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This Afro-Brazilian Family Is Planning To Travel Across America To Hawaii in A ‘76 Volkswagen Bus

This Afro-Brazilian Family Is Planning To Travel Across America To Hawaii in A ‘76 Volkswagen Bus

They’re setting a legacy of infinite possibilities for their children!

An Afro-Brazilian family is embracing a nomadic lifestyle and planning to travel across America to Hawaii in a 1976 Volkswagen bus, Travel Noire reports. 

Thaisa Barros, husband Fellipe Barros and their children Imolé and José have been on the road since 2017, traveling through Southeast Brazil before spending an extensive amount of time in Bahia. Now the family of four are looking to expand their travels. 

“It is not very common to see a Black family from Brazil have this kind of project. My husband and I have embraced the idea of creating a nomadic Afro-Brazilian family,” said Thaisa. 

The couple are looking to travel across the Americas, connecting with the African diaspora in a deeper, more fulfilling way, with their final stop being Hawaii. Thaisa is a TV host on a local broadcast, social scientist and therapist and Felipe is a paratriathlete who hopes to one day be the first and only disabled person to complete the Ultraman, a long distance race set to be held in Hawaii in October 2023. 

The Barros family first began saving for their journey in 2017, choosing to leave their hometown of Rio de Janeiro and head to Ubatuba, a small town situated on Brazil’s Southeastern coast. Living in an ecovillage was different from life in a major urban city but that was their goal. However, it didn’t go quite as planned, the simple lifestyle was not so simple and they headed to Bahia. There they decided they wanted to visit as many cities as possible and create a nomadic lifestyle, connecting with their African roots through on the ground experiences. As for the ‘76 VW bus, it just works for them and is easier to drive, they said. 

“We started our journey traveling around Brazil’s southeast region, and we ended up in Bahia. We’ve traveled Bahia from north to south, east to west, and, of course, Salvador. From there we wanted to follow Brazil’s northeast coast, leave Brazil through the North and travel across the Americas to Panama. Then right there, the dream: Hawaii,” said Thaisa. 

Photo Courtesy of The Barros Family/Travel Noire

Their plans were halted due to the pandemic but they’re planning to get back on the road soon. To provide financially for themself they budget and choose to travel slowly, saving as they go. Thaisa also provides therapeutic services along the way as well as courses and lectures. 

They’re hoping to secure sponsorship for their tour throughout America and plan to start a YouTube page to document their journey. As for now, they’re going to continue homeschooling their kids and prepare to hit Hawaii just in time for Ultraman. They also love the idea of living a surfer’s life. They hope they can be an example for other Black families to connect with people across the African diaspora. 

“Our goal is to show other Black families in Brazil that we belonged to the Americas, and it is cool to occupy places that people tell us not to go to. Of course, we are doing our research to make sure we are as safe as possible. We want to provide a legacy for our little ones, now ages 7 and 5, and show them that nothing and no one can define who they are or the size of their dreams,” Thaisa said. 

To learn more about the Barros Family journey, follow them on Instagram here

Photo Courtesy of The Barros Family/Travel Noire