Our interview with Lisa Eldridge from girlabouttheglobe.com:
Why did you start travelling?
I’ve been travelling on and off since I was 21. I always used to daydream about far-flung places and made a collage of all the places I wanted to visit. The first time I went away I worked in a ski resort in La Val d’Isere in France but I only lasted a week because I got so homesick. The next time I lasted nine weeks until I finally made a trip for over a year then there was no stopping me – I had caught the wanderlust bug. I spent the majority of my twenties travelling and living abroad until I settled down and got married. Then 2.5 years ago I got divorced and threw myself back out onto the open road to find my lust for life again. I’ve now been to 83 countries and 43 of these as a solo woman.
What is the most important during Lisa Eldridge travels?
For me, it’s the people who make a country and meeting the locals and finding out what makes them tick is the most important element instead of sightseeing. I don’t tend to do much research before I arrive somewhere apart from checking which areas are safe and unsafe as I like to discover a place for myself when I’m there and learn more about its history and what makes the country how it is today.
Because of this, places such as Cambodia, Sarajevo and Colombia have really touched me and I’ve met so many resilient people who have gone through so much yet seem so happy. You can’t buy this type of education.
What is the most important experience that you had during your travels?
I have been so lucky to have experienced so many things. The most humble experience I had was a weekend trip to Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha with a monk that I had been teaching English to. Just to visit such a spiritual place with a spiritual guy was so enlightening and I had to keep thinking: “I’m sharing a room with a monk!” I must admit that he did look alarmed when I began a swatting spree of mosquitos in the room until I remembered that it was totally unethical to kill anything in Buddhism and I stopped.
What is the most beautiful place that you have been to?
Wadi Rum in Jordan is the most stunning, peaceful place I have ever been to. There’s something so magical about the desert and its milky red dunes. What makes it even more fascinating is that Lawrence of Arabia was filmed here.
What do you avoid when you travel?
Usually festivals as I get a bit freaked out in crowds. I was due to be in Munich at the same time as Oktoberfest last year and bypassed it instead, preferring to spend it in Slovakia, somewhere less crowded. I prefer to discover different elements of countries so steer clear of really touristy places too and tend to find out where the locals go instead.
What is Lisa Eldridge biggest travel dream?
My biggest dream for myself is re-designing my life as a digital nomad which I’ve been privileged to be able to do. Working as a freelance writer gives me the freedom and flexibility to choose my own working hours and I’m so lucky to be able to get a place and think “I want to live here for a while” and be able to do it. I’m currently living in Colombia and loving it.
My biggest dream for the Girl about the Globe brand is to start a foundation and help disadvantaged communities all across the globe. I aim to have this set up in 2015 and am really excited about it. There are so many people out there who are just forgotten and need help.
What are your favourite travelers? Which blogs do you read?
It has to be Nomadic Matt and the other solo travellers: Women on the Road, Adventurous Kate, Breathe Dream Go, Journey Woman, and Hippy in Heels – I love her style!