Traveling is in my blood, and has been a part of my life even as a child. It all started with my maternal grandfather when he became a contractor with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). He worked for USAID for several years during which he raised my mother and her siblings abroad in Brazil and Indonesia and traveled extensively in between. When he left USAID, he and my grandmother opened a travel agency, which is where my love for and interest in travel began. I remember coming home from daycare and kindergarten and literally sitting on their knees while they met with clients, discussed various trips and excursions they could take, seeing the office adorned with maps, colorful pictures, art finds my grandmother scored, and globes on each desk. I was hooked. At various periods, all my aunts and my mother worked in the travel agency and eventually so did I. As an elementary school student, I would answer phones, take notes during conference calls, update their contact database, and mostly just hang around reading all the travel guides, magazines, and books that were all over the customer waiting area.
When I entered middle school, we moved away from my hometown to another town but my desire to travel never diminished despite the distance from the travel agency. High school and college rolled around, and my interests waxed and waned as interests do for adolescents and early 20-somethings, but the travel bug was always a part of me. As soon as I found myself able to self-fund my travel, I was out!!! I started like most travelers do in Western Europe UK, Ireland, France, The Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Luxembourg, Belgium, Estonia), the Caribbean (Jamaica and later others), and Mexico. Then I decided to go further and started exploring destinations that were further afield like: Syria, Jordan, India, Bahrain, UAE (Dubai and Abu Dhabi), Yemen, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Honduras, Panama, Costa Rica, Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, Suriname, Turks and Caicos, Bahamas, Bolivia, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Portugal, Turkey, Hungary, Austria, Nepal, etc.).
There is a lot of traveling I still must do, specifically in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, South Central Asia (i.e. Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh) which I will do in this lifetime and what eventually lead me to become a travel blogger +. I say travel blogger plus because while I focus heavily on travel, traveling as a family, and expatriate life, I address many other topics including, parenting, relationships, work-life balance, contemporary social issues, international relations and foreign policy, and issues relevant to the African-American community. Lia World Traveler, my website which hosts my blog “Life as I See It,” is aspirational in that it is self-motivating and a source I use to keep myself moving on the travel tip. It is also experiential and community-oriented, as it provides a platform to share my experiences and insights with others.
These days I am based overseas, meaning I live and work overseas most of the time, and visit the United States, instead of the other way around. I am raising a family of two young children, so many of my travel posts discuss traveling with family, family-friendly destinations, and when I am kid-free (like when the kids are with their grandparents), I discuss great couples’ destinations. When I live in a place, I also tend to write posts about that country, specifically places to visit, things to see, hotels to stay in, activities to try, foods to eat, and places to shop among other related topics. I also talk about regional travel options that are close to the place where I am.
Many people ask me what’s next since I am in a growth phase as a blogger and freelance writer. The answer is I’m not sure. I love my full-time job, I enjoy posting on Lia World Traveler and other sites, but I do see myself becoming a “real” author. I have an idea for a children’s book series based on the travels I am currently taking with my kids. More on this in the coming months!
For more information on Lia, find her on the web and follow her adventures.