The dream of living life on the road is one that may not seem accessible to all. Maybe it's the glamorized $80,000 Sprinter vans and positive-vibes-only posts you may see splattered across Instagram; showcasing both a lack of representation and inclusivity.
Well, I am here to tell you that the dream of a life on the road is actually accessible to all. In reality, the vanlife community is so much more than the typical image, as beautifully diverse as it is and full of unique stories of varying nomadic experiences, enriched by the beauty of varying alternative lifestyles.
What Is Diversify Vanlife?
This is where Diversify Vanlife steps in; an organization that aims to amplify the less-heard stories of BIPOC, LGBTQIA2S, and those with disabilities within the nomadic community. Diversify Vanlife is a space of refuge breathed into reality as a safe space to elevate all who do not fit the white, cis, straight, able-bodied narrative of the stereotypical #vanlife portrayed in social media. Diversify Vanlife aims to honor the lived experiences of all walks of life no matter sexual orientation.
Diversify Vanlife is changing the long-overdue history of vanlife and the outdoor industry as being a lifestyle not always welcoming. I can tell you firsthand Diversify Vanlife serves as a practical resource for life on the road, a safe space for education and content, and so much more. They build community in many ways, and within their social media and website, you will find the tools and information needed to start to create a collective roadmap.
The Origins of Diversify Vanlife
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DV was birthed into reality in 2019 by Noami Grevemberg, founder, explorer-in-chief, writer, and podcast extraordinaire. Noami was born and raised on the island of Trinidad and has been living a nomadic lifestyle traveling the US in her camper van with her partner and adventure pup full-time since 2016. While on the road, Noami saw the need for a safe space for Black, Indigenous, Asian, LatinX, and other people of color in the road travel community. A place to authentically elevate community members' voices. A good way to get a sense of her vision is to check out her Instagram.
A BIPOC Guide to Vanlife & The Outdoors
The BIOPIC Guide to Vanlife and the Outdoors is an online, all-encompassed, ever-expanding guide for life on the road. Whether you are in the beginning stages of thinking about getting a rig or you are already a well-seasoned traveler, this resource has what you need. You can find everything from helpful tips on buying and building a rig and in-depth guides on areas all around the country to gear and practical knowledge for simplifying and de-stressing nomadic life. Looking for a safe place to park? Curious about where to dump greywater? Look no further! The coolest part? This invaluable guide is made possible by community members' contributions.
Nomads at the Intersection Podcast
Diversify Vanlife brings to life Nomads at the Intersection podcast, here you will hear the stories of fellow road travelers and outdoor enthusiasts, weaving through the challenges, journeys, and inspirations of the diverse voices who, often unheard, make outdoor spaces greater. On this show, you'll hear from BIPOC, LGBTQIA+2S, disabled, and underrepresented travelers at the many crossroads of the modern-day vanlife movement. With five episodes aired so far, topics range from reclaiming indigenous sovereignty, reimagining environmentalism, creative black resistance, and more.
Get Connected with Diversify Vanlife
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Of course, you can stay up-to-date with Diversify Vanlife on their website and social, but Diversify Vanlife plans to hold many community events in the future, ranging from campouts to workshops and everything in-between. Past events include Femme+Non Binary Empowerment Retreat, Racism On The Road, and Van Build On A Budget.
Wynn?" Weddell is a proud member of the Ihanktonwan (Yankton Sioux) nation who spent many years living in the Pacific Northwest. She is on the team at Diversify Vanlife, a platform dedicated to amplifying BIPOC voices in outdoor spaces and advocating for environmental consciousness within the nomadic community. Instagram @rainbowmountain_
How have you diversified vanlife? Share with us on our Wide Open Roads Facebook!
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