Travel Hacker and Ethical Fashionista: On the Road with Lauren K. Lancy

This is a travel hacking case study. (Read others or nominate yourself.)

Not only is Lauren Lancy a travel hacker, using miles & points to see the world, but she's also merged travel and fashion with her new project, The Kindcraft.

I’m a fashion designer and trend forecaster from Brooklyn. At the end of 2012, I traded New York City’s concrete jungle for the jungles of Southeast Asia. Now, instead of designing for fast fashion brands, I advocate for slower, more thoughtful and ethical kinds of fashion.

My interest in handmade products, textiles, and ethnic arts took me to Luang Prabang, Laos where my husband and I lived for 2013. Our home is now in Chiang Mai, a creative city in the tropical mountains of Northern Thailand.

I travel regularly to meet artists for my latest project, The Kindcraft, which is a celebration of makers of traditional art and contemporary craft from around the globe.

Read More

Surfing the Entire West Coast of the Americas: A Quest of Love and Discovery

Conscious traveling, a quest to surf the entire west coast of all the Americas, a van, and a dog: Jade Heilmann's experiences on the road were too good not to share.

I'm Jade. Together with my better half (aka Gabriel), our Westfalia (aka BigBlu), and our pup (aka Phi), we make up the We Travel and Blog team. Currently, we’re on a mission to surf the whole west coast of the Americas, from Tofino to Tierra de Fuego.

As an added challenge, we’ve pledged to make it to creating zero waste by the time we reach the tip of Chile. Gabriel and I see all water as holy; surf is our baptism. That’s where the zero waste pledge comes in. We’re tired of seeing trash rolling in the waves with us.


Read More

The Five-Year Road Trip: Two Adults and Two Teenagers Live Full-Time in an RV

This is a traveler case study. (Read others or nominate yourself.)

Dissatisfied with the typical suburban lifestyle, the Boyinks packed up their teenagers and hit the road. For the past five years, they've lived together in an RV, traveling America, meeting like-minded families and having adventures.

Originally, we traveled based on what we wanted to see. Now, we focus on who we want to be with. We’ve made friends with other traveling families and route planning is more collaborative.

Admittedly, there’s been some talk of finding land where we could all park our RV’s, let our kids hang out, grow a garden together, and just come and go as the need arises. The more we talk about it the more it starts to sound like a hippie commune...but maybe that isn’t so bad.


Read More

All-Female Film Crew Hikes 338 Miles of the California Aqueduct

This is a quest case study. (Read others or nominate yourself.)

Drought is on the minds of every Californian these days, but Samantha Bode took the water shortage a step further. First, she began to think about the water of Los Angeles itself—where it comes from, and why. This thinking led her on an exciting journey.

My name is Samantha. This summer, I'm backpacking all 338 miles of the Los Angeles aqueduct, from Owens Valley in Inyo County to Upper Van Norman Lake in Granada Hills.

The city of LA gets most of its water from hundreds of miles away, often leaving ecological destruction in its wake. On top of that, California is experiencing its worst drought on record, and people are not conserving water at the rate they need to in order to preserve this resource they need to live.

We’re taking the journey and making a documentary, The Longest Straw, to raise awareness of water importation and management. We hope to encourage people to form a personal connection with their water by seeing where it comes from.

Read More

“We Don’t Know What it’s Like Not to Travel”: On the Road with Sarah Glashegal and Scott Haywood

Sarah and Scott are at an exciting time in their lives: after incorporating regular travel into their routing, they're now transitioning from a rooted life in America to a more nomadic lifestyle. Here's their story.

I’m Sarah, and my partner is Scott. We met several years ago and fell in love - not just with each other, but also with the realization that we could fulfill lifetime dreams of traveling the world with the one we love.

We've lived mostly in the Midwestern U.S., but Scott recently took a job teaching at a middle school on the island of Eleuthera in The Bahamas, where I’ll soon move full-time.

One of our passions has been learning about the work of artisans we meet in our travels. This turned into an online business called From Around the Globe to help these artisans reach a wider audience. In doing this, we’re actually aligning with our core values: to be respectful, caring, and helpful members of the world community.

Read More

Going Back to Kindergarten at Age 28: Melia Dicker’s Quest

This is a quest case study. (Read others or nominate yourself.)

Have you ever wanted to go back to part of your school days knowing what you know now? In her part-Billy Madison style, part-personal development quest, Melia Dicker did just that.

I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. As a kid, I loved to write stories and draw, but as I got older, I began to focus on school at the expense of everything else. I put immense pressure on myself to get perfect grades and test scores.

I operated under the assumption that doing well in school would lead to a life as a happy, self-assured, and financially stable adult. But six years out of college, I realized that I was none of those things. The habits that had made me an excellent student were the very habits that made me terrible at being an autonomous adult.

Read More

How a Fortune Cookie Changed My Life: On the Road with Jessica Darling

Jess7 This is a traveler case study. (Read others or nominate yourself.)

We all travel for different reasons. When I heard Jessica's story of hoping to find herself—and how she went about it—I knew you'd like it, too.

Hey there. I’m Jessica, and a fortune cookie changed my life. Shortly before my 33rd birthday, I read the fortune, "You will never reach your full potential unless you try." Within six months I had resigned from my job, was single after years of being with a partner, and was entirely on my own.

So I decided to try.

I gave myself an open-ended "sabbatical" to really get in touch with what deeper meaning my life had and what work I was meant to do in the world. I wanted to find out what that "full potential" was.

Read More

A Traveler Who Loves Coming Home: On the Road with Megan Cain

This is a traveler case study. (Read others or nominate yourself.)

