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It might be hard to believe, but research shows that people who have traveled abroad are happier and healthier than those who’ve never left their home country.
Our next guest, Lisa Niver, is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 101 countries and six continents. You can find her talking travel at KTLA TV and on her “We Said Go Travel” blog, which is read in 235 countries. Lisa’s articles have been published in AARP, American Airways, Jewish Journal, Ms. Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, Teen Vogue, and Wharton Magazine.
She is currently writing a book, “Brave(ish): It’s All About Perspective, 50 Adventures Before 50,” about her most recent travels and challenges.
Bob and Lisa discuss:
- Doing your homework, planning for the unexpected, and having contingency plans when traveling.
- Trusting your instincts in a foreign country.
- How traveling abroad changes your perspective on life.
- Lisa’s favorite “F” word.
- Throwing money at a problem usually leaves you with less money.
Ready for your next adventure? Let Lisa Niver be your guide. Visit lisaniver.com or wesaidgotravel.com to learn more about her traveling “do’s” and “dont’s.” You can also visit Lisa Niver on MYSA to check out Lisa’s article on our episode. Check out her “We Said Go Travel” videos on YouTube, with over 1.3 million views, and prepare for an epic journey.
Click to Read Full Transcript
Bob: [00:01:00] Welcome to another episode of Money You Should Ask. I’m your host, Bob Wheeler. And in this episode, we’re going to explore, question, examine, converse, dig deep, expose, laugh and cry about the money beliefs, money blocks, and life challenges of our next guest. Turn up the volume, listen, learn and laugh.
All right. Our next guest is Lisa. She is an award winning travel expert who has explored 101 countries and six continents. She’s also still credentialed to be a science teacher, which she did for many, many years. You could find her talking travel at KTLA TV and in her We Said Go Travel videos with over 1.3 million views on our YouTube channel.
She is the founder of, We Said Go Travel, which is read in 235 countries. Her stories have been published in such places as AARP, that’s for old people, American airways, Jewish Journal magazine, Smithsonian magazine, Teen Vogue, and Wharton magazine. She’s currently writing a book: Brave- ish. It’s All About Perspective 50 Adventures Before 50, about her most recent travels and challenges.
When she’s not scuba diving or in her art studio, making ceramics, she’s helping people find their next dream travel. Lisa, I am so excited to have you here. You know, I’m a fan. Thanks for joining us.
Lisa: [00:02:32] Thank you so much for having me on your show, Bob, really excited to be here and get to talk to you and all of your listeners.
Bob: [00:02:38] Well, I’m excited because well, first of all, you scuba dive and so I don’t even think I could, maybe I could scuba dive in a pool because I have a complete fear of being eaten by sharks. So have you encountered a shark?
Lisa: [00:02:52] Yes, I actually have. I actually have yes, many times being in the ocean with sharks.
And I’d say one of the most I don’t know what the adjective is. I don’t know that it’s impressive, but the most, the thing that people go, “you did what?!” I went scuba diving with bull sharks, which are supposed to be the most dangerous sharks, but I was actually with the pregnant bull sharks, the female sharks aren’t the same level of danger and they’re busy being pregnant.
So I went in Mexico and I took a class. Called shark school. And we would learn in class for a few hours about a predator behavior, and then we would go scuba diving. And it was, there was one dive where I actually did get a little freaked out, which is very unusual for me, but I got separated from my group and two sharks were coming right at me and I was like “what?”but but mostly, I mean, I’ve been diving for decades and I love it.
And. Honestly, honestly, honestly, sharks are not that interested in you.
Bob: [00:03:52] Yeah. I’ll try and tell myself I’m not that good. So they’re going to bite my leg and then move on. Oh, scary. Scary. So when you were a kid, did you always want to scuba dive? Did you always want to travel? What did five-year-old Lisa want to do when she grew up?
Lisa: [00:04:12] Well, what happened is five-year-old Lisa pretty much wanted to sit in the corner and read how a super into reading, but teenager, Lisa went on a cruise and my parents took us to the Mediterranean.
And one of the most incredible things was we went. It to Athens. And I saw the Parthenon, we went to Israel, I saw the Western Wall and it was basically my history books came to life. And in school I always found the history books, pretty boring, to be honest. And I was like, why do I have to learn this? And then we were in a Turkey in Kusadasi and I walked through the house.
You know, what they claim may be one of the very first libraries at emphasis. This is amazing. And I just got the travel bug. I was like, what else can I learn? Where else can I go?
Bob: [00:05:00] That’s so awesome. And did you have brothers and sisters? Were you an only child? Was it easy for you to travel?
Lisa: [00:05:08] I was the oldest of two girls. I still am. My sister is actually here in LA for Passover and we did not travel what we, we traveled every holiday to skiing. I would recommend that my dad, who is 79 would rather ski than breathe. So my whole life, most vacations were to the snow and the cold. So I didn’t go that many places. But I, because of that first trip, I spent a summer in Israel with about a hundred teens from Los Angeles.
