In this edition of Celebrity Travel Addicts, we chat with Lauren Carey, the world traveler, writer, and photographer behind Girl Gone Abroad! We chat with her about what first inspired her to explore the world, her journey to becoming a full-time traveler, her favorite places around the world to grab a bite to eat, and much more. Check out her tips on what to do in one of her favorite travel destinations and her advice for people who want to travel!
How did your passion for travel get started?
When I was a junior in college, I decided to study abroad in Sydney, Australia for a semester. It was the first time I’d ever traveled outside of the United States, and I absolutely fell in love with the country. After that, I was dying to see what else the world had to offer.
How many days/weeks are you traveling in any given year? What are the types of places you like to visit?
I travel full-time. I’m sure you’ve heard the quote “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list”, and this pretty much sums up my travel goals. I’m always happy to visit someplace new, and I love all climates and landscapes. For example, in just the last two months I’ve been sunbathing on Brazilian beaches, exploring the English countryside, and currently, falling in love with the Canadian Rockies!
You’re from a small suburb in Massachusetts. What makes Massachusetts such a great travel destination?
Massachusetts is fantastic, and I’m only recently realizing how much I’ve taken it for granted. The state enjoys four very distinct seasons, and each one is beautiful. There’s nothing like a summer on Cape Cod. In autumn, the foliage is unbelievable. Winter is cold and full of snow, but great if you love snow sports or cozying up next to a fire. And in spring, the flowers come out in full force and it’s a great time to go hiking, or spend some time exploring Boston and catching a Red Sox game.
You have a degree in psychology. I would imagine that could come in handy when traveling around the world. Does it help you in your travels and if so, how?
I never really thought about that, but I suppose it’s helped me navigate a lot of different personalities in a lot of different places! It’s also been interesting to see the differences in how people think and see the world across various cultures.
Your journey to becoming a full-time traveler is fascinating. You left the corporate world to teach in Thailand and then returned to it while you were overseas. Tell us about that journey.
Life felt very monotonous in Boston, so I left my real estate job and bought a one-way ticket to Thailand. While there I taught English for a semester, and before long, I returned to the corporate world while in Bangkok! Suddenly, I found myself in real estate again working a 9-5. While it was a lot more flexible than working in the states, and it afforded me a very comfortable lifestyle, I soon realized my mistake and quit, thus taking the leap into the world of freelancing! Currently I work as a full-time contractor for a tech startup called Bublup. The job is 100% remote, which allows me to keep traveling, and maintain my own blog on the side.
What do you want audiences to gain and learn from your work?
I just hope that my work inspires others to travel, and helps them to see that you don’t need a lot of money to do it, nor should you ever wait for anyone else to go with you!
What are the top three destinations you’ve visited?
I always struggle with this question! Gun to my head, I’d say Portugal, Brazil and South Africa.
Give us your ‘Top 5’ list for one of your top 3 destinations. Like a mini-guide or a to-do list of sorts. It can be anything from your favorite hotel, best place to have lunch, best sightseeing, etc.
Let’s go with Lisbon, Portugal. For a must-eat, empanadas at El Pibe. My absolute favorite place to get drinks is Pavilhão Chinês. Go find a hole in the wall establishment that advertises fado music. Pay a visit to the Tower of Belém, and lastly, you MUST get a pastel de nata from the nearby Pastéis de Belém.
How many countries have you visited so far?
What are your top 3 favorite cuisines?
Italian, Mexican, and American, of course.
What is your favorite restaurant in the world? What dish do you recommend there?
That’s the hardest question of all! There is one that comes to mind and it’s La Particular de Virginio in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I ate there probably four times in two weeks. The spinach and ricotta ravioli in a cheese sauce was AH-MAZING, and so was the strudel for dessert. Ugh, now I’m hungry.
What is your favorite travel movie?
As cliché as it may be, Eat, Pray, Love.
What is your favorite international airport?
I think Dubai is the only one I’ve frequented enough to call a favorite!
Which city had the friendliest people?
Oh that’s a tough one. Probably somewhere in Thailand or Vietnam!
Who is your favorite travel companion?
Myself. I’m quite reliable.
What is the best way to kill time while traveling?
Watching movies, writing, reading, or sleeping when possible!
What is the most exotic place your career has taken you?
Brazil was pretty exotic! Zimbabwe and Zambia as well.
What is your best bit of travel advice for someone who wants to, or is about to, embark on a life of travel?
Learn to roll with the punches, and never plan too much. You never know who you’re going to meet or where opportunities are going to take you.
What are 4 things you could never travel without?
My camera, my laptop, my phone, and TEA!
What is your ultimate dream destination?
The Seychelles or Maldives.
What is your favorite travel quote?
“I would rather own a little and see the world than own the world and see a little of it.”
Where are you headed next?
After Canada, I’m flying to California. It will be my first time in Los Angeles, and exploring some nearby areas like Lake Arrowhead, Big Bear, and Joshua Tree.
Lauren Carey is a full-time traveler and digital nomad exploring the world while holding down a marketing job. She also manages her own travel blog, girlgoneabroad.com, and loves documenting her travels via Instagram, @girlgoneabroad.
Check out Lauren’s blog and Instagram to learn more about her and her travels!