Editor’s Letter: Welcome to DETOUR

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  • Published on June 7, 2022
  • Last Updated March 10, 2023
  • In DETOUR Desk

Dawn S. Booker, editor in chief of DETOUR, celebrates not only the launch of a new Black travel publication but also the very power of Black travel.

For me, traveling is like breathing, and I am not alone in that conviction. That Black people travel is a given. I know that Black people have always traveled, and we have always shared the stories, images, and narrative accounts of our journey.

My first exposure to travel shaped my perception that travel is a natural part of our lives as Black people, not a luxury reserved for others. Travel and specifically, the beach, is a source of joy for my family. Growing up in the working-class city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, we were not near the ocean, but no matter what was happening in our lives, every summer the Booker family went on vacation. We either journeyed to the resort city of Wildwood, on the New Jersey Shore, or we would set off in a rental bus with all our cousins and extended family for our annual reunion. There was beauty in loading the car, stopping at every Howard Johnson’s along the way singing the folk song 500 Miles Away From Home, and arriving full of anticipation of family times, laughs, and community. More than 40 years after my summers in Wildwood, travel still feels natural and essential for me.

After moving to Paris in my mid-40s, to pursue a masters degree in Global Communications, I came back to North Carolina and started Pack Light Global, an experiential travel company to encourage and inspire Black women, 40 and older, to see the world.

I am thrilled that award-winning travel journalist, avid traveler and author Ron Stodghill had the vision that inspired the creation of DETOUR. Ron realized that, now more than ever, Black people are embracing the world of travel and seeking to find community with like-minded explorers. In many ways, Black travel groups likeBlack Girls Travel Too, The Nomadness Travel Tribe and the Black Travel Movement, along with popular social media influencers, have led the way in increasing the visibility of the Black travel market.

Today’s launch of DETOUR: Best Stories in Black Travel is a celebration of Black stories and storytelling around the intersection of race and place. As the name DETOUR implies, our approach to travel and storytelling about place seeks to tell these previously under-reported or ignored narratives by shifting away from the customary routes framed in Eurocentrism. Through multimedia stories of journeying, exploring, and positioning ourselves in the travel industry in settings both near and far, we are reclaiming our identity as travelers. As a content creation partner with McClatchy News Group, we have the privilege of writing, curating, re-telling and normalizing the accounts of Blacks who travel while providing travel tips, recommendations to inspire and inform travelers about where to explore local culture, shop, eat and gather.

DETOUR proudly joins the Black travel movement content creators and storytellers, including an ecosystem of travel, food, wine, art, and culture writers, who are uniquely telling stories through a Black lens. In the coming months we will share stories of freedom, love, community, and inspiration, rooted in the deep tradition of Black travel, culture and exploration.

Now Boarding~ DETOUR: Best Stories in Black Travel

Dawn S. Booker,

Editor in Chief – Detour: Best Stories in Black Travel

Founder, Pack Light Global Itineraries

@packlightglobal

This story was originally published June 07, 2022 9:00 AM.