And then because of the summer trip, I spent a semester in Israel during college, and those were very foundational for me.
Bob: [00:05:49] That is so cool. And did your parents, when you were younger, did they talk to you about money? Did they talk to you about Like doing what you wanted to do. Like how, how was that growing up? In terms of money and…
Lisa: [00:06:02] You know, it’s interesting. My parents moved to California to Los Angeles from the East coast and they bought a house in 1971. They still live in.
Bob: [00:06:11] Wow. Okay.
Lisa: [00:06:13] And so the only house they ever bought and in 1971, I think the house was $65,000 and everyone told my dad don’t buy the house. It’s too expensive.
Bob: [00:06:26] Wow.
Lisa: [00:06:26] You need a starter house. And then when you get established as a dentist, you could have a, this house. This is not a first house. And my mom and dad said, we’re never moving. And people said, no, no people move every five to seven years. My parents have never moved. So there was a good choice for them.
But I think that I definitely got the sense from them like that you save up and that’s how you build your dreams. And it’s important to work hard and figure it out and in my family, one of the big, important things is definitely education. Yeah. Study, figure it out.
Bob: [00:07:05] Yeah, absolutely. And did you get uh, did you get what allowance did you get allowance? Did your parents give you money for chores or…
Lisa: [00:07:12] I never had allowance, but to be honest, I didn’t really want anything. I, I turned out when I was growing up. I had a problem with my eyes that didn’t exactly get diagnosed. And so I wasn’t that great at a lot of things. And I was interpreted as very clumsy and not athletic.
And so I never played sports. My eye doctor who helped me in my forties basically told me with the scores I had he was just so happy I could read. So, yeah, so I could read. And basically that was all I did. I could not catch a ball. I wasn’t out a lot. Like, I don’t know where I would’ve spent money.
You know, like I I’m sure I went to the movies, but I think my parents either went us, or gave me money for the movies, but I didn’t, I didn’t practice really spending money on a budget.
Bob: [00:08:02] Okay. And then when you got out in the real world after you finished college and you’re out doing your own thing, did, did you have to learn about money or did you already have sort of a foundational sense of it?
Lisa: [00:08:15] That’s a good question. Well, one of the funny stories I remember actually from college is a funny money story is I went to Penn and we had food service. We had the cafeteria Monday through Friday. So on the weekends, we needed figure out money. And at the time, yes, at the time, this is prior, in my recollection, in the eighties prior to ATM. So it might’ve been just on the edge of it. And so my, my best friend and I, you know, we would always eat together. So I remember one week and we would, you know, you had to remember go to the bank during bank hours and cash a check.
Bob: [00:08:54] Right.
Lisa: [00:08:55] And we were college students. So I remember one weekend, like on Friday or Saturday, looking at our, our dorm had Sunday breakfast. So we had Friday, I think we still had lunch and dinner. So it was like Saturday and Sunday dinner. At some point on Saturday, she looks at me. I look at her between us. We have $20.
So I was in a terrible mood. I don’t remember where we went. We got some food and they gave us change with $10. And I was like, what are we supposed to do with $10? And we were always together. And so she looks at me, she takes the $10. She was so tired of me being a bitch takes the $10. Rips it in half, hands, five, hands half to me, takes the other half and walks out.
I was like, Oh, I think I’ve been schooled. I think I have an attitude problem. The next day, Sunday morning, we have brunch with everybody in the dorm and then it comes time to whatever lunch or dinner. And I look at her, I’m like, what are we going to eat? We don’t have any money. She said we have money.
Give me back the money.She tapes it together. Orders, pizza, dinner. We never had that problem again. What happens when you’re not very nice,
Bob: [00:10:15] Exactly. That it reinforces teamwork. Cause he did both of you to put the $10 bill back. That’s awesome. That’s awesome.
Lisa: [00:10:24] That was definitely one of the ways I first had an experience of like, did we get the money? You know, like that, that it’s a literal exchange because it was still very cash.
I did have a credit card for emergencies that I almost never use. And I guess we could have used it that weekend, but I would not have thought of that as an emergency, but it’s helped me in funny moments. Like I remember when I went to Cuba. I had, made a mistake and at the airport, I wanted to change money.
And the guy that I had arranged to pick me up to take me to my Airbnb said, don’t change the money here, in Spanish. You’ll change it in town. It’s a better rate. And I listened to him and we got into town. I checked into the ATM, I went to go change the money and it was too late. The place was closed and I went to a local hotel who wouldn’t help me because I wasn’t staying there.
