Celebrating AAPI Heritage Month: 4 Travel Creators Share Their Stories

Nicole Tj
May 23, 2022

Travis talks to 4 travel creators about their travel experiences, challenges, and why representation matters as part of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month.

Travel has the power to shape our identity. It opens our eyes to new cultures, places, people, flavors, languages, and ways of life. It connects us across borders, yet teaches us to celebrate and appreciate our differences.

Yet travel - in particular travel marketing and content - remains a stubbornly white industry.

While we are seeing starting steps towards more diversity and representation across industries, and organisations like  Travel is Better in Color championing the voice of diverse storytellers in travel media - there’s still a long way to go.

To put in perspective, Asian-Americans are the largest growing non-white population in America (growing 80+% since 2000), with over $1.3 billion in spending power. And they are keen travelers too - Asian-Americans are 43% more likely than the average American to travel internationally.

At Travis we’re celebrating Asian America and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month this May,  sharing the voices of three Asian-American travel creators who inspire us.

Asian woman on a street in Mexico by Christina Chin

Christina Chin (@itschristinachinn)

Christina fell in love with Mexico after visiting it twice - and decided to move to Mexico City in Dec 2021! While exploring all of Mexico, she's also fast becoming a trusted resource for all things Mexico - across CDMX, Oaxaca, Puebla, Puerto Escondido and more.

I am..

I am a Chinese-American, born and raised in the SF Bay Area, and a Senior Digital Designer currently living and working remotely from Mexico City.


Shoutout to your fave AAPI creators?

@justinavanessa and @leannalray


Has your AAPI heritage shaped your travels, or view of the world?

Yes, absolutely. I was raised by very cautious 2nd-generation parents, and growing up, my family and I rarely travelled outside of our home state of California.

As a result, my “travel bug” came late in life—and ever since, I’ve been trying to show my parents that the new headlines aren’t always correct, and the world is generally a safe place if you are smart and have common sense.

It’s my hope that by sharing my Mexican adventure as a solo Asian-American traveler, I can inspire more AAPI members to explore this beautiful country and beyond!

Female photographer in the outdoors

Preethi (@theeagertraveler)

Preethi immigrated to the US when she was 12, discovered long-distance hiking in her 30s, and has worked with the likes of Forbes, Travel & Leisure, Fodors and Harpers Bazaar. Through her work in photography, she's a passionate champion of diversity in travel.

I am..

From Chennai, India. I’m a photographer/content creator and work with tourism boards and brands to highlight destinations and outdoors gear. My mission is to empower women and ethnic minorities in the outdoors!

Shoutout to your fave AAPI creators?

@brownvanlife @milkandcardamom @wildindiangirl


Have you faced any challenges while traveling, or in your work as a creator?

While I have attended a few travel conference panels as a thought leader, it’s still pretty white dominated. Trying to get that seat at the table is daunting. I also have trouble negotiating higher rates - when I speak to some of my non-brown peers I realize what some of them are actually getting paid versus what I get offered, even though I have a sizeable engaged audience and sometimes it’s deflating.

Why representation matters..

I never thought representation is important but now I realize it’s critical. When you see someone like you doing things wearing certain clothes you realize it’s for you too and it becomes suddenly more inclusive. I hope brands will continue to embrace AAPI travelers in every aspect and highlight AAPI more in their marketing content!

Mom and two young children in a city

Leyla Tran (@secondcitymom)

Leyla and her young family are the cutest travelers, exploring the sights and showing you the best of Chicago that you haven't yet found! 

I am..

A first generation immigrant from Vietnam. When I'm not blogging, traveling or creating content for social media, I work in a corporate job as a CPA.


Shoutout to your fave AAPI creators?

@heydavina @jenniferlake


Has your AAPI heritage shaped your travels, or view of the world?

Growing up, we would take lots of road trips and my parents would often say how different the American landscape is to Vietnam. They wanted to explore more of what of they have not seen. That has instilled the curiosity in me to travel and explore places I've never been to or seen before.

Tanya Chellani in Greece


Tanya Chellani (@chillani_)

I am..

I am an Indian American who has lived in California for most of my life. I work as a workforce insights analyst, and enjoy going on adventures during my free time. I l love outdoor photography, exploring hidden gems in LA/OC, and traveling internationally.

Shoutout to your fave AAPI creators?

@eagertravele and @bellaandworld_

How has your AAPI heritage shaped your travels, or view of the world?

I am incredibly fortunate to have been part of the Indian community here in the US. It's allowed me have so many enriching experiences, essentially due to the blend of two cultures. I have always been surrounded by people who have strong cultural values yet are open-minded, which has influenced my view of the world we live in. It has shaped me into a curious individual who strives to immerse myself in new cultures and learn from people from different backgrounds. Being exposed to diverse perspectives is just one of the many reasons why traveling is so magical to me.

Join the conversation!

Who are your favorite AAPI travel creators? How has your AAPI heritage shaped your travels - or work as a creator? Even better, want to share your story? Say hi - we'd love to hear from you!

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