Last month I stumbled across the cutest duo: Jennelle Eliana, an adventurous Woman of Color and her pet snake Alfredo, a spunky black eyed leucistic python. On her nineteenth birthday Jennelle made the decision to pursue van life to avoid the high rental cost in California and live a tiny life style that she had long been envisioning. On her YouTube channel where over 2 million subscribers tune in to watch her videos that last no longer than 20 minutes each Jannelle captures her daily journeys to a dope soundtrack.
I first came across Jennelle through a Black Girls Who Love Anime Facebook group. When I saw her decked out van equipped with a living space layout, I was intrigued enough to check out her youtube. I quickly became obsessed after watching her first two videos and am now devoted watcher and subscriber.
What I love most about Jennelle is her bubbly personality. I enjoy how she opens and closes each video in her own unique way and the incorporates humor into the climatic moments she encounters. I admire Jennelle’s willingness to be vulnerable and open with us her audience about her past struggles and current triumphs- she doesn’t shy away from being emotional . I was also drawn in by her humility as a young person who is trying to navigate life as an adult with all of it complexities and wonders and opportunities it presents. I find her and her channel an inspiring snapshot of what life has evolved into for us a People of Color and as Womxn: Exciting and scary. The fact that Jennelle is honest about the time she felt unsafe as a woman traveler and the means she takes to protect herself is a testimony of how Women and Femmes of Color must navigate our lives in this world.
Whenever I need a quick mid-day or night pick me up I turn to Jennelle and Alfredo so, if you haven’t caught on to watching – I invite you to do so Now! Signing off in the words of Jennelle “Toddles!”