And so fortunately I always have snacks in my bag, so I was fine. But I could not go to dinner cause it didn’t have any money. And that was the last time I think that I ever didn’t trust my instincts. I was like, if I need to change the money, you’ll just have to wait for me. So, you know, Put the money together.
Bob: [00:11:37] Trust your instincts and trust your instinct.
And the thing that people don’t realize, even in this day and age, and in some countries, they don’t have ATM machines and the rules are different. So when I was in India, getting ready to go into Nepal, I took a thousand dollars out of the ATM, but it was Indian money. And then I got to Nepal to pay for everything.
And they said, well, you’re not Indian. So you can’t use Indian money to get into Nepal. You can only use US money. Well, I had pulled out most of my money and I was fighting with my travel partner. She was mad at me. And I had to call a friend back home and have them wire me money on Western Union, I think, yeah, Western Union, because there were no ATM’s in Nepal. Right. We get very spoiled in the US.
Lisa: [00:12:30] It is very important. I agree with you when you’re… I actually heard a story of someone, I think it was the same border that literally had to recross back and change the money and come back. They weren’t traveling with a smart partner who did, you know, but it can be very challenging to make sure, you know, when you’re thinking about whose money or.
Or where was the place? Is it in Cambodia? I think it was in Cambodia. I went to the ATM and US dollars came out and I was like, this is so strange.
So there’s certain places, Ecuador also sometimes you can use US dollars. So it’s like, you know, you’re like, how is this happening? But you know, being without money or not understanding the system is extraordinarily problematic.
I mean, always wherever you are, but certainly traveling can be much worse because like you said, you don’t necessarily have the resource. Like you are fortunate to call someone.
Bob: [00:13:22] It is hard in other countries. You know, I haven’t been to as many countries as you’ve been to. But I do know when you’re in small countries or crossing the border that has a, has a big log to be the… the thing that goes up and down.
It’s a different, you’re not in the U S everybody is not catering to you.
Lisa: [00:13:42] Correct.
Bob: [00:13:42] And probably catering to you even less sometimes because you’re from the US.
Lisa: [00:13:47] Well, it’s, you know, it’s interesting. I worked for a long time on cruise ships and we had different problems over the years that I was there.
I remember once my credit card had fraud and so they wanted to send me another credit card, but I didn’t exactly have a great mailing address on that. So fortunately I had a second credit card and I was like, Oh, I can just cancel it. It’s fine. And my favorite story was we were, I was sailing from santiago in Chile to Buenos Aires.
It was a two week trip and we were in Santiago and I went to the ATM and the ATM machine ate my card. And I went to, I went to the bank gaurd and I said, “Hey, you know, it ate my card.” He goes, “no problem. Just come back on Monday and we’ll give it to you.” I said, “well, on Monday, I certainly won’t be here.
I’m leaving at 5:00 PM.” And so, you know, I, I my dad was in the military, so I have USAA bank and they’re very used to people moving around because that’s what they deal with. And so that wasn’t a problem to them. They were going to take care of it. But it wasn’t so great for me because like, we didn’t, I didn’t have an address and I actually had in my bag.
A debit card, an ATM card for a different bank and another credit card. Because when I travel in my backpack, I have a credit card and debit card. And in my pack luggage, I do too, because I don’t know what’s going to happen. And you know, what’s really important. I always tell people have a hundred dollars cash in your wallet.
Like what if, like you said, what if there’s no ticket ATM? What if the power goes out? Yeah,
Bob: [00:15:27] Absolutely, and when you travel, do you, so one of the things that I was told and I’ve done this when I traveled is I carry a lot of $1 bills. Because if I’m, if I have a 50 or a hundred, the chances are, nobody’s gonna be able to exchange that.
But if I’ve got a few dollars, even if it’s not the local currency, people still like US dollars.
Lisa: [00:15:47] I think that’s very good advice to have, you know, small money because some people, like you said, for a long time, you know, the, the us dollar has been the, you know, international exchange. And many people are willing to figure that out on their own.
And like you said, they can’t change a big bill. So I do think that’s really good advice. I think you just have to plan for what might happen and think through different scenarios, you know, like for forever. People have been saying, “you know, have a copy of your passport in another bag and someone at home should have a copy of your passport” and people tell me, “it’s okay. I don’t need a copy of my passport. It’s in my phone”. I said, “well, what about when your phone dies, what about when your phone is stolen?” Right? What about your foot breaks?
Like it’s interesting to me. I was at a conference in January, a travel conference. There are 550 of us on this platform and the platform crashed.
And so I had my whole schedule for the day. We had meetings every 10 minutes. I had my whole schedule in front of me and I just started calling people. I’m like, Hey, we’re supposed to have a meeting now, how about we just have on the phone? And there was all this chatter in Facebook. We had a Facebook group and it were like, “how am I supposed to know what my schedule is?”, I was like, “well, why don’t you print it out?”
