The faces of adventure travel are just as diverse as the spirit of adventure itself, argues our featured contributor, Lola Akinmade Åkerström, a Nigerian-born travel photographer and author. So why hasn’t the travel industry caught up?

Growing up in Nigeria, I came across a map in my favorite class, Geography. I traced those longitudes and latitudes with a yearning to explore them, and when my finger settled on the North Pole, it became a lifelong obsession of mine to get there someday.

Years later, while doing research on expeditions to the North Pole, I discovered 19th-century African-American explorer Matthew Henson who went on seven expeditions over a span of 23 years with Robert Peary. While Peary was glorified across media for discovering the North Pole, trail-breaker Henson—who technically would have been the first man to set foot on the pole—received a fraction of his accolades.