Celebrating Women of African Descent

Travel The World with Evita

After graduating with a B.A. in Television and Film production from Iona College, Evita Robinson, who grew up in Poughkeepsie, New York, hit the world running, or creating, rather. Within weeks of graduation, in 2006, she attended the New York Film Academy, studying Digital Filmmaking in Paris, France at La Femis film school. Since her first taste of Europe, at age twenty-one, Evita has traveled to eleven countries, on three different continents. She has since lived in Paris, Japan, and Thailand, filming her travel series, the Nomad•ness and teaching English.

Nomad·ness TV is the reality series of one woman, with one Tribe, traveling the world, one country at a time. Through these journeys, Evita brings you urban life as it’s lived around the world. Exploring art, music, food, local pastimes, and causes unique to each area she travels within. Within each country, Evita links with members of her popular Facebook Group: Nomad·ness Travel Tribe. Previous meet ups with members have taken place in New York City, Los Angeles, Rio, London, Shanghai and Houston, Texas. This is the travel experience for the young adventurer that has a creative edge and wants to see the world through a relevant eye. It is a movement for an underrepresented demographic in the travel industry.

Weeks before her trip to Panama with her Travel tribe, AfroElle caught up with Evita to learn more about her love for travel an her  travel series Nomadness.

What excites you about travel?

Everything. I like risk. I like change. I get bored extremely easy, and I need to continually challenge myself. I love the opportunity to never stop learning. Everywhere you go, you see new faces, witness new customs, and find a piece of yourself in every single city you visit.

What motivated you to start your travel series and what do you hope to achieve with it?

I believe conformity is a choice. I believe that most of the world’s population suffers from analysis paralysis. They think about things so much, to a point of dissection, and become paralyzed by fear. I found that to be largely true when it came to why people didn’t travel. Fear of the unknown, of not knowing the language, of how much it would cost. Many people’s perceptions on the cost of travel are completely off balance with reality, and it forms a barrier. My goal is to have Nomad•ness web series picked up as a television series, funded, and given the platform it deserves to reach the masses. There is no travel figure, let alone show, in mass media that has a face attached to it that people in urban areas can identify with. Not one. I am the face of that change, of that movement. Not only do I represent young women, and women of color who backpack, but I want my show to have a reach for all those that identify with an urban lifestyle. I want a kid from my neighborhood in the Bronx to see my Berlin episode and watch me camp out for three days at splash Hip Hop festival in Germany. I want them to see that there are facets of travel that directly relates to their interests here in the States. The goal is to catapult that into growing the movement of young people traveling.

What was the inspiration behind the name ‘Nomadness’?

As a world traveler, I am a nomad. I wanted to have a unique play off of the word, yet I had trouble coming up with a name for the series. The actual name, Nomad•ness came from a friend during a Skype conversation, while I was living in Japan. He used it as an adjective describing how I lived my life. It stuck out so much. I knew immediately I had to make it the title of the series.

So, any memorable destination?

They’re all memorable and all for different reasons. Living in Japan for a year, is different from living in Thailand for two months, which is different from being in Germany for a week. One of the most memorable places that I simply found enchanting was Cambodia. I had to do a visa run from Thailand to Cambodia, by myself and I decided to go to see the Angkor Wat Ruins in Siem Reap, Cambodia. After seeing the Taj Mahal, I’d become obsessed with seeing World Wonders. Walking through Ta Prohm, Angkor Thom, and eventually Angkor was mind numbing and soul fulfilling. Climbing through these ancient civilizations puts life into true perspective..

Many people have a mindset that travelling is expensive, what are your top 3 tips on traveling on a budget?

1. Plan where you are going based on your budget. There’s a reason why most backpackers go to South East Asia first for long winded trips. You can have a three course meal for the equivalent of $1. 2. Put your priorities in check. If you are serious about traveling, act like it. Put it out into the Universe, and take action. Don’t buy those new shoes or drink at the bar. Start saving little by little.

3. Closed mouths don’t get fed. Ask for help. This can range from using social media as a way to do an online fundraising round to fund your trip, all the way to using skill sets you already have. If you are in media, even simply a blogger, use that as a pitch to Boards of Tourism, hostels, and companies to see if you can get accommodations or activities for free.

Do you think at some point in your life the travelling bug will leave you?

No, but I do think my priorities will shift when I want to start a family. I’m twenty seven now, knocking on twenty-eight years old, and I find that my life is more fulfilled than many people I speak to that are my age, with the proverbial American dream of kids and marriage. When the time comes I will slow down, but I’ll never stop. My goal is to have kids once I know I’m in a place financially where I can take them to physically visit the places they will learn about in text books.

Do you have any travelling goals you have for this year?

My Nomad•ness Travel Tribe and I are experiencing our first ever group trip starting January 15th, to Panama. I threw a poll up in our group to see where everyone is interested in going, post-Panama. Our top three, vote wise, are Germany, Spain, and Peru. Those will be my focus upon my return from Panama.

You started your own travel bag line, can you give us more details about that business venture?

Of all the ‘types’ of travelers there are, I identify most with backpackers. That’s how I travel. In my observations I found that backpackers were given this bad rep as being ‘dirt bags’. I, being the personality I am, said I’m going to embrace that name, and give it a sense of pride. In conjunction I’m going to flip the backpacking industry on its head. All the backpacks I’ve seen are really bleak and that bothered me. Why are there no bright, graphic, vibrant backpacks. Again, being true to my entrepreneurial roots, I said ok I’m going to make them myself. Thus, the creation of my travel bag line (still in its infancy stages) called DRT•BG.

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