“Why would I print it out? It’s in the platform.” I said, “well, I guess, I guess you never lived on a cruise ship when the power went out in the middle of the ocean.”
Bob: [00:17:09] You got, you have to have contingency plans when you travel and you, and I think you’d learn that pretty quick. I know, you know, I did, because. We don’t know what’s going to happen and we’ve been, so I think we’re very spoiled here, dare I say entitled, because I, the first time I went to Mexico, this is really sad,
i, you know, I came out here from Tennessee to California. I went down with a friend. She wanted to go to Mexico and we drove down and as we cross the border, I know I’m going into Mexico. I know they speak Spanish. And this was years ago and I looked and I thought. Well, I can’t believe they’re not going to do in everything in English.
I mean, I’m American, right? That was my initial, of course. Then I realized what a jerk I was. But initially as we’re talking, I’m like the signs are in Spanish. I mean, I know it’s a Spanish speaking country, but seriously, that’s the mindset. I think of a lot of Americans,
Lisa: [00:18:05] You know, it it’s, it’s hard. If you’ve always been in one place to think about what it might be like in another place.
When, when I was studying in Israel for spring break, I went to visit a friend in Italy and my other friends went to different countries. And when we came back, one of the women was talking about how she got lost running. She said, she looked at the sign. And she was like, I have to come back to this sign.
That’s where my house, you know, wherever she was staying in a hotel was. So she kept following the sign and following the sign and following the sign and she never came back and it was quite scary for her. The sign she was following said, one way. That was very instructive to me. I was like that. I don’t want to make that mistake. And I tell people when we were on the cruise ship and we were in Asia, the daily newsletter always had the name of the pier. In whatever the local language was. So if you were out alone, you could show that document and get back.
And, you know, I went out once with an officer and we’re like, we’re good. You know, we know what we’re doing and we’re in India. We’re like, they speak English here. We’re fine. So we get in a taxi to go back to the ship. The ship will leave without us, even though we’re officers, because they’re going to leave.
So when we tell them we’re going, where we’re going, we’re driving along. I’m thinking it doesn’t seem quite right. And all of a sudden the guy I’m with looks out the window and he’s like, why do I see airplanes? So we asked to go to the port. The ship port. We went to the air- port. So I tell people, listen, I only know all of these things to tell you because they’ve made every single possible mistake.
You know, like I don’t need to have it in, you know, I’m fine. Nope. Not that fine. So we did not miss the ship that day did not miss the ship that day, but I never made that mistake again. Plenty of other mistakes. Yes. But not that one.
Bob: [00:20:10] You have to be so careful in traveling. I remember when we went to Nepal.
And we went to India and Nepal, there was a third friend was going to join us in India, but he didn’t know he had to get a visa, so they wouldn’t let him in to India ,minor detail. Right. So he ended up going into Nepal early and while we spent a week in India. You have to…,
Lisa: [00:20:33] Yes, that’s true. When I spent quite a bit of time traveling backpacking in Asia and when we were. Thailand at the time had 30 day visas. And then we went to probably Vietnam and came back over land. And while we were in Vietnam, they changed the rules and we came Overland and like, Oh no, you get a 15 day visa..
Like, 15 days! What happened to 30? 30 days is only for a fly in.. So the next time we left Thailand and came back, we flew back. So we wanted 30 days to the rules. It’s kind of like, COVID, you know, you’re like, wait, I thought the rules were 6 feet. Oh, 3 feet? Feet. You know, you have to pay attention to local information.
Like where do I get money? How do I get money? Is the bank closed on Saturday and Sunday’s closed on Sunday and Monday. Is it a holiday? We showed up once in Thailand to stay at a small Island. On Monday, we’re like, this will be great. Everybody only goes here for the weekend. So we show up on Monday afternoon.
It doesn’t seem quite right. It seems like a lot of people, it turns out was a three day weekend. So one of the choices was to get back on the speed boat and go back to the mainland and my travel partner. I was like, It’ll be fine. Like, I’m not sure it’s going to be fine. So we, the two of us and maybe, six other people, one of the bars said, listen, when we close, we’ll lock your luggage in the kitchen and you can sleep on the picnic tables.
And I was like, I’m not sure that’s a good idea. My travel partner,. And I was like, this is a perfect, it’s like, great. We have nowhere to stay and that can be definitely scary.
Bob: [00:22:18] I mean, and you, do you have to know the rules. I remember, traveling to the Zanzibar, the Island from Tanzania, mainland and Zanzibar is part of Tanzania, but you have to have a passport to get into Zanzibar. So half the people on the ship arrived at Zanzibar only to have to turn around and take the ship back to the mainland because they didn’t bring a passport. Like, you got to know the rules.
