’s real truth to that saying “fortune favors the bold”, so I hope you’ll do something brave today. One year from now (or even 5 years from now in my case) you’ll be glad you did. // #spiritedpursuit • Ps – that Tumblr still exists, so if you ever want to go back and read some of my super awkward early posts you can lol ☺️ • @fourseasons @fsserengeti #MyFSSarafi #Fourseasons

A post shared by Lee Litumbe 🇨🇲🇺🇸 (@spiritedpursuit) on

Lee Litumbe is the talented creative behind Spirited Pursuit, an online brand dedicated to the enthusiastic pursuit of travel, adventure, and new cultural experiences. She was raised in the US, but is Cameroonian by birth, and she decided to quit her corporate finance job to move back to the motherland so she could travel deep within the African continent. In her view, Africa needed more Africans to showcase all the beauty it has to offer. And she’s right.  There’s so much more to the world to see than Europe, Southeast Asia and The Americas!@

@asiyami_gold

Asiyami, who has Nigerian heritage, started her Instagram account when she was 21 because she was drawn to images of an aesthetically pleasing and beautiful lifestyle but realized she couldn’t find many people online that looked like her. Seeing the platform as a place where she could help shape the narrative, Gold set out to create a feed that gave a different perspective to women of color. Now, a mere six or seven years later, this visual storyteller, artist, photographer, and artistic creator is an established player in a constantly evolving industry.

@islandgirlintransit

Aisha Sylvester is an island girl from Trinidad and Tobago who is just as comfortable navigating busy city streets as she is rounding up cattle on a Midwestern farm. Her trips have taken her to long-haul destinations like the Czech Republic and Budapest, in addition to ones closer to home like Grenada and the San Blas Islands of Panama. Last year, she started a new series on her blog called Island Girls in Transit to inspire other Caribbean women to follow their own wanderlust dreams. Subscribe! It’s a really cool way to get to know another group of great female travelers.

@jetsetsarah

Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon is a Miami-based travel writer who “ventures to the beach and beyond to share the diverse culture, lifestyle and people of the world’s favorite warm-weather destinations.” Her work has been featured in top-tier travel publications like Travel + Leisure, Brides, Martha Stewart Weddings, and The Telegraph, but she’s still very much a down-to-earth person. Showcasing the Caribbean is her top passion, and she does it vivaciously… and in vivid color.

@mytavelstamps

And of course. there’s me.

I am a routine-averse Gen Xer who travels with limited vacation time and on a budget. Sounds familiar? I collect passport stamps when I’m not working hard at my 9 to 5 because I love to explore new lands and learn about new cultures. As someone who was born and raised in the Caribbean (Jamaica), it took me a while to realize the world was much bigger than the diaspora enclaves in the US, England and Canada. What’s more, it finally dawned on me that you didn’t have to be a pilot or flight attendant to visit off-the-beaten track destinations. I now blog about my trips in my spare time because I want other Caribbean nationals to see the world can also be their oyster.

If you’re still on the lookout for other accounts to follow, you can also check out a similar post that I did in 2016 here.

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