Written by Faren Rajkumar
Introducing Toyin Ajayi @YourLifeAfter25, founder of the new app: Outdoorsy Black Women! The app launched in May 2021, and promises to be a welcoming, inspiring, and fun space for Black Women to learn, meet up, explore possibilities, and be safe.
“I’ve always been an outdoorsy person, as a kid, I would always try to save animals and plants in my neighbors garden. Once I got older, I knew that when I was outside and around water… that’s when I felt the calmest and at peace. I knew that I wanted to travel and see what the world had to offer but with being attached to a lease, I didn’t know my options. One day I discovered vanlife and nomadic living, and that changed my whole life and perspective. I’d always thought about having a tiny house but the idea of living tiny and being able to travel from place to place didn’t occur to me before vanlife. Over time my vision changed and now I live life in a way that works for me, in my travel trailer lol. I love being able to go for a hike or bike ride right outside my door. I’m still at the beginning of this adventure and lifestyle change but it’s definitely one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
1. What motivated you to create Outdoorsy Black Women?
“Honestly, being an outdoorsy Black woman myself, I just created something that I knew I wanted and needed. There are so many moves happening in the outdoor world to give it the representation that Black people need and I’m very thankful for all the work everyone is doing. For me, I saw a void that I could fill. The Outdoorsy Black Women social network and app was something I created both out of necessity and passion. I noticed that a lot of Black women were doing dope, magical, outdoorsy things but somehow we just didn’t all know we are.”
2. What is your hope for this new social network?
“I want this to be a safe space to connect, celebrate, learn, and inspire each other to continue to do dope things! I’m really big on giving back when I can. I would love to be able to organize ways to help others with van builds, help people get resources for outdoor adventures, etc. I want it to become a social community.”
3. What does community mean to you?
“I love this question. For me community means connection, safety, growth, learning, accountability and celebration.”
4. What are some challenges you face as a black woman in the outdoors?
“I think the biggest one can be just having to carve your space in the outdoor world. There are plenty of people out there that don’t feel like you belong, it’s up to us to reclaim it because this world was made for us too, and we deserve to enjoy it in all its majesty.”
5. Any thoughts you’d like to express to BIPOC allies?
“Always be ready to listen and learn. An ally’s voice should not be louder than who they seek to help, but they should use their influence to elevate the voices of those they want to help.”
6. How do you practice joy?
“So many ways; going to the beach and dipping my feet in the water, dancing/singing in my camper, prayer, showing gratitude and helping others. I try to find joy in all aspects of life when possible.”
7. Anything else you want to share with the community about Outdoorsy Black Women or yourself?
“Outdoorsy Black Women is so much bigger than me. I want it to be bigger and better than anything I can imagine, but I do know that with any app it’s always a constant progression. I want us to be proud of it and want to share it with any and all Black women we know lol. Someone did ask me about what I’d do if I was offered money for it. I’ll say this, I never want Outdoorsy Black Women to be not majority-owned by a Black Woman or Black Women. I look forward to connecting with different people/groups in the outdoor world and welcoming them on the platform. This isn’t about profit or competing with each other. It’s about having and keeping something for us.”