Name & Age? Lauren Williams, 26
Where's home? Penzance, Cornwall, United Kingdom
What was/is your last/current trip? Road-tripping Patagonia.
What got you started? After two years travelling and graduating from university, I spent three years working in an office, my soul slowing being destroyed. This girl ain't made to stay still, so quit the day job and moved to Italy for a summer of mountain guiding!
How do you pay the way? Will write for travel.
What's always on your packing list?
- Merino layers
- Big scarf that doubles as a blanket
- Notebook and pen
What’s the last thing that blew your mind? Spending 6 days in wild Patagonia, without seeing another soul.
#throwback to this time two months ago, holed up against the snow in an unmanned #refugio in #patagoniaargentina. 💚 at the time, only one person in the whole world knew where we were, and we were hours hiking from any other soul. You don't get much more remote than that! #traveldeeper #travelstoke #patagonia #elbolson #hiker #travel #wild #bornwild #staywild #stayoutdoors #southamerica
By land, by sea, or by air? Land, every time.
Hotel or hostel? Camp or Couchsurf? Camping. It's all about being wild.
What's your travel pet peeve? Know-it-all-been-everywhere-alls.
How do people react to you as a solo female traveler? "Why?"
What scares you? Those noises that sound like a bear coming to eat you in the middle of the forest whilst under canvas.
How do you overcome fear / anxiety / doubt? *and breathe* — or dipping into a WhatsApp conversation with the girls.
Worst memory: At the beginning of 2015 I was in India, on a press trip driving a car 3,000 miles around the southern states. About a week in we found ourselves in a traffic accident, in prison, and potentially facing jail-time and a court hearing. One year on it's a funny story, but at the time we weren't sure we'd make it out of India alive. You've read Shantaram, right?
Today I am going to a local school to talk about my trip to #india this year. Going through photos and getting some serious nostalgia of this wonderful morning spent on the #keralabackwaters with @filipachatillon and @redapie. Love you ladies <3 #travel #travelstoke #allepey #allepeybackwaters #tb #throwback #norefreshments
One unforgettable memory: On the same trip, after abandoning the road trip for safety of the beach in Kerala, us three girls spent a morning lazing on the backwaters at sunrise. Pure magic.
Bravest memory: Probably the same as the worst. We got out alive on nothing but a calm disposition and negotiation skills.
Culture shock moment: Landing in Marrakech for the first time with no idea of what to expect and no idea where to go. That place is overwhelming at best, let alone as a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed teen! Now, it's my favourite city in the world where I am at my most comfortable.
Best reason to talk to strangers: New friends, great food, wonderful people. I once met a guy on a plane who offered to take me paragliding over the High Atlas Mountains, just 'cause. It was rad, but my mother had a fit.
How are you different while traveling? I'm more trusting — I really do believe that people are wholly good.
Is it harder to leave or to stay put? Stay put. You don't get restless on the move.
Three things you've learned on the road:
- Plans are fluid, don't try to contain them.
- Put the phone/laptop/iPad down.
What keeps you going? Recommendations from travellers, "Oh man, there's this volcano in Pucon you have to climb, you can see lava from the top." Well, ok then.
What's next? Exploring my own country a little bit better and in a little more depth. The Forest of Dean, Channel Islands and Dartmoor are just a few on the cards over the next couple of months.
What would you be doing if you’d never left home? Working the same old job, in the same old office with the same old gossip.
What advice do you have for wanna-be Wild Hearts? It doesn't matter about the expectations that are on your shoulders, if your heart is pulling you elsewhere, trust it and go. You will be fine, and everything will still be there when you get home.
Last question: What would make you stop traveling? I don't think anything would ever stop me travelling completely, but to stop it being life would probably be after making a lifestyle that is wholesome and satisfying in the UK.