Episode 4: Black Nomad co-founder on surviving Covid-19, traveling amid the pandemic

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As the co-founder of Black Nomad, 32-year-old Orville “Auzzi” Aiken is living out the definition of his brand.

He’s fearless and willing to travel, alone, to places that are unpopular.

The Howard alum, who has been to 64 countries, recently survived Covid-19 while in Jamaica.

When he was cleared to travel again, he went to London.

I caught up with him, via Zoom, while he was in the UK.

In this episode, he discusses his travel plans amid the pandemic, his plans for the future and his most memorable trip.


Anna-Lysa Gayle: In London right now, what has it been like for you?

Orville Aiken: “It’s been great. It’s one of my favorite cities in the world and I haven’t been here since 2013, and it was good to come and catch up with my cousins, because they haven’t been to Jamaica in a while. Last time I saw them was three years ago, so it was good to catch up with all of them.”

Why did you start Black Nomad? 

I wanted to start Black Nomad, because when I was traveling in 2012…all my friends, from Howard, were like ‘you need to get on this IG page’.

I was like ‘what is this Travel Noire?’…..and then when I finally got featured on it…and I was like ‘oh ok’ and then I started looking into it, but it still didn’t fill that void for backpacking.

Most of the time when I’m traveling it’s what we call “shoestring”, so you don’t see Black people. So, I was like there has to be something that I can create…a platform for Black people that’s on a budget, that I can showcase to them, this is how you travel for cheap.

If you want to know how to Backpack, it’s so easy. So that’s why I started Black Nomad. As a digital platform for people of color to share their resources…on a budget.

Listen to the full interview, with Orville Aiken, on Apple podcastsGoogle podcasts, Spotify or here on the site (click play above).




About the author

Journalist in the DMV (D.C., Maryland and Virginia)

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