First published in Entrepreneur.com
By Deborah Mitchell
When Evita Turquoise Robinson first shared her passion for travel on Facebook with 100 like-minded travelers four years ago, she couldn’t have imagined what it would become. The group, Nomadness Travel Tribe, now has over 10,000 members from all over the globe. What makes the group unique is that while it is open to travelers of all ethnicities, it is primarily African American, age 25 to 40, with 80 percent women. Members live in cities around the world. The economic demographic runs the gamut from the underemployed to professionals who earn six figures. The global trips are so affordable that it allows the diverse groups to connect no matter your income bracket.
Robinson, an artist and filmmaker, was bit by the travel bug right out of college when she took her first trip to Paris. A stop in Tokyo to teach English and then a trip to Thailand as part of a travel web series rounded out her global travels by the age of 25. She founded Nomadness Travel Tribe in September 2011 to connect with urbanites who travel as part of their lifestyle, not just as vacation.
Robinson wanted an intimate group, so she invited people from her Facebook friends list with the prerequisite that the potential members had traveled at least once and had one passport stamp. Today, through word of mouth and social media, Nomadness Travel Tribe has grown to a little more than 10,000 members worldwide.
“There is no place that I can go in the world today where I don’t know someone there,” Robinson said.
Social media was the key to the group’s growth. “There are so many social media outlets: Twitter, Periscope, Instagram. Instagram and Periscope- — the live-streaming app — allow anyone to follow along on our trips,” she said. “If the Internet was a geographic location, Facebook would be the capital. It is where everyone is. If you can start someplace where everyone is and then push out from that point, you have the opportunity to do something special.”
Robinson was able to bring strangers and friends on her urban travel adventures, something new. “Nomadness Travel Tribe was the first group to spearhead targeting diverse millennial travel,” she said.
This year alone, Nomadness Travel Tribe has appeared in the New York Times, The Daily Beast and on several national television programs, all without the help of a public relations agent. The press has approached them. “We have not used outside media outreach to grow the membership,” Robins. “People within the group have shared their amazing stories because they want the group’s authentic story to be told.”
Robinson said Nomadness Travel Tribe became a business by accident, but it was born from a place of passion. “This group could not have existed without social media. Social media is this generation’s megaphone and our way to communicate. I don’t think we could have had the same impact in that time span without social media.”
Robinson always knew she was going to be an entrepreneur, but she did not know what it was going to look like. While she is an artist first, Evita Turquoise Robinson is still figuring out the world of being an entrepreneur and knows it is important to trust the process. If you have a passion and want to build it into a business, Robinson has a few tips.
Just do it.
Break out of analysis paralysis. Nothing starts in perfection–it does not matter who you are or how much money you have. At some point, you have to jump and build the parachute on the way down. Just do it.
Learn as much as you can.
Robins said when she launched the business she was “a little bit of a lone wolf where I tried to learn everything. I never want to create a business where if one person leaves, they can derail the entire system, so I try to learn as much as I can. You should know how to do as much as possible.”
Ask for help.
“You feel like you can be an island, but learn to open up and ask for help,” Robins said. “Once you see your idea has promise, put the proper people in place. I picked my team from my members, so I did not have to sell people on the idea, they were as passionate about it as I am. I know they will get the job done.”
On Saturday, September 26, the Nomadness Travel Tribe will have their first travel conference that caters to the urban traveler. The sold-out event in New York City will have about 150 attendees. Hopefully, I will see you there!
When interior and furniture designer Vicente Wolf isn’t decorating fabulous homes, he is traveling the world. Wolf, an accomplished photographer, bases his designs on his travels. Vicente is the owner of two companies that bear his name and the author of three books. Wolf’s fourth book, entitled Air, will be out in 2015. Wolf is known for taking pictures of his landscape and he is adding vibrant colors to his brand this year.
Wolf believes, “In America, we have the greatest freedoms. Unlike many other countries, we’re not bound by our history in the way we approach design. We can pull from whatever source–Europe, the Far East, China, India–because we are a country of mixture. I continue to travel to new places. It takes me out of my comfort zone and challenges me to see things differently. I can return to New York and incorporate the colors from my travels into my designs. In a way, it’s very liberating.”
