Being the first to do something comes with responsibility and an innate need to get creative. Without a roadmap to follow and lacking mentorship that reflects your experience, being “the first” means endless challenges — alongside limitless opportunities.
Algeria’s first female travel vlogger knows all about these obstacles wrapped in opportunity.
Nour Brahimi is from a small city in Algeria, called Blida, not far from the capital. But she has made a name for herself across boundaries and borders as the very first Algerian woman to create a YouTube channel for travel content.
“I grew up in a small city where literally nothing happens, and where society has planned a woman’s future: study, get married, give birth, raise your children well, and you are a good woman,” Nour says. “I always thought this didn’t make sense, that there was more to life than simply being a good wife and that there is no one right scenario.”
She certainly paved her own path when she started working in content creation.
Becoming the First Algerian Woman Creating Travel Content
Since 2017, Nour has been a full-time travel content creator making travel videos for her own YouTube channel as well as for brands. And her work has garnered a number of accolades and global recognition…
She was named as one of the 100 Most Influential Young Africans in 2019 and she was a finalist for the 2020 Trailblazer Award at the Bessie Awards. She was also named as an Obama Leader by The Obama Foundation and, at the end of 2020, Nour became a European Union Goodwill Ambassador in Algeria.
Since the pandemic started, she also started producing her own travel show for a global media company.
Her content has reached millions of people all around the world. “I’m so grateful my content impacts many people in many different countries,” she tells me.
As the first woman to do travel vlogging in Algeria and the first one to create content really focused on visuals, Nour has shown other women a different path.
“For so long, women in my country had role models as pretty rich women, feminine, thin, with a luxurious lifestyle, and they couldn’t really relate to them,” she explains. “Now, more women are joining social media to show other women it’s okay to be you, you can make it too!”
“The reason I’m proud of this is when I receive messages from other women,” she continues. “They tell me they stopped caring so much about how they looked or stopped spending all their money on makeup, but instead they traveled for the first time; they bought books, they set realistic goals for their future. And it’s not only women from my country but from the Middle East and North Africa.”
Setting the example through her own words and actions, Nour is forging a path for other women to more easily follow.
Taking On International Travel
For Nour, traveling isn’t an optional activity — it’s something she feels she must do. Traveling is embedded in who she is and how she lives her life. “Everything I do, I do it to travel more and more,” she says.
“I travel to lose myself and to find it again; I travel to see things with eyes instead of hearing stories telling me the world is not a safe place and therefore I should always have a man with me to protect me. But, most importantly, I travel to say to other women: DARE to change, dare to be different.”
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But Nour has faced plenty of obstacles in creating this life of travel for herself. As an Algerian, she is forced to apply for visas to travel to most countries. Passport privilege is a topic rarely addressed in travel media, but it is critically important for understanding the limitations and challenges facing many travelers.
To give you an idea, Algeria is in red, various shades of green allow for visa-free or visa-upon-entry travel, while all the grey countries require a visa prior to entry:
Talking about passport privilege — especially as travel content creators and travel industry professionals — opens up conversations around equity and inclusion that too often go overlooked.
Are you a Travel and Culture Content Creator?
Encouraging readers and followers to “just go” is ubiquitous. I have done it myself far too many times. But the reality is that, for many around the world, travel is not simple or affordable when we account for visa applications, interviews, and specific timeframes when travel is permitted.
For Nour, it’s not easy to “just go” the way so many influencers with passport privilege can opt to do.
“I must have a stable job to get a visa to many countries,” Nour explains, “And I wait for months, which slows me down a lot. Being an African freelancer is for sure not easy when it comes to traveling, everything must be thought of in terms of applying to visas.”
Nour’s determination and persistence to travel the world despite its borders and obstacles is inspiring in a way that those “just go” mantras could never be.
Despite Obstacles, She Rises
Nour doesn’t let the challenges of her passport stop her from traveling, and she has some advice for other women who want to travel more, too. “Go for it!” she says. “Nothing will teach you about yourself and about life like traveling! I know some people consider it a waste of money, but it’s the best investment you will ever make in yourself. So: save more, travel more.”
Nour’s drive to continue to travel as often and as far as possible is contagious. Her energy never seems to wane and her enthusiasm is ever-present. As a speaker at WITS Riga in 2019, Nour’s session was a huge hit…but it was her upbeat spirit and genuine joy that drew everyone to her all week long.
And Nour is always eager for more. Where does she dream of going next? “Zimbabwe, and many other countries! I just love every new country and city I visit, especially the ones where I meet nice people.”
“I surely prefer to travel with a friend because I love sharing the memories I make with other people,” Nour continues. “But when my travel buddy isn’t available, I travel alone and make friends in the city I’m going to.”
For now, she is focused on her new travel show and on continuing to create valuable content, even as the world stands still. Travel may have stopped and her work may have pivoted in the past year, yet Nour Brahimi still forges ahead.
It doesn’t matter what obstacles are in her path, Nour finds a way. She is a trailblazer lighting the way for countless others who will benefit from her example. And I, for one, eagerly await her next big project.
Support Nour’s Work
As with all content creators, you can support Nour’s work in a variety of ways.
Follow her and subscribe:
- Subscribe to her YouTube channel
- Follow her on Instagram
- Follow her on Facebook
- Connect with her on LinkedIn
- Follow her blog
Find more about Nour:
- Listen to her interview on the Globetrotter Lounge Podcast with Jet Set Lisette
- Watch her panel discussion from the Wanderful Woman Summit: Big Dreams, Little Budget: How to Scratch off Your Bucket List Without Emptying Your Bank Account
Nour continues to forge a new path, making it easier for even more women to follow her in traveling and in content creation. If she inspires you, let her know!
Do other women inspire you to travel more? Share their names in the comments so we can lift each other up!
Looking for travel inspiration? Wanderful is a global community for travel-loving women. Connect with us!