They’re digital nomads. They’re folks of shade. Here is how they do it

(CNN) – King Trimble is 7 years old and has visited over a dozen countries since June 2018, including Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. He wasn’t alone. He was on a long trip around the world with his parents Dale and DamiAna Trimble and younger siblings Legend and Love. “We got tired of living a routine,” said DamiAna, 38, on a call from Kenya, where the family has lived for several months. “We’re adrenaline junkies. To travel with three kids, you have to be some kind of adrenaline junkie.”

Nomads rise

The trimbles are so-called “digital nomads”, people who roam the world indefinitely while working remotely. This in itself is not uncommon. A 2019 report by MBO partners found that 7.9 million Americans considered themselves digital nomads, up from 5 million in 2018.

The trimbles are so-called digital nomads, people who roam the world indefinitely while working remotely.

Courtesy of Dale and DamiAna Trimble

Since Covid-19 and flight concerns, many people have stepped into the lives of RVs. According to the RV Industry Association, more than 40,462 RVs were delivered in June – a 10% year-over-year increase and the highest monthly total since October 2018.

Millions of people have longed for it these days, especially since Covid-19 hit.

However, they found that they were one of the few, if not the only color families anywhere.

While the family did not experience overt racism – “we were loved, welcomed everywhere” – they were aware that they were in a minority.

“Not a lot of options”

“Not many black people feel that there are enough opportunities to earn an income and travel full-time,” said DamiAna, who runs a web design company with her husband.

The reasons for this are diverse.

As of June 2018, the Trimbles have visited over a dozen countries, including Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia.

As of June 2018, the Trimbles have visited over a dozen countries, including Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia.

Courtesy of Dale and DamiAna Trimble

To begin with, many color families don’t see themselves represented in magazines and online, and so it doesn’t even occur to them that travel is an option for them. They are busy saving money or getting stuck in jobs that need to be in one place. The majority of the “essential workers” are black or Latino, reports the Center for Economic and Political Research. Your work cannot be done remotely or online.Almost 65% of black households are led by single parents. “My husband and I have been together for 16 years, we have our children together,” she said. “It’s easier for us. Other couples are mixed families.”

As a result, they are too busy making ends meet to worry about where to go.

Hierarchy of needs

Tykesha S. Burton, 43, writer, editor, and founder of MommaWanderlust.com, which curates cultural tours for black families, ponders Abraham Maslow and his hierarchy of needs.

Basic physiological needs such as food and shelter are at the bottom of Maslow’s five-tier pyramid, with “self-actualization” at the top.

“As African Americans, we still care for basic necessities,” said Burton, who lives in southern Maryland with her husband and two children. “Self-actualization is difficult. I didn’t inherit a home; I didn’t pay my college. I owe $ 80,000 in college debt. I have to work 40 hours. I could find a remote job, but I’m still there Not. “

Privileged position

Some families have found a way to make it work, while others acknowledge the challenges.

Ruth Mendes has been teaching and traveling with her four children for eight years. After studying a subject, they got in the car and visited the historic site: Gettysburg or Flushing, Ohio, to the Underground Railroad Museum.

“While we were studying a particular region or culture, we went there,” said Mendes, who lives in Burlington, Connecticut with her children and husband. During the pandemic, they were only traveling in the United States.

She is aware that she is in a rare and privileged position.

“Not many black people feel that there are enough opportunities to earn an income and travel full-time,” said DamiAna Trimble, who runs a web design company with her husband.

Courtesy of Dale and DamiAna Trimble

“I have an MBA, my husband is an MD, we are well educated,” she said. “I have the option to say, ‘I will be working from home, I want to make sure the curriculum program is not biased.’ Not everyone has this option. You have to work multiple jobs. “

She found that she had experienced more racism in the US than abroad. “In other countries, if you have money and you pay us, you are the most important person in the world.” “

Mendes plans her family outings in detail. She often travels alone with the children while her husband, a doctor, stays at home and works.

She plans trips “so that I don’t have to stop by rest stops or get gasoline in certain parts of the country,” she said. “I’m very careful about the fact that I am a black woman traveling with four black children.”

“It is felt to be difficult to enter this type of lifestyle because people with color have culturally and systemically felt undesirable in certain places,” Mendes said. “We’re a ski family – we’ve skied all over New England and Colorado – and you see another black family and you’re like ‘Hi!’ The same goes for camping, I hear, “Blacks don’t do that.” Well, why? Because in the United States there are difficulties getting into those spaces. “

Wanted: Various role models

Astrid Vinje and her husband Clint Bush, along with their children, met Mexico, Costa Rica, Italy, France, Indonesia and the Philippines before arriving in Vietnam, where they were locked.

Astrid Vinje and her husband Clint Bush, along with their children, met Mexico, Costa Rica, Italy, France, Indonesia and the Philippines before arriving in Vietnam, where they were locked.

With kind permission of Astrid Vinje

Vinje (38) and her husband Clint Bush (41) left the United States in October 2018 with their two young children in tow. They met Mexico, Costa Rica, Italy, France, Indonesia, and the Philippines before arriving in Vietnam, where they spent the lockdown.

Vinje, who is of Indonesian descent, believes there are so few people of color out there because they have limited role models.

“Most people are used to their idea of ​​how to lead a life based on what their parents or families and those around them have done,” said Vinje, project manager for a global nonprofit organization. “If you have never personally known someone who chooses a different lifestyle, then you do not know that this is possible for you. Many of the families we met on our trip are actively choosing a different way of living our lives . “She noticed this while attending the Family Adventure Summit 2018, a conference for family travelers. Out of about 200 participants, there were only two biracial families. She opened an Instagram account, brownfamiliestraveling, to highlight other mobile color families.

“We have met so many wonderful people while traveling, regardless of our ethnicity, but sometimes we bond more with other color families because of shared experience in the world,” she said.

Vinje says she did not experience racism firsthand, but it did exist

Vinje says that she did not experience racism directly, but that there was “micro-aggression”.

With kind permission of Astrid Vinje

While Vinje did not experience racism directly, there was “micro-aggression,” she says. For example, when she was shopping in an electronics store in Indonesia and talking to the seller when another tourist, a Westerner, jumped in directly. Since Vinje is also of Indonesian descent, she believes that the other tourist assumed she was working and not shopping. She couldn’t possibly be another customer.

“I thought, ‘Sorry I’m here!’ ” She said. “That’s one reason I started this account to encourage more families to travel and to show other color families that it can be done and that you don’t have to limit yourself to what you see in the magazines or blogs.”

Comments are closed.