Lisa: [00:22:46] I, when I worked for princess cruises in the kids program, we used to show the Muppet treasure Island and they were always talking about going to visit the Zanzibar variants. So I have not yet into Zanzibar. That’s definitely on my list. So was it amazing?
Bob: [00:23:04] Amazing. It’s really cool. There’s some amazing history. There’s some sad history there, but it’s a a fascinating place. Fascinating place. I think my takeaway was there was a Saudi, the story was, there was a an Arabian princess. Her husband was the, or her brother was the Sultan and she had an appetite for young Island men.
But after a night of fun that would be their last day. She would, she would have them killed cause she didn’t want anybody talking about their fun night. So she, so if the, if, if the, if the princess wanted to hang out with you for the night, that wasn’t a good thing.
Lisa: [00:23:39] Wow. Well, hopefully it was a great last night.
Bob: [00:23:43] That’s a great one. Go out with a bang. Something like that. Yeah.
Lisa: [00:23:49] Yeah. That’s a tough metaphor.
Bob: [00:23:53] Let me ask you this. Tell our listeners back to the money ,to our listeners out there that are on a budget. Should they go travel? You say, We Said Go Travel after COVID I’m on a budget. I’ve got things going on.
Should I still. Put aside some money and take a trip somewhere different than where I am. Why is traveling so important?
Lisa: [00:24:13] Well, for me, traveling is definitely a form of education. I’ve met amazing friends. I’ve gained perspective. It’s really travel has changed my life. And you know, you think that you’re going to see how other people live, but I find that I learn the most about myself.
Yeah. And I definitely think that people should go traveling. I, I believe after COVID that many people will want to travel first, maybe a little bit locally, maybe explore some domestic places. They haven’t thought where the top of their lists. I know some of the islands, like I I’ve had amazing experiences in Vanuatu in the Solomon Islands and as . Fiji and I don’t believe they’re going to be open this year in 2021. I don’t think they’re going to be ready for visitors until 2022.
So that’ll also impact people’s choices of, I know, Cabo and the one and only Palmilla are definitely open. And I read in Forbes that they’re recently one of the first verified destinations.
So places are opening or open. Yeah, but it’s more about how comfortable you feel. And certainly with many, many people being vaccinated now that will shift who feels comfortable, but I think there’s going to be a lot of paying attention. Like does the cruise line require you to be vaccinated? Do you have the right paperwork?
Do you feel comfortable? And do you have enough money? What’s your plan. If you get sick somewhere else, what are you going to do?
Bob: [00:25:43] Yeah, I think that’s so important. And even if you can’t travel overseas, traveling to a different region of the us is amazing. We’re not all exactly the same. It’s a little different in Minnesota than it is in Texas, which is different than South Dakota.
There are so many amazing places, even in the U S that you can learn different cultures and different history other than your own.
Lisa: [00:26:08] Absolutely. I was in Ogden in Utah. I went skiing there and I saw the place where’s the last spike for the train, where the East Eastern train meant the Western train in the United States.
And I loved being there. And that actually the, the train going across the United States is the reason that we have time zones or official time zones for official time zones. Oh.
Bob: [00:26:32] Oh, so you got to tell us a little more about this. I’m curious.
Lisa: [00:26:37] I love this story because, so there were some large number of times zones in the United States.
I don’t think it was a hundred, but there words no official national zones. And what happened was the. The train went on one track and the engineers needed to be able to say like, what’s happening with the train? You know, when are we arriving, what’s going on? And in order to keep everybody safe, they had to say like, this is the actual time in our area.
And so it was in Congress. They passed it. I forget the exact name of if it was a bill, but there was like a, essentially a national time standardization. And it was funny to me. It’s funny to me cause that’s like they, the train and the economy drove the time zones.
Bob: [00:27:22] That’s what you know. So what I love about this is, so I, I just had a client the other day and they, they have retirement money from the railroads and I was like, this is so cool because people don’t realize how integral
the railroads were to this country of getting stuff across of traveling of, of moving troops, of moving people like people in this day and age think, work trains are like something of the past, but they were so instrumental in so much of what shaped this country.
Lisa: [00:27:52] Hugely instrumental. And, you know, people used to sail to California and then whatever they did wagons.
But once the train happened, like you saw Florida oranges go places, California oranges, like the lobster from the Northeast and politics, like you said, the president’s travel that it was a very big deal because in Ogden, I think that was where they had to switch from the West coast to the East coast line alignment.
But I think in the beginning, Still had to switch trains, but it’s, you know, when you think about different things, like the train is very important, but also time zones, all of China is one time zone.
Bob: [00:28:33] Oh, wow.
Lisa: [00:28:35] It’s very strange because you know, we have different time zones to match sunrise and sunset and to have a country that large with one time zone.
As I traveled, I was there for six weeks and I was like, this is not quite the same day, late night thing. So it’s just a funny, quirky thing that you don’t think about necessarily.
