Welcome to Global Portals, a place to share local, authentic travel experiences, including photo highlights and interviews with entrepreneurs, artisans, and activists around the world about what inspires them. For blog hosts Nastassja Schmiedt and Lea Roth, traveling as an interracial queer couple of knowmadic entrepreneurs in search of inspiring experiences, we don’t always know how people will respond to us– or where we’ll have access to wifi!
Although there are already many excellent travel resources, we often haven’t been able to find specific local wisdom relevant to travelers who are LGBT & queer, people of color, women, and/or families, since who you are and who you’re traveling with has such a large impact on what you’re looking for and how you’re received! Sometimes, we find ourselves staying more on the beaten path (ie: chain hotels, urban centers) due to a lack of information about where it will be safe and comfortable for us to have more authentic, engaging experiences with local people– unless we know someone who lives in the area or has traveled there who can share subjective advice. Global Portals is an invitation to step beyond these gaps in knowledge and to create a space to share & discuss travel experiences- the magnificent, the uncomfortable, and even the “I wish I’d never gone!”
Another thing that’s important to us is being conscious about the ways our consumption and global mobility relate to the local people and economies in the places we visit. It’s one thing to appreciate, celebrate, and support the arts, culture, and cuisine of a place, and quite another to support extractive non-local companies that are appropriating and commodifying the labor and products of the people who live there! That’s why the other focus of this blog is highlighting the work of entrepreneurs, artisans, and social change agents in the places we visit; allowing them to share the significance and context of their creations, and creating learning opportunities about global interrelation.
We want to create a space to share our insights and reflections, and to hear about the travel experiences of others- especially those who don’t fit the tourist mold! Join us in crowdsourcing travel content by submitting your experiences to this blog, emailing your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org, or using the hashtags: #globalportals to Tumblr or Instagram.