Traveling the world is not just for the rich and famous. Regular every day people are taking flight and their travel experiences are often life changing. Meet Evita Robinson, Founder of Nomad•ness TV and discover how falling in love with travel led her to her passion.
EBONY: So, when did you first fall in love with travel?
Evita Robinson: I fell in love with travel when I was sitting in front of the Eiffel Tower, on the Grand Lawn, in Paris during the summer of 2006. I had graduated college less than three months prior and as everyone else was looking for a job, I looked for the world. I’d just finished seeing a short film I’d produced with the New York Film Academy in a theater at La Femis Film School and I was on cloud 99 at that point. Right there, on that lawn, I made the promise I would bridge my love for media with a newfound love for travel, and soon after my travel series Nomad•ness TV was born.
EBONY: Nomad•ness TV has followed your solo journeys through Berlin, Cambodia, Thailand and more. But your group Nomad•ness Travel Tribe has become a movement, bringing together travelers from all over the globe. How do you share the love with members so spread out?
ER: Prior to creating Nomad•ness Travel Tribe, I traveled solo everywhere. Where my travel series, Nomad•ness TV had been solely about me up to that point, the Nomad•ness Travel Tribe was instantly something I recognized and respected as being greater than myself. We have a member, Alex Hardy, who is just a spitfire type of character. His humor is unrelenting and he was someone that I noticed other members really took to. It always bothered me that he was one of the few members who lived in a country (Panama) where there weren’t other members around him. So, I decided to round up the troops and we brought the love to him. In total, eighteen of us joined him in Panama for the Tribe’s first NomadnessX Group Trip.
EBONY: Was there a defining moment during your trip that you’ll never forget?
ER: Seeing as though Panama was the first ever NomadnessX Trip, there were a ton of moments I’ll never forget. For me the family style dinners we cooked together every night were the standouts, hands down. The openness, truth, lack of judgment, and fun emanated in that kitchen very single night we took the time to cook and eat as a group. Those moments and conversations are something I will remember for a lifetime.
EBONY: Sounds like a great time! What other experiences do you seek out when you travel?
ER: I want the truth. I want to see what ghettos may look like. I want to know what the underground cultural experience is made up of. I want to volunteer, if possible, while there. What ways can I not just take from, but give back to? Art, music, and volunteering tend to take precedence when I travel. I’d say food and local pastimes would be next.
EBONY: Something that keeps many from traveling is dealing with the various barriers that may arise. How did you deal with racial, cultural and/or language barriers and differences while traveling?
ER: I understand that I am the visitor, and I play that role. I like to really see the guts of a city and country for however long I am there. Good, bad, ugly, and beautiful. With that in mind, I also know my boundaries. I am very respectful and you learn not to take certain actions personally. Sadly, much of how people of color are perceived abroad is through media portrayals. I’d say be a sponge and don’t take it to heart. Put yourself in their shoes.
EBONY: What five countries are on your travel bucket list?
ER: Egypt, Greece, South Africa, Morocco and Brazil
EBONY: What advice would you give to someone looking to travel, but feel they are being held back by finances, jobs, children, age, fear, etc?
ER: Make it a priority. The cool thing about the Universe is that when you want something, you can absolutely get it. Start making small actions that lead to greater actions to get there. Save money in a separate account, so you don’t see it. Work extra hours, not for money, but for extended vacation days off from work. Choose smart. There is a reason why most backpackers start traveling in South East Asia. It is beyond cheap there. Go where your money will go the farthest, bring your kids, do whatever is necessary to get out there.
EBONY: From that day on the lawn in Paris to now, how has falling in love with travel shaped your life and view of the world?
ER: It’s changed everything because it is everything to me. I have now created a full on business behind my passion for travel. A movement has formed, literally and figuratively, that has directed a whole new course in my life, all from travel. My personal relationships have stemmed from what I have created in travel. It was such a broad spectrum but travel has changed everything for me.
EBONY: Three words to describe why people should travel?
ER: Perspective, tolerance and introspection.
Danielle Pointdujour is a native Brooklynite living and writing in the Big Apple. You can find Danielle sharing her personal outlook on love, life and travel on various publications across the web.