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Conversations with Lauren Stuart

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lauren Stuart. 

Hi Lauren, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself
Travel has always been bigger than a passion of mine. It seems to be a part of who I am, my DNA. Travel is the single thing that makes me feel connected, fulfilled, and the ever cliché, “alive.”

As early as I can recall, I remember sitting at the table with my grandpa, looking at old maps of Europe thinking to myself, “I can’t wait to get there one day.” From endless hours and years of absorbing stunning images, documentaries, and first-hand stories, seeing the world and experiencing other cultures became this internal drum, this unwavering affirmation that eventually boiled over into the best and most erratic decision I’ve ever made.

In 2017, a few months after I got married, my husband and I quit our jobs and left on a six-month backpacking trip around Southeast Asia. We had nothing with us except the money we saved and a 60-liter backpack of belongings.

Well, our six-month trip turned into eight months, and those eight months of traveling through countries where everything was the exact opposite of the life you knew was the best thing I could have done not only for myself but for my relationships with others.

Travel leaves a mark on you. It’s heartbreaking. It’s awe-inspiring. It’s eye-opening. It’s humbling. It’s challenging. It’s frustrating. It’s infuriating. It gives you perspective you never knew you needed or wanted. It’s blissful. It’s fulfilling. It’s grounding.

Travel is all these things and so much more.

We live in a world where taking a year off to just be and experience whatever it is that makes you happy is unheard of. And to me, that is a shame. While 2017 seems so close but yet so far, those 8 months did more for my soul and my life than any single moment or collection of moments combined.

Today, I am back home in St. Louis working but traveling just the same. I started a travel blog in an effort to inspire anyone to chase that big or small trip of theirs. Whether it’s a weekend getaway or a trip halfway around the world, seeing the world and experiencing different cultures and religions isn’t something that should be left to the “one-day” mindset. It should be acted on and experienced as many times as you can.

Travel is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The biggest challenge I had to overcome was myself. The idea of quitting a very steady and comfortable job to leave my entire world behind was terrifying for me. Mind over matter as they say.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I started a travel blog shortly after I got home from my 8-month trip to Southeast Asia. I love writing travel guides and taking pictures to inspire those to get out and see this big, insanely beautiful world of ours.

From detailed itineraries to packing and traveling tips, to helpful suggestions on how to be a little more sustainable when traveling, I am really proud of the Wandering Stus Travel Blog. It’s a privilege to be able to write and inspire folks to get out of their comfort zone and book the flight they’ve been dreaming of.

Any big plans?
Future plans. Well, we just bought a camper this year and have been living out of it, on and off, for a few months. From Wyoming to New Mexico to the Northeast, this year has kept us pretty busy. Our biggest and closest future plan is leaving the country!

With COVID, we have been focusing on staying safe and exploring our own country so we are beyond excited to be going to Colombia for a month in January of 2022. We’ll be splitting our time between Bogota and Cartagena and we cannot wait!

After January, well, we haven’t gotten that far yet 🙂

Contact Info:

  • Email: thestus@wanderingstus.com
  • Website: www.wanderingstus.com
  • Instagram: @wanderingstus
  • Facebook: @wanderingstus

Image Credits
Lauren & Jesse Stuart
Wandering Stus

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