At first glance, the Instagram page for Lee Litumbe’s Spiritual Pursuit is a beautifully tiled story of her travels—crystal blue waters, lush nature shots and golden sunsets. But the Cameroonian’s blog digs deeper, providing resources and tips for young African women wishing to travel the world solo. With her expertise, would-be travelers are able to create itineraries—and the guts—to move beyond their comfort zones to explore the world. In her own words, she explains to OkayAfrica why Black travel is so necessary.
Providing value to my audience is what gives me the most joy. Being able to create visuals and stories that help inspire and inform others on what is possible with travel in Africa as well as being a contributor of a generation that has taken back and is redefining the global African narrative is truly humbling.
The challenges...oh the challenges. One of the biggest is of course the high expenses and barriers to entry. When I first returned two and a half years ago, I literally had to save up as well as sell all my possessions to be able to start. I invested everything I had and didn't make any money for about a year. Learning about how difficult it is for Africans to travel within Africa (without a western passport) has also been very eye-opening. It's a topic I want to continue to explore and bring more light to. Beyond that, most of my challenges consist of working hard to be taken seriously, dealing with the daily quirks of being a creative on the continent, and figuring out how to find new ways create dynamic content and grow my platform organically.
I'd like to think that my work has contributed and impacted youth culture (particularly for African girls/women) because my mission has always been to create content that empowers and expands how we see ourselves. My hope is that my body of work will spark curiosity in more of our youth to go beyond traditional careers and give them permission to live a purpose driven life. I was not always proud to be African, especially when I first moved to The States in 1997 (those African booty scratcher jokes were really terrible), so my hope is that those coming up now will reference my work and feel pride in their home countries and develop a desire to explore even more of our regions. The goal is to continue to take back our narratives and explore what we have within our continent.
*This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity