Who is Lauren Pelkey and what is her travel story?
Name? Lauren Pelkey
Homebase? Massachusetts & Bogota, Colombia
Solo or group travel? Solo Travel!!! I absolutely love the challenge of traveling solo – it really sheds light on your strengths and weaknesses and pushes you to become the best version of yourself. I also love the freedom of doing whatever I want, whenever I want without having to ask anyone! I enjoy the experience of traveling with other like-minded women on the Pangea retreats, I love traveling with my boyfriend, with friends – but there is something uniquely special about solo travel.
Favorite airline? I am not very loyal to any one airline, but I have always had such an awesome experience flying Cathay Pacific every time I go back to Asia!
How many countries have you visited? 27 – it will be 30 by April.
Favorite city and why? Rome will always be my favorite city! It’s where I fell in love with travel and met lifelong best friends. Every time I go back I feel this magical spark that I simply can’t describe.
Top bucket list destination? This is such a difficult one! I’ve always wanted to go to India, but I think Japan has recently taken the top spot.
Airbnb or hotel? I love staying at small boutique hotels or family-owned b&bs when I travel! A favorite of mine has been Cafetal de la Trinidad, which is a coffee farm and B&B outside of Bogota. You wake up to the sound of birds chirping, the aroma of freshly ground coffee (their own) then start your day with a beautiful Colombian breakfast before either relaxing in a hammock with a good book or going for a horseback ride through acres and acres of surrounding forest. It’s heaven.
When and why did you first get the travel bug? I definitely caught the bug in 2011 when I studied in Rome for a semester. It was really my first cultural travel experience and changed my entire world view. I even got a tattoo to commemorate the experience!
Most memorable trip? As you can imagine, there are many to list here, but my trip to Vietnam stands out in my mind because it’s where I fell in love with solo travel and opened up my eyes to just how powerful traveling on your own can be for your self confidence and overall self development. It’s what inspired me to make solo travel my main focus with Wanderluluu, as it’s something I feel everyone should experience! I truly believe you’re not only more in tune to yourself when traveling solo, but also to your surrounding environment – you really see, smell, hear taste and feel more.
Best travel advice for new travelers? It may sound obvious, but a good attitude and an open mind goes a long way! Things are bound to go wrong like a missed train or a case of food poisoning (welcome to travel) and it’s crucial to stay positive and to not give up. You’ll come out on the other side as a stronger, more confident person!
What’s your secret to affording the ability to travel? Sacrificing luxuries & indulgences: shopping, getting your nails done etc: I actually wrote an entire blog post about this! Back when I was working a 9-5 office job, I also worked as a waitress at night to make extra money so that I could travel. When all of my coworkers and friends were going out for drinks I was most likely working and saving up for my next adventure.
Do you have a travel blog we should check out? Yes! Wanderluluu.comis a blog all about empowerment through solo travel with a goal to inspire women to take at least one solo trip in their lifetime. I aim to help give my readers the confidence they need to travel on their own by providing itineraries, guides, and transportation advice for each of the places that I travel. I also specialize in Colombia travel and have some top ranking content that helps travelers experience “The Land of Sabrosura.”
Upcoming travel plans? Part of my role as the Retreat & Community Manager for Pangea Dreams is leading retreats all around the world! We specialize in educational retreats for female creatives and entrepreneurs that focus on branding, content creation, social media, blogging strategies, photography and wellness. I’m hosting 9 weeks of retreats next year in Costa Rica, Bali, Greece, and Mexico where I teach blogging strategies like SEO and driving traffic to your site with Pinterest.
Anything else you want us to know? A fun fact is that I have lived in Boston, Rome, Melbourne, and Bogota over the past several years and currently split my time between Massachusetts and Colombia when I’m not leading a Pangea Dreams retreat in another part of the world. Next year I hope to turn Bogota into my home base!
*Did you like Lauren’s story? If so, be sure to leave us some feedback! If you know someone, or you yourself would like to be featured, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org