Bob: [00:28:57] We don’t all do it the same. We don’t all do it the same there. The rest of the world. As a way of doing things that doesn’t always match ours and we rub up against that.
It can be quite frustrating or again, that, what do you mean I’m American. I’ve stopped the ugly American attitude. Thankfully I have a lot more gratitude and appreciation.
Lisa: [00:29:21] Well, but you think about, even when people say like, Oh, like we changed the hour for daylight savings and whether daylight savings works or doesn’t work, you know, just think that, you know, like we’ll Arizona sometimes is the same time as California.
And sometimes it’s not. So you were talking about India and Nepal. So we had gone, I had gone with a travel partner, Overland from India to Nepal, and we found this place in Nepal where we were going to go. They were having a, like a chanting meditation center, a session, and we showed up and they’re like, “well, you cannot go in.”
“So why can we not go in.” “Because you are late.” “How can we be late?” They said, “well, it started at 9.” I said, “it is 9.” Here it’s 9:15.” They had a 15 minute time zone difference.
Bob: [00:30:08] Of course.
Lisa: [00:30:11] I thought. Okay, we’ll come back the next time, because I don’t want to argue with you, but this is nuts.
Bob: [00:30:19] That’s apparently that 15 minutes was very crucial to some people in that community.
Lisa: [00:30:25] It was, it was a surprise to me that I didn’t enjoy it. Like you said, some people don’t know, like the signs will be in another language or the money won’t be the same. It’s hard sometimes to ask enough questions about what will be different if you have never been. And that’s why I think local knowledge is so important.
You really have to ask people who’ve recently been, or, or someone who’s been before to kind of help you like. People say to me, well, why do you have an extra credit card? I’m like, cause so many times mine didn’t work, got lost or stolen. I thought it’d just be easier to have one more. I didn’t think of that out of the blue. I thought of that cause it was a problem and I was trying to think of a solution.
Bob: [00:31:07] Yeah, absolutely. You’ve got to, you’ve got to, you have to plan ahead. And you don’t have to have a lot of money, but you do need to plan ahead and you do need to have contingency plans. I would say. What’s your best was your best trip ever. On a budget or with lots of flush cash.
Lisa: [00:31:22] Oh my goodness. I’ve been using a light and my computer is telling me I have low battery. So we’re going to have a little trip right now. And we’re going to plug it in. I’m sorry.
Bob: [00:31:31] No, no worries. No worries.
Lisa: [00:31:36] You get a different view of me now.
Bob: [00:31:38] All right. We got the kitchen.
Lisa: [00:31:40] Nope, that’s too low. Now I can tell you, hold on. Let’s see if I can find a place where you can see me. There you go.
Bob: [00:31:46] I just want to name, the dishes in the sink are clean. You have a clean kitchen.
Lisa: [00:31:56] Thank you. So I’ll tell you my my favorite, favorite F word.
Bob: [00:32:04] Okay.
Lisa: [00:32:04] So when you’re traveling or where you’re on camera and you need power, you have to use the F word, which of course is. Flexible. That’s what you thought I was going to say. Right? Flexible.
Bob: [00:32:18] I knew it was going to be flexible. I was trying to think of every F word.
Lisa: [00:32:25] The most important thing when you’re traveling is to use the F word, which is flexible because if your flight gets canceled, you have to think, what am I going to do now? Or if you fly into Italy, like I did once when I was in college, I was visiting from Israel and there was a train strike. I was like, well, there’s a train strike.
I’ll just fly. So sometimes you have to be ready to plan to do something different.
Bob: [00:32:50] Gotta be flexible. I love it. So I have to ask you this question. It’s just, sort of random, but it’s important. What do Ariana Grande, Kim Kardashian, and Lisa Niver have in common.
Lisa: [00:33:06] That’s an excellent, excellent question. So what happened is for the last decade I’ve been running, We Said Go Travel. That’s my website. We Said Go Travel. And I’ve done all my social media, as We Said Go Travel. And recently in January of this year, I shifted my social media from, We Said Go Travel to at Lisa Niver.
And I’m now doing all my social media as my own name and Affluencer, or which is an influencer brand picked the top female fabulous influencers. And because I had made that shift, I got on the list. So as I looked at the top 50 names, I was like, wait, I’m on a list with Ariana Grande and Kim Kardashian?
So that’s how it happened. You know, it’s funny. I definitely. Really perseverated about changing my branding from, We Said Go Travel to Lisa Niver, but I’m writing a book and it’s important that people could find me with my own name. And I was, getting on that list, made me feel like I definitely made the right choice because immediately I got picked up in this group.
And so I just thought it was very funny and Yeah. I mean, it’s such a nice honor that they picked me and I was also listed as a top 10 travel influencer for 2021. So it’s always nice to be selected. And you know, it’s hard to keep doing the writing and the video and the social media. So it’s always nice for someone to say, “Hey, you’re doing a good job.”
