Adventurous Accounts

laura gingerich

observant nomad | adventurous accounts: laura gingerich

Adventurous Accounts is a semi-regular feature that gathers the experiences from adventurers to learn what travel has meant to them. I’ve recently started following Laura on her blog, Roam + Go Lightly where she encourages others to lead a creative and adventurous filled life. In 2014 she left everything behind and spent the summer in Europe. So I asked her to share with us a little bit about her experiences and how seeing the world has shaped her.

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Hey Laura, thanks for sharing with us. So tell me, when you’re looking for a place to visit, how do you pick?
I’m a traveler who prefers experiencing culture over sightseeing. Meaning, I’d rather take up local recommendations over museums, shops and historical sights. Although I truly do appreciate and love doing those things, they aren’t the decision makers for me. So, I guess you could say I go on an experience-hunt when determining a place to travel to!

That sounds like my kind of trip! What are some ways you balance touristy things with an ‘authentic’ feeling trip?
I try to avoid touristy areas during any and all meal times. Not only are they overpriced, but also just plain lame (there are exceptions I’m sure). Eating like a local helps a lot. I also try to research local customs and daily habits so we can get into the swing of their lifestyle too. It’s something I can’t wait to do this summer in Thailand!

What made you decide to travel somewhere so outside your comfort zone?
When deciding to go to Thailand and Japan this summer, the idea of experiencing a completely different culture was totally worth the initial uncomfortable-outsider feeling we expect to be having. Luke and I realized that we wanted to learn. We wanted to truly take it all in, to be sponges. Comfort is a state of mind we’re willing to forgo initially. However, as we are both pretty flexible, easy going people, I know deep down that we’ll be just fine!

observant nomad | adventurous accounts: laura gingerich

observant nomad | adventurous accounts: laura gingerich

Speaking of Luke, I know you two moved to Europe in 2014 for the summer. Did you have a favorite place you visited?
Last summer I fell in love with Trastevere, Rome. Blame it on the romantic old buildings, the food, the orange hued hazy mornings, the people, the humidity… this little corner of the city stole my heart! Trastevere is the “working man’s” section of the Italian capital, so the streets were filled with real Romans (who of course were too stunning for words). Living in Trastevere was as close as I’ve ever felt to being a true Italian. Because I lived there for an extended period of time, it really started to feel like it was my space away from home to be an artist. My boyfriend Luke and I even love-locked the Ponte Sisto to commemorate the beautiful experiences we had there together.

What was the most memorable moment from that trip?
Perhaps the most memorable experience was returning my grandfather’s ashes to his homeland in Sicily. I remember feeling so vividly alive and present in the moment when his ashes left my hand and embarked in the ocean’s current that lead to his family’s village. It was an extremely sentimental moment to realize that I was able to honor his life and his family in that way.

It’s obvious family is very important to you, so is traveling with them your favorite way to go? Or do you prefer solo trips, with Luke, or gal pals?
I see the value in all kinds of travel! But I will say having shared experiences, whether it’s with your best friend or your grandmother, is an incredible feeling. Having my boyfriend Luke beside me in my travels taught me that. Plus, it’s great to be able to recollect all the crazy times you had together. I haven’t had a gal pals trip, but I would SO love to plan that for the future!

observant-nomad-laura-gingerich-adventurous-accounts-flowers observant nomad | adventurous accounts: laura gingerich

observant nomad | adventurous accounts: laura gingerich

Now for some tips! What’s the one thing you can’t travel without?
That’s tough! Definitely a notebook to fill with the little thoughts, doodles and recommendations that pop up along the way.

Give me one tip for saving money on my next trip:
Minimize your “treat” expenses (aka say no to the shoes you’ve been eyeing up), make yourself an Adventure Fund to deposit small amounts of cash into every pay period, collect coins in a jar and choose a lower costing country to travel in, (South East Asia vs. Paris).

Any secret tools you use when planning/ researching a trip?
Oh yes! Definitely check out my ultimate list of travel resources on my blog. I packed some goodies on there, for sure!

So, how do you pick places to eat when traveling?
Local recommendations are the BEST. It may initially feel awkward to ask, but it’s worth it every time. And a good old glance around an area will help too. Most of the time, if locals are eating there… you want to eat there. Even if it’s a street food vendor.

Ok, now that we’re on food, what’s the most memorable meal you’ve had in your travels?
Okay, are you ready for this? The best pizza I’ve ever had… ever… was at this little pizzeria in Rome called Dar Poeta. Gorgonzola, sausage and mozzarella, freshly made in a stone oven with a crispy bottom and an incredible dough. This was eaten, of course, with a carafe of their house wine and finished with their Nutella and ricotta calzone. IT WAS STUPID GOOD.

observant nomad | adventurous accounts: laura gingerich

observant nomad | adventurous accounts: laura gingerich

You’ve already traveled a bunch, but do you ever get nervous when traveling?
Plane rides get the best of me sometimes. I heard on NPR the fear of a plane crash is so common because it is a super vivid image we can all create in our heads. I totally buy into that idea. Knowing that we’re so high in the air is a stressful thing for me. I try to knock myself out on my way there… sleeping before the plane takes off. After I wake up, I do my best to be productive, like creating blog posts and writing short stories to fill up the time.

Amazing that you have such a barrier to overcome and you do it! You must really believe in the reward of travel. How has traveling shaped you as a person?
I feel like travel has definitely channeled my path. I graduated college as the most confused version of myself imaginable. I seriously was so, so lost. I was iffy about entering the field I had graduated with a degree in, I felt overwhelmed by the amount of choices I had to make, I felt really unfocused. My time abroad has always left me with a clearer sense of myself and my direction.

It might be cliche, but it’s true… traveling has taught me how small the world is. Travel has taught me that my life is just one out of billions. It’s taught me that the experiences in my life will have parallels with almost every person I will run into, whether they are my race, religion, socio-economic standing, or culture. It’s created a thread between me and all people.

If you had to sum it up, what does ‘adventure’ mean to you?
To me, adventure is a perspective. It’s an optimistic outlook on your surroundings, it’s a need to explore and experience… whether that’s to the town next over or to a foreign country. It’s embracing the excitement of new and unchartered, no matter what your location is.

observant nomad | adventurous accounts: laura gingerich

observant nomad | adventurous accounts: laura gingerich

observant nomad | adventurous accounts: laura gingerich

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MORE ABOUT LAURA
If you want to read more about Laura’s worldly travels (including the UK) check out her travel posts.
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such beautiful adventures. looking forward to reading more on roam + golightly.

Yay!! Laura’s blog is awesome. I’m glad to see her featured on here. Can’t wait to see what she shares about her travels in Thailand and Japan this summer.

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