Amplifying Asian Voices in Travel: Episode 5 of Travel + Leisure’s New Podcast
On this week's episode of Let's Go Together, the new podcast from Travel + Leisure, host Kellee Edwards is joined by two experienced travelers and bloggers, Christina Guan and Juno Kim, to discuss their experience as Asian travelers and representation — or often the lack thereof — of Asians in the travel space.
Guan, who is German-based Chinese-Canadian and runs the travel blog Happy to Wander, grew up outside Vancouver with immigrant parents. Though she’s seen plenty of the world, starting with a trip as a 10 year old to Hong Kong and China, Guan says traveling hasn’t always been easy.
“I would say for a lot of Asian travelers traveling for the first time, that really is quite scary because you’re put in this position where you are made to feel like the other,” she said.
For Kim, a Korean woman currently living in Anchorage, Alaska, travel was never something seen as a potential job prospect.
“Growing up in a very conservative household in Korea, [I] never really thought travel could be a career ‘cause it was never apparent,” she told Edwards. But after getting a taste of the international travel bug on a solo trip to New Zealand, Kim did just that, and now runs the blog Runaway Juno.
“When I first started [a] long time ago, I was the only known Asian travel blogger, or only Korean people knew,” said Kim during the trio’s conversation about representation.
Throughout their careers and travels, both Kim and Guan have worked to create a dialogue that includes travelers of all shapes, sizes, colors, and creeds.
“Different voices can be celebrated,” says Kim. “They should be celebrated. If you have somebody from [a] different voice and different backgrounds, listen to it.”
Over the course of the episode Kim, Guan, and Edwards chat about what pushed them to pursue careers as professional travelers, how their experiences at home and abroad have shaped their own identities, and what it’s like to be bloggers with a meaningful reach.