Photo Credit: Wanda Duncan
Meet The Woman Behind The International Black Women Travel Jubilee Coming In December
The International Black Women Travel Jubilee is happening on December 4 and 5. A virtual travel conference for Black women, the event will provide a space where those who are interested in learning more about being location independent can come and participate in workshops focusing on travel, wellness, and creating an online income.
The conference is being organized and hosted by Wanda Duncan, Community Manager, Podcaster, and Event Producer of Black Women Travl, one of the first digital spaces created specifically for Black women travelers.
“When I left the States in 2016, I was so excited to step into a life more of my making,” said Wanda. “I was eager to experience myself through the world. And with that came the desire to connect with others who were doing something similar.”
However, Wanda found many digital nomad hot spots to be lacking in representation and depth. Though these places had a reputation for people being able to connect, share, and learn from like-minded folks, Wanda did not experience that.
“There’s something about someone seeing you, truly. Someone who might have an idea of what you just came out of, and how that place in some ways is probably still impacting how you show up as you’re trying to figure out what works for you in terms of travel style and creating an online business. I needed that, so I decided to create that.”
Finding nothing anywhere that focused specifically on Black women travelers, Wanda started the Black Women Digital Nomad Entrepreneurs Facebook group in 2017.
“I wanted us to lean on one another, uplift one another, collaborate, and know that it was possible to travel on your own terms, make money from your imagination, and be whole while doing it.”
In 2019, Wanda started the Black Women Travel Podcast, where she made a conscious effort to talk to all kinds of Black women from all over, discussing where and who they came from, the decisions they’ve made along the way that have helped them become who they are, how they care for themselves and overcome challenges, and how travel has impacted their lives.
She discovered that while Black women are so different throughout the diaspora, there are some things that have a deep effect on us and our ability to connect with ourselves, serve the communities we want to serve, fulfill our potential, and experience fulfillment in the process of creation.
“I focus on Black women because I am one, I’ve been there, and we deserve. Black women are used to sacrificing for others, used to not resting, used to being the strong friend, used to experiencing emotional unavailability from ourselves, family, friends, and romantic partners. We’re used to non-Black people profiting from our culture and us leaving money on the table when it comes to charging for our worth.”
“We’re used to doing the most with the least, and I simply want us to expect more from ourselves and from each other. Pretty much everything I create is an ongoing discussion of how that can look for you. For me, it’s not travel in and of itself. It’s being able to experience the possibilities of life through a trip and stoking the flames of hope and feeling alive because you are taking yourself out of your known surroundings.”
Desiring a place where Black women could get together and travel, teach one another, and have a dedicated space to learn more about how to monetize the work we do, as well as motivate one another to get started, keep going, and dream bigger, Wanda began planning for the International Black Women Travel Jubilee. Originally intended to be an in-person travel conference, the pandemic prompted her to shift it to an online event.
Interested women are invited to attend the weekend of live workshops (which will also be recorded) to gain guidance on the next steps to take in building their brand. Workshop teachers for the International Black Women Travel Jubilee include Youmie Jean-Francois, who has already sold one business and currently focuses on travel wellness through her company Flex N Fly. Having collaborated with airlines to create in-flight wellness programs, she is working on opening physical locations in airports worldwide.
Attendees seeking more hands-on involvement, are welcomed to join the Black Women Travel Mastermind, where ladies will experience group accountability in taking their ideas from theory to action over the course of a three-month period.
“We’re excited to welcome you! Whether you’re of retirement age or straight out of high school, we want to help provide you resources that show you the ins and outs of traveling and engaging in what I call Soul Work, because once you get there, drinking on the beach every day will get old. Traveling is a chance for you to deeply connect with the creativity inside you. That’s where you’ll find fulfillment.”