In this interview series called What Inspires….. I aim to share with you what inspires other travellers to get out there and see the world in the hope that it inspires you to do the same.
This week’s What Inspires interview is with Lauren, one half of the travel blog Justin Plus Lauren.
Along with her boyfriend, Justin, they are slowly making their way around the world as part-time travelers. She loves to travel, take photos, and write all about it! Lauren eats a plant-based diet and seeks out yummy vegan food on her travels. She loves nature, animals, outdoor adventures, coffee, and her cat, Chickpea (how cute is that name!!!).
Read on to find out What Inspires Lauren from Justin Plus Lauren.
What or who inspired you to travel and discover the world?
I was bit by the travel bug in high school. I was in the symphonic band and we would take a band trip every year, usually within driving distance of our school. One year we went to Chicago, one year we went to New York City, and one year we went to Ottawa. When I was in Grade 12, we took one giant trip – driving on a coach bus from Dundas, Ontario (about an hour south of Toronto) down to Florida, where we all boarded a cruise ship for 4 days to the Bahamas, and then came back and went to Disney World and Universal Studios! Being on a bus with all of your friends for 24 hours, and being able to travel on a cruise ship together was the highlight of school for me! I think that those trips definitely made me want to travel as much as I could!
Where was your first overseas trip and was it everything you expected it to be?
Other than that trip to Bahamas, I went on another lengthier Caribbean cruise during university to several Caribbean islands. It was everything I expected it to be and more! Even though I wasn’t as much of a travel planner back then as I am now, just walking around new destinations was thrilling to me. I loved stepping off the ship in a new place each day. Since that cruise, I have sailed on four others and really started to put more effort into planning my holidays beyond cruising!
What’s one tip you can give to anyone about to head off on their first overseas adventure?
Go with the flow. Everything might not work out exactly as you had planned it, but try not to stress out! It’s better to roll with the punches, and figure out a plan B. For instance, we had an excursion to go snorkeling planned in Grenada last year, and the small boat that was to take us out to an underwater sculpture museum completely broke! The tour was completely canceled and we were left with no plans for the day. So, instead of moping around, we just started to walk around a historic fort that was near where we met our original tour guides. There, a random taxi with two other passengers already inside asked if we wanted a tour of the island. We decided to jump at the chance and we ended up having the best day – being driven all over the island, seeing the popular natural sites, and going to other places that are known only by the locals like a local bar for a rum tasting and a local spice shop for a spice demonstration. We went everywhere for only $20! What started as a bad day turned into an incredibly memorable one!
Best travel experience so far?
Definitely split between snorkeling with sea turtles in Bonaire, and witnessing whales and dolphins living in the wild on a tour in Dominica. Both were such amazing encounters with animals in their natural environment and I could see up close just how incredible our planet truly is!
What’s your biggest source of travel inspiration between trips?
Definitely my fellow travel bloggers! Travel bloggers are amazing. They travel all over the world, take spectacular photographs, have inspirational stories, and share them with the world. I’m continually inspired every single day, and my bucket list seems to grow larger and larger.
Do you have a favourite quote, travel related or otherwise?
I think my favorite one at the moment is, “Collect memories, not things.” I would much rather have a collection of wonderful memories from trips around the world than a house filled with material goods.
Connect with Lauren
Check out Lauren’s website, Justin Plus Lauren, to read about Lauren and Justins travel experiences and vegan lifestyle. You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and Youtube for even more great content and travel updates.
Thanks Lauren for sharing your inspiring travel story with us. For a further dose of inspiration, you can look back over all past interviews here.
Over to you!
Who or what, inspires you to travel and discover the world?
Let me know using the comments section below or join me on social media to start a conversation.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this post.