How This Family Is Inspiring Other Black Families To Try Adventure Travel

PUBLISHED: Oct 8, 2020 9:13 AM

Over the last few years, Black people taking up space in the adventure travel world have been thrust into the spotlight. This isn’t to say that we just discovered adventure travel, but it seems to be more of the norm and accepted.

Typically though, when we see Black adventurers, they tend to be younger or those who seek thrills on their own and with friends.

For Huntsville, Alabama couple George and Zenovia Stephens, the goal is to also expose Black families, and inspire them to show their children the beauty in trying new things. They travel often with their 3 sons, so they can be exposed to the lifestyle from an early age.

Courtesy of Black Adventure Crew

“My husband and I have always loved a good adventure,” Zenovia Stephens told Travel Noire. “While dating during college, we would chase rainbows and drive all over Huntsville, looking for new things to get into. This continued during our marriage’s early years as we moved away to Florida, back to Alabama, and traveled in between.”

In 2015, the couple took a trip to DeSoto State Park in Alabama. Being able to witness one of Alabama’s tallest waterfalls, DeSoto Falls, changed their outlook and helped them to see that adventure lived in their own backyard. It also showed them that they didn’t need to move to another state just to seek out adventure.

“We were inspired to begin Black Adventure Crew because we weren’t seeing people that looked like us out doing the things we were doing. Not only that, we struggled to get friends to join us on our outings. We heard things like “Black people don’t do…” or “you just lost your Black card,” and it bothered us.”

Courtesy of Black Adventure Crew

The couple came to the understanding that the hesitation of friends and family to join their adventures, erupted from a lack of seeing other people who looked like them doing it first. So, they started their brand in hopes that Black families would have that representation needed to say, “we can do this too.”

As a family, the Stephens enjoy hiking, finding waterfalls, and camping. Most recently, they took a trip to York County, South Carolina where they were able to stay in a camper, wakeboard, and ride on an Olympic-level BMX course. 

“I’d say it currently tops our list,” Zenovia said. “We love trying new things, and it isn’t uncommon for us to visit a place, enjoy and deem it our new favorite for the time being.”

Courtesy of Black Adventure Crew

The main lesson that the couple wants their sons to take away from their family excursions, is that you make your own adventure.

“Don’t wait for the fancy, elaborate or expensive trips to do something new or different. Seek it out right where you are, and learn to appreciate what you have. If those big trips never come, our kids will still have experienced a wonderful life filled with exploration and adventure. All it takes is a decision.”

To learn more about Black Adventure Crew and to catch the family’s next adventure, you can find them online at: www.blackadventurecrew.com. You can also follow along on Instagram at: @blackadventurecrew.

Related: The Black Expat Family: ‘We Felt At Home In Tanzania, So We Decided To Stay’

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