What is Diversify Vanlife?
Diversify Vanlife is a platform that highlights the less-heard voices in the Vanlife 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. We’re here to show that ANYONE can hit the trail, the road, and experience this earth in their own way.
Reclaiming Safe Spaces
Barriers to the outdoors infringe on our freedoms as sovereign peoples. Eurocentric ideals for sustainability and land advocacy hinder us from protecting the land, and uphold painful legacies of white supremacy on stolen lands. These violent ideals leave no room for the existence of diverse traditions, practices or cultures.
When a commitment to authentic diversity and inclusion does not exist, people are 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, and people of color at all intersections. Diversity, equity and inclusion must be intersectional and intentional, otherwise it is performative.
Let go of what you thought you knew; Unlearning is normal
Diversify Vanlife is a living resource. We are a platform that reimagines and redefines community. Our energy is centered on community care and authenticity. By amplifying underrepresented voices of BIPOC, LGBTQIA2S+, and those with disabilities, we have the audacity to bypass the notion that we need to be invited in order to be heard. We do not need permission. Diversify Vanlife is shifting the narrative of the modern nomadic movement.
Together, we build our own safe spaces
Building authentically safe spaces in the outdoors, and its media, begins by respecting the land, as well as prioritizing our mental health and physical well-being. We create content with sustainability, intersectionality, and community needs at the forefront of our minds. Our growing community was founded on a love that runs deep, and is fluid; and it touches everything we create. From our podcast and blog, to our events and monthly magazine, we have redefined what a diverse and inclusive community looks like in the outdoors.
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.
Community Manager + Writer
I’m Anaïs (she/her), a writer, a nomad and an empath (three truths I’ve carried like burdens for decades)
The photography dark room in my high school helped me battle intense anxiety from carrying so much that I did not understand about myself. To much dismay at the time, I attended an art college in Savannah, instead of pursuing a degree in Psychology. At that school, I felt seen for the first time in my life, but could not afford the high tuition of a private art school. My intended majors, fashion merchandising and photography, instead became my real life experiences, learning as I went.
Not having a safety net and making adjustments in the moment prepared me to write for a start-up fashion magazine, open a gorilla-style photography practice, create looks and open stores for a major fashion brand, become a flight attendant and eventually build my own camper. Only recently have I stood confidently as a writer, but I recognize it correlates with my intentional withdrawal from white supremacist and capitalistic ideals.
Maturity taught me that being an empath means boundaries are mandatory for my survival in a world that only values feelings in theory, rather than in reality. Growing into womanhood has shown me my strength, the outdoor space has helped me get back to center, and Diversify Vanlife has gifted me a community to embrace. I’m not an expert on anything, not even love. However, I do know the best we can give of ourselves are our hearts and our talents; love must be the reason for all things.
Find Anaïs Monique in various parts of the internet under @anaismoniq
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.
Hello there, I am Denise Meeker (she/her). I am the blog manager for Diversify Vanlife. I am a travel and outdoor enthusiast. In college, I worked as a meditation and mindfulness facilitator and I am passionate about destigmatizing conversations about mental health and wellness. I believe that being outdoors and in nature is a way to get in touch with our authentic selves and seeing yourself represented makes all of the difference. From this passion, I created my blog wayfaretowellness.com and Instagram @wayfaretowellness
Through my contribution to the Diversify Vanlife community, I aim to challenge all of us to step outside of our comfort zone and engage in sometimes difficult but necessary conversations. Through introspection, communication, connection, and community activism I believe that we can come together and create a more just and equitable world.
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.
Living nomadically brings me to beautiful views and mountain adventures across the US, but more importantly, guides me spiritually through unlearning processes regarding land, history, culture, expectation, trauma, and consumption.
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.
My partner and I strive to reduce our travel impact through minimalist living, consumption, and are working towards our dream of driving from Alaska to Chile in a 100% solar-electric rig. Ultimately, we plan to homestead on a few quiet acres, hopefully with many dogs, cats, and llamas. I also do seasonal farm work, freelance writing, and offer herbal medicine & crystal healing from the road.
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.