Bob: [00:34:39] Yeah. And I think for me the message there is trust your instincts, right? That’s something you talked about at the top about trusting yourself. And you’ve shared a couple of stories about trusting your instinct, having that extra credit card in another secure location, all those kinds of things. It’s about trusting.
So I love that. I love that. So we’re at fast five and I Got to ask you these fast five questions and just let’s just let it, let it rip. What’s your favorite item that you’ve purchased overseas?
Lisa: [00:35:08] Overseas in Mongolia, I purchased these small like the zippered bags, they were made out of the tapestries from the Gers,
and an NGO came and helped the women and said, “you can turn these tapestries that you were going to throw away into something that people will buy.” And I brought a bunch home and I actually sold them for a while here in the U S and everybody loved them. That was one of my most favorite purchases from Mongolia.
Bob: [00:35:37] Oh, that’s so cool. What’s the worst thing that you purchased overseas?
Lisa: [00:35:40] Oh my goodness. What’s the worst thing I purchased overseas. I’ll tell you the funniest thing that happened was I was in Indonesia. In this place called . We’re not a lot of tourists go. And I wanted like a bandana because it was hot or it was too much sun and I needed to protect my face. And I was trying to negotiate with the guy and I told him, “no, tida harda gila.”
And he burst out laughing because that means. Don’t give me a crazy price. And I think that I was just walking by and he thought I was some, you know, like, you know, whatever, dumb tourist and I was negotiating with him and Bahasa and he was, he laughed so hard to give it to me for a dollar.
Bob: [00:36:21] That’s great. That is so funny. If, if you could choose to do anything for a day, what would you do? What would you, what would it be?
Lisa: [00:36:27] Oh, my god after being home for COVID for more than a year, if I could do anything, I would be underwater. Scuba diving. Absolutely.
Bob: [00:36:35] Oh, cool. Cool. Cool. With sharks.
Lisa: [00:36:39] Yeah. Sharks, octopus, squid. Honestly, I w I’ve been diving a few times in the aquarium. Just put me in the water.
Bob: [00:36:46] Oh, wow. That’s cool. What’s the longest you’ve gone without sleep. And why?
Lisa: [00:36:53] Oh, not very long. I need sleep. I mean, I sleep every night. I, in college, they used to make fun of me because as, as people were coming into the library to start their all nighter, I was leaving. They’re like, Lisa, where are you going? I’m like, I was done studying yesterday. I don’t, no sleep, I’m not very nice.
Bob: [00:37:16] I wondered if it on any of those trips, I know I’ve had a couple of all-nighters where the plane didn’t show up and then terrain, and then I’m waiting for the,
Lisa: [00:37:24] You know, what I, I definitely, when that happens, I kind of cat nap and I… they can put me on a moving vehicle. I am asleep, bus, train, plane taxi. I drive, I don’t sleep while I’m driving the car.
Bob: [00:37:37] Yeah, that’s good. But, but when you’re the passenger, you can sleep. See, I can do that too. So that’s awesome to be able to sleep cause a lot of people can. Are you a clean or, messy person? I think I actually already know this answer.
Lisa: [00:37:47] I think I’m fairly organized.
Bob: [00:37:50] So based on the kitchen, I think you win. I think you win.
Lisa: [00:37:54] I can’t believe I had to move. I was like, what’s happening? I got the little red thing. My, your computer is about to die. One of the things I do try to think through having worked on the cruise ship and being involved in drills, I’m very concerned about safety.
And do I have all my cables? You know, because when you’re traveling, I mean, literally when I was on the 11 month trip, traveling backpacking every single electronic device I had at some point. I broke or it died. So I’m always thinking like, do I have a backup of that? Like if there’s no outlet, what will I do?
If there’s no wifi, what will I do? If I have no money, what will I do? Clean mind even if I have a messy house.
Bob: [00:38:38] That’s right. Well, it doesn’t look messy. You looked good in the moment. You were flexible, you moved and you had a beautiful kitchen backdrop. So we’re at our sweet spot, our M and M moment, our money and motivation.
And I think especially related to travel, is there a piece of practical financial advice, a financial tip or a piece of wealth wisdom that you could give our listeners? So somebody out there that wants to travel or has never traveled?
Lisa: [00:39:06] Yes. One of the things I always tell people when they ask me how this is going to be related. So stay with me. When people ask me, how did he start a blog or getting started in video? I always tell people start small and start for free. There you don’t need to buy branding. You don’t need a logo. You don’t need hosting. You have to see if you like it.
And I feel the same way about traveling. You know, if you really haven’t been anywhere and you feel nervous to go by yourself, go an hour away and stay at a hotel for one night or don’t even stay overnight.
