They are digital nomads. They are people of color. This is how they do it

(CNN) – King Trimble is 7 years old and, since June 2018, has visited more than a dozen countries, including Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. He was not alone. He was with his parents, Dale and DamiAna Trimble, and his younger siblings, Legend and Love, on a long journey around the world.
“We were tired of going through a routine,” DamiAna, 38, said on a call from Kenya, where the family has been living for a few months. “We are adrenaline junkies. Trip with three kids you have to be some kind of adrenaline junkie. “

Nomads on the rise

The Trimbles are so-called “ digital nomads, ” people who travel the world endlessly while working remotely. This in itself is not uncommon. A 2019 report 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 travel the world endlessly while working remotely.

Courtesy of Dale and DamiAna Trimble

Since Covid-19 and concerns about theft, many people have stepped into VR life. According to RV Industry Association, more than 40,462 RVs were shipped in June – a 10% increase from the previous year and the highest monthly total since October 2018.

Millions of people crave it these days, especially since Covid-19 hit.

But one thing they did note was that wherever they went they were one of the few, if not the only, families of color.

Although the family experienced no overt racism – “we were loved, welcomed wherever we went” – they knew they were in the minority.

‘Not a lot of options’

“Not many black people think there are enough options for them to earn an income and travel full time,” said DamiAna, who runs a web design business with her husband.

There are many reasons.

Since June 2018, the Trimbles have visited more than a dozen countries, including Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia.

Since June 2018, the Trimbles have visited more than a dozen countries, including Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia.

Courtesy of Dale and DamiAna Trimble

For starters, many color families don’t see themselves represented in magazines and online, so it doesn’t even occur to them that traveling is an option for them. They are busy saving money or doing jobs that require them to be in one place. Most “essential workers” are blacks or Latin Americans, reports The Center for Economic and Political Research. Their work cannot be done remotely or online.
Almost 65% of black households are headed 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 blended families.”

As a result, they are too busy trying to make ends meet than wondering where to travel.

The pyramid of needs

Tykesha S. Burton, 43, writer, editor and founder of MommaWanderlust.com, who organizes cultural trips for black families, thinks about it in terms of Abraham Maslow and his The pyramid of needs.

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

“As African Americans, we always take care of basic needs,” said Burton, who lives with her husband and two children in southern Maryland. “It is difficult to come to the realization of myself. I did not inherit a house; I did not pay for my college. I owe $ 80,000 in college debt. I have to work 40 hours. I could find a job remotely, but that’s not where I am yet. “

Privileged position

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

Ruth mendes homeschooled and traveling with her four children for the past eight years. After studying a subject, they would get in the car and visit the historic site: Gettysburg, say, or Flushing, Ohio, at Underground railway museum.

“By studying a certain region or culture, we were going there,” said Mendes, who lives in Burlington, Connecticut, with her kids and husband. During the pandemic, they only traveled to the United States.

She knows very well that she occupies a rare and privileged position.

"Few black people think there are enough options for them to earn an income and travel full time," said DamiAna Trimble, who runs a web design business with her husband.

“Few black people think there are enough options for them to earn an income and travel full time,” said DamiAna Trimble, who runs a web design business with her husband.

Courtesy of Dale and DamiAna Trimble

“I have an MBA, my husband is a doctor, we are very educated,” she said. “I have the option of saying, ‘I’m going to work from home, I want to make sure the curriculum isn’t biased.’ Not everyone has this option. They have to work multiple jobs. “

She noted that she had experienced more racism in the United States than abroad. “In other countries, it’s ‘if you have the money and you pay us, you are the most important person in the world’.”

Mendes plans his family trips down to the last detail. She often travels alone with the children while her husband, a doctor, stays home and works.

She plans trips “so that I don’t have to stop at stopovers or not do gas in parts of the country,” she said. “I am very careful that I am a black woman traveling with four black children.”

“There is a perceived difficulty in entering this kind of lifestyle because culturally and systemically people of color have not felt wanted in some places,” Mendes said. “We’re a family of skiers – 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, “Black people don’t do that. Well, why? Because there are difficulties in entering these spaces in the United States. “

Wanted: various role models

Astrid Vinje and her husband Clint Bush, along with their children, hit Mexico, Costa Rica, Italy, France, Indonesia and the Philippines before arriving in Vietnam, where they went into lockdown.

Astrid Vinje and her husband Clint Bush, along with their children, hit Mexico, Costa Rica, Italy, France, Indonesia and the Philippines before arriving in Vietnam, where they went into lockdown.

Courtesy 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 hit Mexico, Costa Rica, Italy, France, Indonesia and the Philippines before arriving in Vietnam, where they went through confinement.

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

“Most people are used to their idea of ​​how to live life based on what their parents or family and those around them have done,” said Vinje, project manager for a global non-profit organization. “If you’ve never personally known someone who chooses a different lifestyle, you wouldn’t know it’s possible for you. families as we met while traveling, we actively choose a different way to live our life. “
It struck her when she attended 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, Brown, to highlight other mobile colored families.

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

Vinje says she was not a victim of racism, but says there has been "microaggressions."

Vinje says she has not experienced outright racism, but says there have been “microaggressions”.

Courtesy of Astrid Vinje

Although Vinje did not experience outright racism, there were “microaggressions,” she says. Like when she was shopping in an electronics store in Indonesia, talking to the seller, when another tourist, a westerner stepped in. Because Vinje is also of Indonesian descent, she thinks the other tourist assumed she was working, not shopping. She couldn’t be another customer.

“I thought, ‘Excuse me, I’m here!’ “she said.” This is one of the reasons I created this account, to encourage more families to travel and show other families of color that it is possible and that you don’t. not to be limited by what you see in magazines or blogs. “




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