Interviews

Stephen Bailey
What do you do when you can't travel? Travel expert Lisa Niver will tell you.
What do you do when you can't travel? Travel expert Lisa Niver will tell you.
Stephen Bailey

Lisa Niver is a journalist, YouTuber and travel expert. She is also founder of the online travellers’ community We Said Go Travel!

Like many of us, Lisa is a passionate traveller who suddenly couldn’t travel any more. She came on the Kated Travel Podcast to share her stories, positive energy and tips on how to stay upbeat for when we can travel again.

Check some highlights from Lisa’s interview below.

Stephen: What do you do when you can’t travel?

Lisa: During this time of being home — it’s the longest I’ve ever been in one place — I’ve been trying to figure out things to do.

One of the first things I did on my website, We Said Go Travel! is a series called Tell Me More About. I wrote about some of my favourite places and shared all different pieces. For instance, I did an amazing trip to the Solomon Islands. So I made one post that had all the videos, all the social media, all the information about them, so that someone who wants to know the Solomon Islands could read and watch that content and see all the different parts of my journey.

Also, one of the things that’s helped me during Covid is thinking about how, when the cruise line I worked for went bankrupt after September 11th, I thought I would never travel again. But I did. I reinvented myself and found things to do. And in the days of Covid I kept thinking, “I’ve been here before, where there’s been something horrible and travel shut down and it seemed like it would never come back — yet it did.”

S: Then you went on to work in TV and do all these other kinds of things and created a new career in travel…

L: Yes, over time I made connections and got invited to share my travels on television. The first segment I did for television was about Napa Valley. It was right after the big fires in California, and one of the issues was that the way it had been covered in the nightly news, it looked like Napa Valley was gone. And that wasn’t true. At the time that we did this segment, I think only two or three wineries were even closed. Everyone else was open.

So that was one of the things that I’ve tried to show in writing — the opportunity. In that case, the fact that Napa Valley was open.

S: Besides the Solomon Islands, what other destinations are you promoting?

L: The last big trip I took in 2019 was to the Galapagos. I do a lot of video, but I never had time for editing. So during Covid, I learned a new video editing program. Then I looked through and edited all the Galapagos videos and shared them. Another great trip I shared more about was Vanuatu, which is also in the South Pacific. When I was there, I walked on the edge of an active volcano crater!

S: Covid is a pause in travel — and you’ve used it to write about your travels too, right?

L: I did a project, “50 things before I turn 50”. I had undiagnosed eye issues growing up, and as I worked on those, my doctor encouraged me to challenge myself now that I could see more like other people. So I did things I never thought would be possible.

I went mountain biking. I jumped out of a perfectly well-maintained airplane. And I even skied with an amazing program in Utah, the National Ability Center, that trains skiers who are blind. I was able to ski with an amazing instructor, Patricia and her student, Jennifer.

So I’ve been writing about the whole process from my divorce, to reinventing my life, to a lot of my travels and then these — at times, crazy — 50 challenges.

Find more about Lisa’s travel stories and work on the Kated Travel Podcast.

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