In today’s Why We Travel, I interview Lindsay Nieminen, editor of the travel websites “Step into Jordan” and “Carpe Diem OUR Way.” She is passionate about sharing her love of travel with others in the hopes to inspire them to travel more and to bring their kids along for the ride.
Describe your first transformative travel experience.
I cannot tell you if this was my first, but in my adult life, it was the most important. I was sitting in a dentist’s chair on my lunch hour, checking my emails and I received an email that I had won a trip to Jordan. To be honest, I didn’t know anything about the small Middle Eastern country, let alone, where it was. Somehow, I had never come across Petra, it was no-where on my bucketlist. But just ONE week later, with my mum and my then 5 and 3 year old boys in tow, I was on a plane to the Middle East, in what would be one of the most amazing 7 days of my life. We were visiting Jordan in conjunction with the U17 FIFA Women’s World Cup and attending the opening ceremonies with host country Jordan as well as Canada and USA matches were on our itinerary. I personally love sports (especially soccer as a life-long player) and have attended many important sports matches from World Cup games to Olympic finals.
I could not have imagined what I would experience in Jordan. From welcoming people, to otherworldly landscapes to the World Wonder of Petra, the four of us, along with two others from Canada had the time of our lives! This was the catalyst to share this amazing country with others and I have spent many months there since. I am passionate about sharing this wonderful country with others and you will not find a day goes by where I am not talking to someone about something in Jordan.
Why is travel important to you personally?
This is an easy one for me. It has ALWAYS been something I have wanted to do. My parents always took my with them on trips, it was never a “leave the kids behind” type family. They took me to the Cook Islands at 14 and I have loved tropical islands ever since! Travel is now a part of my job, after 10 years managing a distribution company in Vancouver, I decided I was tired of working so hard for 49 weeks a year to just get to travel for three weeks. After visiting Jordan, I quit my job, left my husband, sold our house, and made travel and blogging my priority! Although I will never live abroad long term (so my kids can have a relationship with their dad), we travel from Vancouver all over the world, as much as we can!
How do you prefer to travel?
I am very much a luxury traveller who likes convenience. However, that does not mean that I am not up for adventure and you will find me searching out off the beaten path adventures including multi day hikes or spending the night with minimalist needs. What traveling with kids has taught me, is that convenience makes a LOT of things easier, but it is not the only way to see a place. You will often find me taking a one hour plane ride instead of a 10 hour bus, but that does not mean that I will not surprise you! (Izmir to Istanbul is one such occurrence).
What tips do you have for travelers to make their experiences more meaningful?
Meaningful travel is going to mean something different for each person. For me personally, I love to talk to locals. I love to see how they live, what they love about their life and what challenges they meet. My top travel tip is to not travel too fast, find the time to stay in one place for a week instead of just one night, to really see what daily life is like there. Popping in and out you do not get off the tourist path very much.
What are your favorite travel-related books, movies, paintings, poems, songs, etc.?
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert is relatable to how I feel about travel and leaving the familiar western world mentality behind.
Married to A Bedouin by Marguerite van Geldermalsen is a great book about Petra, Jordan, and how a European woman was able to integrate into a local tribe.
Everyone should travel to see what else is out there. It is a pretty privileged, middle-class, answer, as not every human on earth will ever be given an opportunity to do so. Many do not have the opportunity to leave their hometown. As for the Western world, travel can really give you an appreciation for what you do have, and help a person be grateful for the wealth they are able to have in their life, whether financial wealth, or material wealth or a life full of experiences!
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