Poems, stories, and photography on IG: @faren_wanderer
Climbing community resources on IG: @sworegonclimbing
Herbal offerings shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/WildHeartOfferings
Artist + Writer + Contributor
What’s uppp! I’m Jayme (she/her, queer), co-creator of Gnomad Home. I’m very passionate about storytelling and radical honesty. Unpacking the realities of my past, present and future through written word is a very important outlet in my life and has connected me with many strangers on a deep and important level. I also have a strong drive to holistically help those around me – whether they be strangers or loved ones.
My husband and I have always been avid travelers and spent about 3 years traveling the US of A in our van which we built with our own two hands. The vanlife community we’ve come in contact with has made such a lasting impact on our lives — reminding us of the importance of connection, and the power in creating family not attached by blood. It’s been an honor to work on the Diversify Vanlife team and create such a necessary space for our community to share all insights and experiences of our vibrant and eclectic group of nomadic neighbors.
Art Director + Writer
Namaste + Welcome
Folx call me Asha (she/them) of @asha_art.n.soul A nature based non-binary/queer Illustrator, Writer and Mixed-Heritage Holistic Medicine Womxn, offering resources for self-healing, art/branding services, prints and herbs at asha-artnsoul.com
I travel alongside dog-child companion ‘Odin’, prioritizing a life centered around healing with nature, movement and intentionality. We chose to live nomadically in an effort to experience the best versions of ourselves, and understand through exploration, rather than appropriation or assumption, advocating for peace, justice and expansion of consciousness along the way. Over the course of a year and some change, we (pup mostly napped) self-converted an empty work van into a mobile art + apothecary studio (La Doña: named after my grandmother), which opened the door to a world of knowledge directly from the plants that we draw, grow, consume, revere and advocate for.
To me, nature means play, change, challenge, trickery, instinct and survival. Living with more intentionality has enabled me to reclaim nature as a part of self – a homecoming like no other. The landscape is an enchanted place that aligns sovereignty with connection, as a form of healing (“ahem, free healthcare”). Whether navigating the bustling streets of Delhi, or island life on Taino/Caribe territory, the constant has been the spirit of elemental nature, shape-shifting in order to orchestrate life, guiding us toward the next destination.
Tapping into ancestral wisdom and intentionally re-wilding has fed my soul on the road, while the sustainability of living a nomadic experience alongside a community as nurturing, collaborative and honest as Diversify Vanlife, has granted me access to a wellspring of opportunities: collaborating creativity, brainstorming with community, and wellness support from a growing virtual family of likeminded peoples. For me, community is a van life essential.
Book Club Captain + Content Creator
Hey friends, I’m Bree (they/them) of @doesthiscountasvanlife! I’m a Black Queer non-binary nomad, and I’m currently roaming the north american continent in my self-renovated vintage RV, Hottie. I travel with my two giant dogs, documenting the journey in photos, videos, and words sprinkled across various corners of the internet. My most recent endeavors have been attempting to hack it at youtube, fighting my ADHD when it comes to consistently updating my blog, lifewithbree, and being the Head Bookworm over at Diversify Vanlife Bookclub.
With a degree in political science and a background in international politics, political advocacy, and policy debate from pre-vanlife, I have a soapbox to pull out for just about any and every form of injustice. These days I’m most passionate about love (yes, I said love), anti-fascism, the abolition of the Prison Industrial Complex, cannabis legalization, disrupting the gender binary + advocating for trans rights, dismantling white supremacy and the ultimate dissolution of capitalism.
Moving into Hottie– thus freeing myself of the capitalist demands of stationary living and the expectations/culture of a corporate work environment, has afforded me the freedom and space to explore these issues in ways that my old life never did. Since joining the Diversify Vanlife Community, and eventually the Diversify Vanlife team, I have found nothing but supportive and loving humans who encourage me to speak up wherever and however I feel called to, replacing a world that felt like it was always trying to quiet me. Joining the Diversify Vanlife team has given me the ultimate in safe spaces to do and share all of the things I feel moved to as we push for collective change, and I couldn’t be happier that Noami and the rest of the Cool Kids on this team let me sit with them.
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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