What is The Takeoff Travel Magazine? Meet the founder!

Pilanesburg, South Africa
Photo by: Imani B.

In a world brimming with diverse cultures, awe-inspiring landscapes, and enriching experiences, travel has the remarkable power to transform our lives. Yet, for Black people and other marginalized travelers, the journey has often been marked by unique challenges and a lack of representation in mainstream travel media. This is precisely why I embarked on the inspiring journey of creating a travel magazine tailored specifically for Black people and other marginalized communities. Through this endeavor, my aim is to provide a platform that celebrates diversity, amplifies underrepresented voices, and empowers travelers who have long been overlooked.

The founder

My name is Imani Bashir and I’m an award-winning travel journalist, world traveler, and global citizen that decided to take my expertise of living around the world and telling these stories for other platforms to choose to create my own. As you can imagine with most industries, the travel industry has a great way of showing Black journalists that our voices should only exist either for segmented stories and don’t always allow us to fully dive into the nuances of the world around us and the pertinent stories that should be told.

I remember pitching a food editor about the most amazing fine-dining experience I had in what would be considered a “hole in the wall” in Johannesburg, South Africa. It was when they followed up, “Well, what makes this timely/newsworthy?” that I got immediately annoyed and knew it was time for me to step out on my own. I felt that this story was much bigger than that. I felt that many stories I’ve wanted to tell or angles that I have wanted to cover have offered much more and because I have spent the bulk of my career in freelance the respect, the work, and the accolades don’t come as swiftly if at all. I’ve done the work and have earned the right to do this and do it my way!

So what is The Takeoff Travel Magazine and what purpose will it serve the world?

Photo by Imani B. (Cairo, Egypt)

Promoting Representation

The need for a travel magazine dedicated to Black travelers and other marginalized communities stems from the realization that traditional travel media has often failed to adequately represent these experiences. By crafting a publication that showcases diverse stories, cultures, and perspectives, we can challenge stereotypes and create a more inclusive narrative. This magazine will become a powerful tool to showcase the beauty and resilience of marginalized communities, offering inspiration and encouragement to those who wish to explore the world.

Amplifying Untold Stories

While social media has proven itself a powerful tool to connect us, it also shows us that travel, from a storytelling component, has to be much more than how things look but the impact on who we are. The creation of this magazine provides an opportunity to shed light on these hidden gems and uncover the richness of cultural heritage that is often overlooked. By giving a voice to marginalized travelers, we aim to highlight their unique experiences, challenges, triumphs, and inspirations. In doing so, we hope to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation for the diversity that exists within the global travel community.

women playing connect four in a bar
Photo by ELEVATE on Pexels.com

Addressing Specific Needs

The creation of a travel magazine for Black people and other marginalized travelers allows us to address the specific needs and concerns of these communities. This includes people with varying abilities, LGBTQ+, and people of different socio-economic backgrounds. From exploring destinations that embrace Afro-centric culture to discussing issues related to racial profiling and discrimination, our magazine will delve into topics that resonate deeply with our readership. We strive to provide practical travel advice, destination guides, and personal narratives that tackle the challenges faced by marginalized travelers, while also celebrating their resilience and achievements.

Building a Supportive Community

Beyond being a publication, this magazine will serve as a community-building platform. By connecting like-minded individuals, we hope to create a network of support and solidarity among Black people and other marginalized travelers. Through reader submissions, social media engagement, and organized events, we aim to foster a sense of belonging and encourage travelers to share their experiences, recommendations, and stories. This community will be a safe space to celebrate diversity, offer guidance, and empower each other to explore the world.

crowd of people
Photo by Keegan Checks on Pexels.com

Creating a travel magazine dedicated to Black people and other marginalized travelers is a step towards rectifying the lack of representation in the travel industry. By promoting diversity, amplifying untold stories, addressing specific needs, and building a supportive community, we aspire to empower and inspire travelers who have long been marginalized. Together, let us embark on a journey of exploration, discovery, and celebration of our shared humanity. Join us as we venture into uncharted territories, both on the map and within ourselves, to create a more inclusive and vibrant travel community. Welcome to the Takeoff Travel Magazine!

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