I’m Laura – I’m a teacher, dog lover, cyclist, and a massive travel nerd. I especially love active outdoor travel, from trekking in the Himalayas to cycling the west coast of the USA. I’ve been travelling since I was a kid, as my family used to pull me and my brothers out of school to go on extended backpacking trips. One of my favourite things about travel is all the amazing people I get to meet!
Why do you travel and look for adventures?
I travel because I’m bad at sitting still… ha. But also because I love the world so, so much. I once heard a theory that life feels longer when you have more new experiences. So maybe I’m trying to make my life feel as long as possible? Who knows.
What kind of adventures do you look for when you travel?
I like active travel – hiking, biking, kayaking, etc. I’m not really a good “sightsee-er”. I can do a bit but I start to feel a bit aimless after a couple of museums and landmarks. I need to move my body – it’s my favourite way to experience the world. Of course, my favourite travel adventure is to pet all the dogs, even the questionable ones. I’m just out here to pet the dogs, really.
What’s your go-to travel hack?
Don’t be afraid to do anything for a day or two. It’s fine. Also, buy a water filter so you don’t have to buy so much bottled water. It makes life easier and it’s better for the planet.
Got any gear you can’t travel without?
A piece of clothing you just really, really like, even if it serves no practical purpose. Also – an E-reader. I used to carry like eight books with me at any given moment and the E-reader has made my bag a lot lighter.
What destination are you eager to go back to?
Japan! It’s amazing.
How do you stay safe when you’re travelling?
When in busy places, I walk really fast – like I have somewhere to be and know exactly what I’m doing, even if I have no idea where I am. I am somewhat reserved with unfamiliar men, at least until I can get a good read on them. I usually book all-female dorms (women also snore less, ha). I gauge the safety of all situations – for example, I watched New Year’s in Kolkata from a balcony above the street because there were almost no women out in the streets that night and it didn’t seem like a good idea to be down there. But overall I don’t usually let being a solo female traveller stop me from doing much.
What’s the best way to experience a destination like a local?
Just talk to people. Go to a random cafe you notice instead of the one in the guidebook. There are some places where you’ll never really have a ‘local’ experience because you’re not local and it’s obvious. That’s fine, though. Just have whatever experience the moment offers you.
What’s your favourite word in another language?
‘Vamos’ – Spanish for ‘let’s go.’ I say it to my students all the time at work when I’m trying to get them from one room to another.
When and where are you next travelling?
Right now I’m cycling in Chile and Argentina. My next trip will probably be in Canada, although who really knows? But I’ve never been to Quebec so that’s what I’m thinking about right now.
Since Day 1 Travel with Jane has been about levelling the playing field for women in Australia. In 2020, we’re taking the fight global. Stay tuned to learn how you can support the women who tackle the gender divide here and abroad.