By Vicente Wolf
This year I took my annual trip around the world to discover new designs, colors, and textures of the universe. I had the pleasure of visiting Vietnam and Bali. The richness of the people and the originality of the craftsmanship took me back to my younger days in Cuba when everything was made by hand. When traveling, I shoot photography and find great décor pieces for my clients back in the States. People are always intrigued about how I find my inspiration. What inspires me is the spirit of COLOR! From the different tones of one hue to the way the light reflects off neutral, color has been my driving force when designing homes.
Related Post: Ready4Air (TV) | Designing The Right Set For Television
Earlier this year, PPG Pittsburgh Paints will launch, Color Diaries, a beautiful collection of exclusive colors inspired by my travels. The spaces I create are very personal–you feel something when you walk into them. Combine that sense of place and atmosphere with what inspires me and my photography taken from my yearly travels around the world. Color Diaries is a brochure that is authentic, unique, and meaningful. The color card brochure does more than just show beautiful room images to be inspired by; it takes you on a color journey. It features my opinion on white, the ever-morphing colors of the ocean, and the liberating colors in India and Africa. So much more to explore in such little time, why not explore the world through color and travel!
Thanks Vicente Wolf!
Coming Up: When taking a press trip, is it really work?
TV/Social Media Producer Debbie Mitchell is an Emmy nominated producer who is a member of the Producers Guild of America (PGA). She is currently a member of the James Beard Broadcast and New Media Awards Committee. If you are a brand interested in Social TV, blogger outreach campaigns, or a blogger or personality interested in television placement follow Debbie Mitchell@SocialTVDeb and/or email SocialTVDeb@gmail.com. If all else fails, her resourceful assistant, Sang, will find her.
Luckily, we live both in the States, as well as Portovenere, Italy. My husband Mario is from Parma, and we purchased our amazing villa just outside Portovenere in 2001. Thus, we manage to explore Liguria, along with our family and friends, over the summer and at Christmastime.
Food is central to the Italian mind and to any tourist coming to Italy. The food here is divine. It is said that you can’t get a bad meal in Italy, and Liguria is no exception, for sure. The pictures will certainly tell my story better than words, so please look, enjoy, and how about a visit! But first, let’s have dinner.
Pasta and pesto…
then a lovely plate of calamari…
and finally some Branzino with vegetables.
What is your favorite Italian meal?
Joan Massel Soncini is a mom, grandmother, psychotherapist, and photographer who has exhibited her photos throughout Italy. Author of the book Virgin Gorda: An Intimate Portrait, Joan and her husband, Mario, are always on the move.
Disillusioned! Since the age of fourteen I had wanted to visit Aix-en-Provence. My boyfriend, or so he fancied himself, had moved to Aix for twelve months with his family. Upon their return, I still wanted nothing to do with him, but I was seriously interested in the exotic sounding city, in the south of France. Fast-forward some 30 years, my husband and I were living in Aix en Provence with our black Labrador, for six months – I was not immediately enthralled with the city. Was I crazy?
Aix-en-Provence, the former capital of Provence, is a large city for the region, with a population of over 140,000. Geographically butted up against the port city of Marseille. The citizens of Aix have historically maintained that their city breeds intellects as evidenced by the school of law, the court of appeals and the university founded in 1409.
First named Aquae Sextiae, the waters of Sextius Calvinus, who was the revered consul of the Roman Republic in 124BC. Aix has always been graced with easy access to water. The settlement was prosperous; it continued to evolve as a sophisticated centre and home of the once dominant counts of Provence. The sunny location attracted and inspired the artistic talents of famous painters like Paul Cézanne and Pablo Picasso, writers such as Émile Zola and Ernest Hemmingway.
Slowly, each day passed with a pleasant rhythm then suddenly I realized that Aix had worked her charm. The city now had one more fan to add to the list of those who have come to visit, and may never willingly leave.
The “City of Water and City of Art” has so much to offer a visitor it is difficult to create a shortlist. Once you are hooked, create your own Top-10 list of things to do in Aix-en-Provence, here is mine (in no particular order).
- The Fountains of Aix are iconic reminders of how vital water was to this city. At one time, these water sources were purely functional fulfilling domestic requirements. Once running water was available in private residences, the remaining fountains were embellished with artistic elements. My personal favourite is Place des Trois Ormeaux. Which one is yours?
- The cloisters inside Cathédrale St-Sauveur. The church itself is intriguing due to a construction period ranging from the 5C to 17C, the famous triptych of the Burning Bush and the baptistery. However, the Romanesque cloisters are the jewels.
