Nikki Vargas, founding editor of dig up womena travel publication for women and co-author of the recent wanderer, “a travel book dedicated to helping people travel smarter while showing them how to support and connect with women around the world,” recently spoke with TriplePundit about the intersection of women, travel and sustainability. . Additionally, 3p also asked Vargas about the popular Unarth Women’s feminist city guides.
3 p.m.: What is the Unearth Women’s mission and what does International Women’s Day mean to you?
Vargas: The mission of dig up women is to celebrate the cultural, social and political achievements of women, while showing travelers how to support women wherever they go. International Women’s Day aligns perfectly with our goals as a women’s empowerment publication. Plus, every day that asks the world to stop and appreciate the impact women have – and continue to have – on society is a day I fully support!
3p: When was Unearth Women founded and how has it grown since then?
Initially, Unearth Women started as a print publication that we were able to scale from a self-selling magazine to an internationally sold magazine in bookstores across the country. After a few issues, we transitioned to an all-digital publication where we continue to focus on telling women’s stories and showing travelers how best to support women around the world. Our latest initiative is the release of our new women’s travel book, wandererwhich was published this year by Penguin Random House.
3p: Why did you decide to create a travel-friendly post specific to women?
Vargas: I had worked in the travel industry as a travel writer and noticed that travel media content always seemed to be biased in favor of men. Most of the publications I’ve worked for were founded by men, most writer-attributed articles were male-attributed, and most travelogues were written from a male perspective.
Of course, traveling is not a one-size-fits-all experience, and the nuances of traveling as a woman, a person of color, LGBTQ+, or a person with a disability vary significantly from the experience of traveling as a straight white male.
I always harbored this desire to create my own travel publication where I could combine my passion for travel with my love of highlighting women’s stories. Unearth Women was the result of these combined passions and sought to fill an obvious void in the media landscape.
3p: What impact have you seen Unearth Women generate, and what feedback do readers give you about its unique purpose?
Vargas: I’ve definitely seen an increase in traffic and readership that shows me that the content we create has found an audience. I think readers (and freelance writers) are happy to find a platform that champions women’s stories, focuses on women’s travel, and shares curated guides directing travelers to women-owned businesses.
3p: In your opinion, what role do women around the world play in ensuring that travel remains sustainable, both economically and environmentally?
Vargas: Volume, travel sustainably and responsible simply means being aware of my individual impact on the cultural, social, political and environmental aspects of a destination.
How we choose to spend our money can make the difference between boosting the local economy and supporting women entrepreneurs or lining the pockets of big business. As travelers we have a massive impact on the environment and a responsibility to reduce our carbon footprint.
Fortunately, the industry is responding in kind with ways to minimize carbon emissions with calculators to offset carbon emissions from flying and an increase in travel that doesn’t involve flying.
Why did you find it important to launch feminist city guides?
Our Feminist City Guides direct travelers to women and BIPOC-owned businesses around the world. These guides are, by far, our most popular content and do a great job of giving travelers an alternative guide to the cities they know and love.
Whether you’re visiting New York or traveling alone in Buenos Aires, our guides show you women-owned hotels, shops, and restaurants, and the historical impact of women in those places.
What are the most compelling examples you’ve seen of women feeling empowered through travel and tourism?
I think the rise of women-led travel and women-only tours like the ones offered by Intrepid Travel is really impressive to see. These trips not only connect women with other female travelers, but also create job opportunities for female tour guides in the countries — like iran – where it is a space largely dominated by men.
In your experience, what is the most effective way to support women-owned businesses?
Simply put, if you want to support women, buy women-owned products.
Image credit: Shai Pal via Unsplash