Just go drive. 35 minutes or three hours and 35 minutes. Do I like this or would I be happier if someone was with me? Because they think spending a lot of money for me, throwing money at a problem just means now I have less money. It doesn’t solve it mostly. So I think that for me, I always think start small, you know, like the LA zoo is open, go to the zoo and see the animals before you pay $10,000 and see animals in Africa.
And they’re like, Oh, I don’t like animals that much. It’s not for everybody. Or whatever it is is that you think is his giant dream. Like there might be some way to try it a little bit at a time. Small steps.
Bob: [00:40:25] I think that’s so awesome because I think people forget, and I know the first time I did this, it seemed weird.
But I went and got a hotel in downtown LA for the weekend. I went and stayed at the Bonaventure and people are like, you’re just going to downtown. I’m like, I just want a different environment and a different experience. I didn’t have to pay for the plane. I didn’t. And so I got to get a nice room and just feel like a, a tourist in a different setting. And I was only 30 minutes away from home. So I, I just, I love that idea that we don’t have to go that far to go out and have a different experience.
Lisa: [00:41:01] I also agree with you about your experience downtown. A friend of mine wanted to move to a new neighborhood in LA and not during COVID, but normally in LA going to another neighborhood, dealing with traffic could be really problematic and people get so in their own zone.
Bob: [00:41:17] Right.
Lisa: [00:41:18] So I said, I told her exactly what you said and like, go stay there for three days. What is it like if you don’t like fighting the traffic? Like, where do you go to the supermarket? Is it a livable area for you?
And for me when I’m finding a place to stay in a new country or a new city, I always think, can I walk everywhere? Do I need to rent a car? Do they drive on the other side of the street? And there’s a lot of things to process about. Can you walk to dinner or are you taking public transportation? Is public transportation close at nine? Does it close at midnight? Is it 24 hours? And there’s a lot of questions that come up.
Bob: [00:41:57] I think that’s so important. And I think, you know, my big takeaway from all that we’ve talked about today is being flexible. Right. You’ve gotta be flexible. It’s also important to do a little bit homework. Do a little, do a little research and a little bit of pre-planning and prepare for contingencies.
And, and I think the biggest takeaway for me about travel is that it’s educational. We can learn so much about ourselves and so much about how the rest of the world lives. And survives. In completely different circumstances that we, we might find untenable. And that to just go out there and see the rest of the world, even if it’s just 30 minutes away from your, your front door.
Lisa: [00:42:42] When you say that, it reminds me, do you remember the, there was a song in the show Avenue Q about w you have to go outside of your apartment to see the world, like they were just saying, go out your door. And it’s funny now being in COVID so many of us haven’t gone outside our doors, and I think people really are going to need some
small steps. I, I was able to interview Gabby Natallee and she is now has 45 million views on YouTube and she has three Emmys. And we were talking about how do you get started? She’s starting small, excuse me, (coughs) starting small doesn’t mean thinking small. So you could start for free. You could start local, you could start with a two-day trip.
It doesn’t mean you’ll never go anywhere else. It just means you want to feel comfortable along the way.
Bob: [00:43:32] I think that’s so important. I was nauseous the first time I flew to Greece and exchanging money because I’d never done any of that. And I had never, my belief was only rich people can travel. And so I kept myself for many years traveling because I had a belief that said it’s not possible for me.
And it is possible for anybody. Get a passport and take that, take that next step. Take that next step. Oh my gosh. Where can people find you online on social media?
Lisa: [00:44:01] So on social media, you can find me at Lisa Niver and Niver rhymes with diver, and that’s how it’s spelled. N I V E R. I am on all the social platforms.
I have a website, lisaniver.com and I mainly post my new articles on We Said Go Travel. So that’s where I’ve been posting for the last decade. And I also, like you said ,on YouTube, I have a channel, We Said Go Travel that has 1.3 million views of all my travel videos.
Bob: [00:44:31] And I think that’s a great resource to go in and hear about travel, learn about places you want to go and just hear about experiences because it’s great to be prepared.
I always study videos and things. When I travel, I read books and all that stuff, so I can sort of prepare myself. So I really encourage people to go check out Lisa’s YouTube channel at, We Said Go Travel. We Said Go Travel. Do it.
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Lisa Niver, it has been so wonderful having you, I’ve been wanting to have you on for a long time. And I can’t wait to hear about your next adventure.
Lisa: [00:45:32] Oh, thank you so much. It’s, it’s been really great during COVID to have this time to work on my book and be able to catch up with friends and be in one place.
And, you know, I’ve really been grateful to be reconnected and, and have my family be healthy and safe. So thank you so much for having me on your show. It’s so awesome.
Bob: [00:45:54] Yes, it was great. And we will push and let people know about your book once it’s once it’s published and out. So…
Lisa: [00:46:01] Thank you.