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5 inspiring travellers who get real about equality

I’m pro gay marriage, I don’t care whether you’re muslim/catholic/atheist, and I give no shits about your gender or ethnic background.

As a white female born into a rich country, I’m fully aware that I’ve been dealt a much better hand than many others. But I know this is not something that I should take for granted. The more I travel, the more I appreciate the power of equality. And in that regard, I’m compiling a different kind of list of inspiring travellers.

I often gravitate towards people that encourage us to challenge our mindsets and think outside of the box, and who may not have had the luxuries of being born into a social majority. The following travellers have inspired and encouraged me and many other to get real and think about equality.

Humans of New York

Photo from

brandon, Humans of New York

Humans of New York is in my opinion, one of the most important social movements of recent years. In 2010, Brandon left his job in finance and started a photography project that took the world by storm.

By walking around and documenting the people of New York City (and also Iran for a brief time in 2012), this guy has done way more for his 12 million Facebook followers than just posting a few photos. By adding a short snippet or caption of that person’s life, he’s reminded us that we shouldn’t read a book by its cover and that there is still value in the human story, no matter who is telling it.

Most of all, he’s shown us that anyone can do something amazing. He is just a normal guy with a camera. And what has he achieved? He’s dropped the 9-5 and used his passion to document something amazing, something that no one has done before, and has therefore made himself a huge success. We could all take a leaf from his book.

Globetrotter Girls

Photo from

dani, Globetrotter Girls

I haven’t been following Globetrotter Girls for long, but I’m a huge supporter of what Dani has done with the blog. It began in 2010 when Dani and her partner Jess started travelling together full time. They’ve since gone down different paths, but Dani still runs the site and keeps their travel stories alive.

Focussing on independent long-term travel, the blog includes countless articles on the difficulties of travelling as gay couple, and features an entire section on LGBT travel. I can only imagine the challenges of travelling as a LGBT, but Dani has taken it by the horns and proudly shares her experiences with the rest of us.

Curb Free with Cory Lee

Photo from

Cory, Curb Free with Cory Lee

I started following Cory Lee on Facebook and Instagram about 6 months ago. As his fairly awesome blog name suggests, he’s wheelchair user and explorer from USA.

Using stories and photos from his travels, he’s confident in letting everyone know that having a disability doesn’t make life any less meaningful. On top of making some fantastic wheelchair puns through blogging, he also rolls up to do some public speaking at major events and has interviewed a bunch of inspiring mobility impaired travellers.

His life goal just happens to be exactly the same as mine (to visit every continent, including Antarctica) and while his choice of travel destinations aren’t always the same as what I would choose, I still find I’m always drawn by his unique view of travel.

A Journey of Wonders

Photo from

raphael, A Journey of Wonders

Raphael’s about page is seriously one of the most inspiring I’ve ever read. Born and raised in Mexico, he tells us what he went through to rise above the inequalities of being born into a poor society, and the unspoken truths behind breaking the chains of depression and embracing empowerment.

I’m honestly able to relate to so much of what he says. He details how travel made him less materialistic and gave him the chance to realise his full potential, as well as revealing his flaws and elaborating on the difficulties of long-term travel. His posts never fail to inspire.

Dame Traveler

Photo from

nastasia, Dame Traveler

I make a very conscious effort not to have my blog focus towards females travellers only, because I believe that each of us can be a traveller no matter our gender. So Dame Traveler might seem like an odd choice to include in this list.

I’ve been following Nastasia from Dame Traveler on Instagram for ages. She specifically chooses travel photos of young female travellers that will inspire others to feel empowered and independent, and to get out of their comfort zones and to explore every square inch of this planet.

In a world where sexism and ageism is still an issue, I think it can be hard for young females especially to feel as though they have the power to take control of their lives and do what they’re passionate about, rather than choose the paths that society tells them is normal. Nastasia has somehow found a way to overcome this issue through photography and community.

Which travellers have inspired you to think about equality? Share your favourites with us in the comments!

Ashlea Wheeler

Blogger & Photographer at A Globe Well Travelled
I'm Ashlea, an excitable Australian who loves photography and exploring the world. Find out more about me.

20 Responses to “5 inspiring travellers who get real about equality”

  1. Alexandria

    This is an inspirational post. I’ve seen so many families torn apart because they judge something tat shouldn’t matter. All these bloggers are doing wonderful things and props to you for recognizing them.

    • Ashlea Wheeler

      It’s horrible to see that happen to people 🙁 I think it’s incredibly important that we move towards a less judgemental, more accepting world where nobody has to feel like they’re ‘different’. Thanks for your comment Alexandria!

  2. Leah

    Very inspiring travelers, indeed! Love this list, Ashlea. HONY is one of the best things on the internet, in my opinion.

  3. Cory Lee

    Thank you SO much for including me on this list! It’s truly an honor. I loved checking out the others mentioned as well. 🙂

  4. Mumun

    Nice picks. I’m also big fan of humansofny. Such a simple yet powerful movement. Thank you for the other recommendations.

  5. Anne-Laure

    Hi Ashlea, thank you for writing this post! I didn’t know any of those bloggers except for Humans of NY which I totally agree is awesome! x

  6. Annie Picard

    This is a truly inspirational and original post. I was at Women in Travel Summit this weekend and we talked a lot about leaving our mark, not only as bloggers but also as human, and these people do it the right way.

    • Ashlea Wheeler

      Thanks Annie, I’m so glad you enjoyed it – and thanks for sharing on Twitter! It’s so incredibly important that we start treating each other with respect, and recognise that we need to overcome inequalities. WITS sounds like it was doing a great thing by shouting this message out to the world!

  7. Nikita

    Great list! Brandon is probably one of my favorite humans that I’ve never met, and the others are inspiring as well! Great to see people living beautiful lives, despite the challenges.

    • Ashlea Wheeler

      Oh wow, you’ve met him? Amazing! He’s honestly made such a difference to the way people judge others, it’s incredible to see what he’s done for the world 🙂

  8. Henry

    I think you’ve just become my favorite travel blogger with this post! It is easy for so many to take things for granted. I think it’s important that more of us do exactly what you and the bloggers you mentioned have done, and that’s show how much we believe in equality. To quote, well, you: “I’m pro gay marriage, I don’t care whether you’re muslim/catholic/atheist, and I give no shits about your gender or ethnic background.”

    • Ashlea Wheeler

      Wow, thanks Henry! I’m really glad you agree. Subjects like equality are so often kept in the dark, I think it’s really important to get people talking about it. We’re not all created equal, and we should definitely be aware of that so that maybe, someday, we can do something about it 🙂


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