- Place des Cardeurs, a large open square surrounded by residences and restaurants. This forum used to be the Jewish quarter of Aix and the place where sheep were sheared using the carde (a prickly comb-like plant). The transformation of a slum and urban eye-soar began in 1963. Today, one could be forgiven by thinking that they had entered an Italian piazza. Choose any restaurant terrace and enjoy a drink or a meal.
- Markets happen every day of the week in Aix. This is a true paradise for food and bargain lovers. My favourite market is at Place Richeleme – explore and find your own. What attracts you to a market?
- Quartier Marzarin conceived and built between 1646-51. The area was designed on a grid pattern, at the time quite a modern concept and poles apart from the winding lanes of the old town. The Quartier Mazarin remains a chic address, filled with cute stores and cozy restaurants.
- Thermes Sexitus is today a luxurious spa, built on the site of previous Roman baths. You can still see the foundations of the ancient construction.
- Cours Mirabeau has been compared to the Champs-Elysées in Paris. Personally I find little resemblance. Shaded by towering plane trees, the restaurant terraces are filled from the early hours until late into the evening. Have a drink at Café des Deux Garçons and imagine Cézanne and Zola discussing their studies.
- Cité du Livre a dream location for bookworms and those who appreciate contemporary architecture. A modern glass structure was constructed to accommodate some 80,000 volumes that were donated to the city by Marquis de Méjanes. The city’s ballet troupe is based out of the same location adjacent to a modern 1300 seat auditorium.
- Rue d’Italie runs along the edge of the Mazarin district. Interesting shops, tempting food stores and tiny restaurants, line this charming street. Very recently it was converted to pedestrian friendly, so take a stroll.
- Tour de l’Horloge the clock tower sits on Roman foundations. It is located on the edge of Place des Cardeurs and the Hôtel de Ville dates from 1510. The belfry was once a symbol of the prosperity of Provence. The astronomical clock was added in 1661.
Here, is a list of quick resources for your own Aix tour:
- Michelin – The Green Guide Provence
- Rick Steves’ Provence & The French Riviera guidebook
- Self-Guided Audio Tour App – Mobile App – Edible Heritage – http://www.edibleheritage.com
- Yes you can get buy with out French, the city caters to tourists. The public Transport system is great, a few free options too.
- If you have kids, it is definitely a city more oriented to university, high school age and older folks.
Have you been to France? Is it a place on your list to visit?
About the author
Carolyne Kauser-Abbott has background in the investment business and commercial real estate. An opportunity for change allowed her to start writing and launching travel Apps. Like many things in life, it is the unexpected. She has always been a traveler. Her motivation for writing comes from a genuine curiosity, and desire to learn. Some friends encouraged her to start documenting her passions around food, travel and fun discoveries.Fast forward a few years and now you can follow her on her blog Ginger and Nutmeg http://www.gingerandnutmeg.com
,Follow along on Twitter @gingerandnutmegAnd Check out her mobile app @ http://www.edibleheritage.com
There is just something pretty darn cute about kids dressed up in a costume. With summer quickly wrapping up, the next big costume party for kids and parents is Halloween. I’m always amazed at how much creativity and some times how much money goes into a costume or a party. But why spend lots of money when you can create something magical with a simple red scarf ? Yes, that’s what Disney Social Media Moms Celebration did this year at their “Swashbuckler Soiree’ Dinner”. I was packing up my summer photos and came across a few pictures which actually gave me a few ideas for my Halloween costume and made me smile.
For the ” Swashbuckler Soiree” welcome party on the conference’s first night, we were all given red bandannas to sport as we made our way across the beach to meet and greet our fellow social media moms and their families. It was my first Disney conference and I was a guest of Rene Syler a.k.a @Goodenufmother. We gathered on the hotel beach area of @Disney’s Yacht Club Resort where the conference was taking place.
The beach had been transformed to a pirates world where a band of musicians dressed as pirates entertained and kids and their parents had fun dressing up for the night’s festivities. Why fuss over serving food- for this event it was served buffet style ……
Of course what I loved the most was the red scarf. I’m a scarf girl and wear bandannas all the time to yoga, so I was excited to add a new bright red one to my collection. The evening was a blast and a fabulous way to start an incredible conference. And yes, while the grown ups had fun wearing the scarves, the kids stole the show with their pirate accessories. Arrrgh!