I love finding people who are able to incorporate travel into their lives without making it their whole life. Here's how Megan Cain has done just that.

After college, I lived in San Francisco before packing up and moving to a rural, 100-person town in Missouri to live at an eco-village and learn how to garden. I felt a pull towards growing my own food.

My move was a leap of faith that changed my life forever. I lived in a 90-square-foot cabin, met my future husband, and started the basis of a career in sustainable living. Mark and I are now have jobs, enjoy owning a home and being rooted in Madison, Wisconsin, while incorporating longer travel adventures into our lives.

Read More

“I am capable of more than I imagined”: On the Road with Elizabeth Glanzer

After experiencing many travel misadventures around the world, I love hearing other people's "silver linings" stories. This one (and other stories, too) comes from Elizabeth Glanzer in Los Angeles.

I'm a therapist and work with teens and young adults who feel misunderstood and out of place. I study psychoanalysis and neuroscience every chance I get.

Traveling is one of my favorite things to do. For me, it pulls everything together and shatters blind spots. People, culture, art, and "normal" is all relative when I go abroad, and I appreciate the ability to see how someone else lives and thinks.

Read More

Writing 150 Musical Compositions Before Turning 50: Stephen P. Brown’s Quest

Rejection didn't dampen Stephen P. Brown's inner fire. Instead, being turned down from achieving something he wanted flamed his desire to grow and change. Here's his quest.

As a conductor of orchestras, bands, choirs and musicals, it has been my privilege to see thousands of people laugh, cry and directly connect with live music, whatever language they speak. My life journey has taken me from a small village in the English countryside to the sunny shores of Florida via Europe, Africa, South America, and much of the USA and Canada.

Through all my travels I occasionally needed to compose music specifically for the ensembles I worked with, and I dabbled in some formal composition training here and there, but I never considered myself a 'composer.'

Read More

“I’m not running away, I’m running toward”: On the Road with Luke Armstrong

When we talked to Luke, he told us, “At the age of sixteen I wrote in my journal: 'Tonight, when I was driving home, I had the desire to point The Bronco in one direction and just keep going and going and going.'”

Many travelers will relate to his stories.
After I ditched my return ticket in Chile and took out a student loan to finance hitchhiking from South America to Alaska, people said, “You’re crazy!” I replied, “So was Columbus!” They insisted, “This is so financially unsound!” I cried, “So were The Pyramids!”

I joke sometimes that eight years ago I went to South America and I never came back. Really, it means I performed some paperwork magic to graduate early and created a path that was there for me to take or not.

Read More

Exploring Global Subcultures from New Orleans to Tokyo: On the Road with La Carmina

LA3 This is a traveler case study. (Read others or nominate yourself.)

A law student turned global storyteller, La Carmina has put her love of seeing the world through a subculture lens into books, articles, and television. Her stories just might inspire you to see your travels a little differently.

I'm La Carmina, a Goth girl from Vancouver, Canada. I started my travel and fashion blog in 2007 while studying at Yale Law. I loved connecting with people online, and sharing my passion for subcultures and alternative beauty around the world.

Over time, my site grew from a hobby into full-time opportunities I never imagined: publishing books, writing for CNN Travel, and hosting TV shows on networks like Travel Channel, Discovery and National Geographic.

Recently, I've put my focus on travel-related projects. My film team and I visit about one destination each month, and tell stories that appeal to millennial travelers—such as Korean cat cafes, Budapest music festivals, Cape Town drag queens, and Israel indie designers.

Read More

Around the World on a Yellow Motorcycle: Leon Logothetis’ Quest

This is a quest case study. (Read others or nominate yourself.)

Some people like a challenge. Some like a really big challenge.

Leon Logothetis went for big when he decided to travel around the world, fueled only by the kindness of people he'd never met.

I was born in London, where I worked as a broker. But I felt disconnected and uninspired with my pursuit of a traditional life. So I quit my job and moved to America.

My quest was to travel from Los Angeles all the way around the world, returning to LA, on my vintage yellow motorbike named Kindness One. There was a twist: I had to make it around the globe without money. I had to ask for help from people I met along the way.

The journey was not just about my traveling the world on the kindness of strangers. I also wanted to show that by truly committing to living our dreams, anything is possible.

Read More

The Art of Unplanned Travel: On the Road with Carole Rosenblat

This is a traveler case study. (Read others or nominate yourself.)

A quester and traveler, Carole Rosenblat decided to take a deep dive into rarely explored territory: the art of unplanned travel. She runs a blog and lets her readers choose where she travels, giving herself only a few days to get from one place to another.

I write as I travel so readers - who I call my Virtual Travel Buddies - get to be on the road with me. I include readers in on my quirky observations and my challenges and mistakes along the way (I get lost a lot).

While traveling, I find organizations or projects with which to volunteer and I profile them on my philanthropic site, Rebel With a Cause, to give them exposure to a wider audience.

Read More

Writing a Three-Line Poem Every Day for a Year: Yvonne Whitelaw’s Quest

As I wrote in The Happiness of Pursuit, a quest need not be an athletic struggle or travel adventure. I loved this story of how this former medical resident wrote a haiku every day for a year.

I'm Yvonne Whitelaw. I was born in Britain, but raised in Nigeria and the United States. I’m a stay at home mom and former physician. I decided to tweet a haiku a day for 365 days, even though I barely knew what a haiku was and had never actually written one.

Interestingly, the practice of daily haiku writing has helped my ADD. Haikus have trained me to focus and express myself succinctly.

Read More