Travel Noire Introduces: Life in the Pacific NW video series


Fall in love with the Pacific Northwest. Nature’s beauty will blow you away, the food is incredible and there’s a growing wealth of career opportunities. Black people don’t necessarily come to mind when you think of Portland, Seattle and Vancouver but there’s a thriving community of young innovators taking the region by storm.  

In this docuseries Travel Noire chronicles local trailblazers in each city to uncover the hidden gems each destination has to offer. 

Meet The Locals: Portland 

Fish biologist, conservationist and Navy veteran Rikeem Sholes as he shows us his wild side at Clackamas Hatchery. We’ll follow fish from farm to market to the mobile crucible of Trap Kitchen where the business created by two former rival gang members transform the fruits of Rikeem’s scientific labors into a culinary crusade. 

Erika Elias, the Community Manager for Old Town, Portland's first neighborhood (which btw is easily the most diverse region of Portland). Her role is to be a conduit for all of these different groups. Every ethnic group has called this neighborhood home and was the one place where segregation laws were not in effect. 

Ian Williams, the founder of Deadstock Coffee and a former Nike sneaker designer. Deadstock coffee is a sneaker-themed coffee shop and a hub for anyone creative or who is seeking a barbershop vibe.

Meet The Locals: Seattle

Ribicca Abyssinia is a fashion industry professional, blogger, and world traveler. She visited Seattle from Ethiopia when she was 14 years old and after falling in love with the weather, the local East African owned businesses, and the community, she decided to stay. She’ll show us where to go for authentic Ethiopian cuisine and you’ll learn more about her life in Seattle!

Abiola Akanni is a healer, alchemist, trap queen and Yogi. Her yoga journey started almost 10 years ago after a drug habit and scoliosis diagnosis took her off the track. In the midst of this she was introduced to yoga which helped her build an awareness around deep-seated insecurities, trauma and a victimization mindset. Her new practice ushered her into healing and now she is wellness entrepreneur, founder of Trap Vinyasa™ and creator of the Divine Feminine Yoga Workshop.

Anthony Kerr moved to Seattle 5 years ago to work for Proctor & Gamble. This was his first experience in the city and he had no plans of sticking around. The first year was rough from a social perspective. “People aren’t always too friendly. They don’t speak to each other a lot out here, so it’s hard to find a community.” Out of his personal desire to find a community in a new city, he decided to start 

The Collective Seattle as a way to bring together all the young black professionals in the city. Most  find out about the community through employee benefit wish programs. For example Microsoft and Amazon both have black employee networks that offer connections to groups like The Collective Seattle. The group hosts everything from monthly spin classes to after work happy hours. 

Meet The Locals: Vancouver

31 year old Entrepreneur Gabe Gibbs never expected to be in Vancouver. A self-proclaimed late bloomer, the pro-basketball trainer owes his love for the city to the game.  Life in Vancity became unsteady when the path to pro-basketball didn’t pan out for Gibbs and his foster Vancouverite family decided to move back to the states. Despite the career set back, his love for the city was unwavering and he became committed to staying training everyone form the pros to the youth of vancity.

Vancouver native, Shahanah  Shivji, always knew there was more to her than her birth place. She’s of east African descent and always felt it was important for herself to be connected to her roots. This ignited a passion for her to cultivate a movement to highlight superb individuals in Vancouver through her collective Dimend Mentality. 

Judith Kasiama is redefining the narrative of who enjoys the outdoors. “As I explored the outside, I recognized that a lot of brands weren’t reflecting stories like my own or showcasing people like myself out in nature,” (Kasiama- CTV Calgary). This is for the adventurous souls. Take a step out and away from the city life and see what the scenic side of Vancouver has to offer. Snow top mountains, verdant seawalls, and glaciers surrounded by crisp blue waters. Introduce yourself to the outdoors by beginning with VanDusen Botanical Garden following a stroll across the Capilano Suspension Bridge all while being under 10 miles from the city.