Diversify Vanlife is...
1.) A platform that highlights the less-heard voices in the vanlife, road travel and nomadic communities.
• We amplify the stories of those who identify as BIPOC, LGBTQIA2S, and those with disabilities. This is a space to elevate those who do not fit the white, cis, straight, able-bodied narrative of nomads and outdoorists represented in our media.
2.) A practical resource.
• For too long, vanlife has been portrayed as a lifestyle accessible exclusively to those with wealth or privilege, or the fit and able-bodied. We provide the tools and information to create a collective roadmap to making vanlife or exploring the outdoors a reality. Because everyone deserves nature reconnection.
3.) A fair space for education & content.
• We highlight the importance of both learning and unlearning on our respective journeys. We listen to learn, ask questions when we can’t research for ourselves, and compensate BIPOC for their time + voice as much as possible.
Reclaiming Safe Spaces
Barriers to accessing and being one with the outdoors often infringe on the freedoms of people who identify as BIPOC. Eurocentric definitions of sustainability and land advocacy hinder BIPOC from protecting the same land where their ancestors may have once been enslaved, stolen, forcibly removed, or mistreated. We are here to fight White supremacy on stolen lands, and we are a landback-driven movement. We do not tolerate racism, performative allyship, or abuse/tokenism of BIPOC identity.
When a real commitment to authentic diversity and inclusion does not exist, non-majority peoples are often forced to present a false narrative of themselves to feel safe enough to access nature. Underrepresentation, inaccessibility and exclusion in the outdoors creates threatening spaces for Black, Indigenous, Asian, Latinx, People of Color, LGBTQIA2S+, and those with disabilities.
We are tired of being questioned or unseen. We are not an anomaly. We do not need permission. Diversify Vanlife is shifting the narrative of the modern nomadic movement because we are here, and proud.
Building Our Own Safe Spaces
Building authentically safe spaces in the outdoors begins by respecting the land, as well as prioritizing our mental health and physical well-being. When we create content and push for BIPOC visibility, we do so with sustainability, intersectionality, and community needs at the forefront of our minds.
Our growing community was founded on an Earth love that runs deep, and is fluid; and it touches everything we create. From our podcast and blog, to our events and social media, we have finally given greater audiences a more accurate portrayal of what a diverse and inclusive community looks like in the outdoors, and also the PROOF that BIPOC are taking up space and doing great things.
How We Create + Cultivate
Nomads at the Intersections podcast dives deep into the stories and challenges of the diverse members of our nomadic community.
From virtual events and workshops to help you get on the road, to gatherings that are truly open to the full diversity of all nomads.
Fostering accurate representation and acceptance in the nomadic community by highlighting travelers from marginalized groups.
Who's Behind the Scenes?
Founder + Explorer in Chief + Writer + Podcaster
Hi there! I’m Noami (she/her), founder of Diversify Vanlife and host of Nomads at the Intersections podcast. I was born and raised on the island of Trinidad in the West Indies. I’m a nomad living on the road in my camper van with my partner and pup, since 2016. I’m also an environmentalist, low-waste advocate, writer, certified yoga instructor, and avid runner & backpacker. I believe in the power of sustainable thinking and healthy + ethical living and their ability to inspire us to live in harmony with our natural world and each other. I do my best to embody this maxim in my everyday life.
I created @diversify.vanlife in 2019 as a safe space for Black, Indigenous, Asian, LatinX, and other people of color and underrepresented individuals in the nomadic/road travel community. I desperately needed a space where I could connect with other travelers and outdoorists like myself, a space where our voices could be elevated, a space free from the whitewashed narrative typically depicted in the media. I figured, if this was something I needed, then other people may need it as well. And I was right.
Thank you for being a part of our growing, diverse community of nomads, road travelers, and outdoorists.
Through this platform I’m challenged daily and continue to learn how to show up and hold space, not only for myself, but for other marginalized people. Diversify Vanlife has gifted me a sense of belonging and community I never could have imagined on that warm spring day when I left New Orleans.
Co-Founder & Co-Creative Director
Hi y’all, I’m Ola (he/him)! (It’s technically pronounced “Aw-lah”, but most people seem to find “hola” easier and I’m cool with it 🙂 I’m originally from Lagos, Nigeria by way of London, England but the US has been home since 2012! My partner and I got our first van in the Spring of 2019 and we’ve been on and off the road ever since!
The outdoors is an irreplaceable and precious gift that everyone should be able to access. I’m really excited to participate in what Diversify Vanlife is doing to amplify underrepresented voices and challenge current narratives around the nomadic and outdoor communities. Outside of what I do with the Diversify Vanlife fam, I’m a writer-director/documentary filmmaker/podcast producer – which is all to say, telling stories is my chosen way of promoting empathy and celebrating humanity.
Heya! I’m Rachel (she/her), a nature, travel and music enthusiast originally from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I’ve held passions for photography, videography and music since I was a kid, but I feel I truly discovered my love and eye for visual arts while at Duke, where I majored in Visual and Media Studies and recently graduated. I’m excited about using art, film, podcasts and other media to uplift voices and stories often left unheard, challenge norms, and foster empathy and human connection. I’m also a big fan of hikes and all things outdoor, and a huge proponent and student of the healing powers of nature; connecting with and giving back to the land and seas has always been important to me.
I’ve been on the road on and off with my partner Ola since 2019, and in 2021 we’ll be shifting more towards full-time nomad status in our new shuttle bus. We’re also in the process of launching our independent media production company, Busted Slate Media (@bustedslate). Through this, we hope to continue to make media and art that touch the soul and inspire radical empathy, all while being able to create on the road in our home-/studio-on-wheels and out in nature’s beauty.
I’ve felt so blessed to have found close friends and a strong community within the nomadic space, and I’m incredibly honored to be an accomplice in furthering the missions of diversity, equity, and intentional inclusivity in these nomadic and outdoor spaces (and beyond).
Being a part of this amazing DV team is one way I hope to be an accomplice in this work. Through DV, I’m also pumped to help further empower and strengthen the community, and my own connections to it, by supporting my incredible teammates and fellow community members as well as contributing my skills, presence, listening ears and open mind.
Social Media Manager + Community Guidance
Namaste, I’m Faren Rebecca Rajkumar (she/her). I hope we meet on the road someday! I’m a first gen West Indian-American from Florida. I’ve been fortunate to thrive nomadically for a few years: backpacking in SE Asia, exploring the PNW and Desert SW, and climbing, hiking, learning, and writing as much as I can. Thanks to ancestors who paved the way, reunion with Mother Earth, and vanlife, I’ve finally arrived at a genuine obsession with this existence.
These are some of the sacred causes always on my mind: Restoring Indigenous rights, delivering reparations, reversing the cis-white male bias in “outdoor adventure” (especially climbing and hiking!), and defending our endangered wildlife, waters, and woods kin.
I’m grateful to have found a chosen family in the growing BIPOC nomad community. We are telling our stories, protecting as we roam, and decolonizing without apology. To me, community means a safe space to exist, express, evolve, and uplift one another. Diversify Vanlife offers and expands this space, and I’m proud to be part of this fiercely proactive team.
I’m Mohit (he/him), a very passionate socio-environmentalist. Wandering the roads for almost five years, I have found purpose in helping those in need, especially in my home country of India. As time goes on, I seek to put my background in environmental sciences to serve underprivileged communities wherever I get an opportunity to.
Very excited to work with the Diversify Vanlife team and create such a necessary and safe space for our community to show up as their authentic selves.
Mohit’s IG: @thelostcosmicdust
Social Media Assistant
Hello! I’m Bess (she/her) and I’ve been traveling on the road with my partner Blix since winter 2020.My favorite place to travel has been the south, and I’d rather do long drives at night. I am a river and mountain gal. Most importantly, I’m passionate about the power of representation, doing the hard thing, and always thinking about who might be forgotten in a conversation.
I’m so thrilled to be on the Diversify Vanlife team, as it has been a dream of mine ever since entering the vanlife space.Our travels started in California and took us to 12 different states over a year before landing in Minneapolis, Minnesota where we were able to purchase a stationary home. Today, I do part-time vanlife and enjoy being able to have a homebase while still planning for more adventures. A lot of my travels are dictated by my burlesque shows that happen all over the US and sometimes internationally.
Content Creator + Consultant
Hi there! I’m Wynnē Weddell (she/her). I am a proud member of the Ihanktonwan (Yankton Sioux) nation, currently based in the southwest working on my partner and I’s camper build. I spent many years living in the Pacific Northwest studying environmental conservation and sustainability, focusing on the impact colonialism leaves on the natural world and our relationship to the land. I aim to protect and raise awareness about injustices related to the land and the BIPOC community.
I am a writer, contributor, and consultant for Diversify Vanlife. I am enthusiastic about being a part of a team dedicated to amplifying BIPOC voices in outdoor spaces and advocating for environmental consciousness within the nomadic community. I also create beadwork as a form of healing medicine to help myself and others cope with the climate change and social injustice issues of today.
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