Today TraveLinkSites is super excited to talk to the sassy and vivacious Lauren of Lola’s Travels. Lauren is a Texan with a lust and passion for her native US like no-other. Her main travel philosophy is “when in Rome, do as the Romans do”. Let’s hope she won’t lock arms with us in gladiatorial style combat as we continue another cracking interview then!
1. Could you briefly introduce yourself, your site and your experience travelling the US?
Heya I’m Lauren DiMarco but my travel persona is Lola. The name of my travel blog is Lola’s Travels – where in the world is lola? Basically, Lola travels frequently on short jaunts primarily in the US, Caribbean & Europe. I relay stories about what I see, do, learn in a fun way to encourage people to travel even if only for a short trip and what to do to get the most out of your time away.
As far as US travel – I think I’ve done my fair share. I’ve been to 32 out of the 50 states – a bunch of the states yet to tackle are mostly out west. I live on the east coast of the US so it takes me as long to fly to the west coast as it would for me to fly to Europe or the Caribbean. That’s how crazy big the United States is!!
2. As an American what’s so great about your own country?
I love the diversity of the landscape, different historical points for different states, different accents within one country and, of course, the freedom to be able to travel easily from state to state.
3. How much money can someone travel around the US for? What are the greatest expenses? What things are relatively cheap?
A grand total expense…that’s a tough question. It really would depend on the type of travel experience you are expecting. For example, since I only travel briefly, I tend to like to stay in a swankier type of place. I think if one was trying to save money on accommodations, the couch surfing idea is a good one. As far as greatest expense, I’d say transportation. While there are options for trains, buses & planes, they aren’t inexpensive. My advice to anyone who was planning to be in the US for an extended time would be to buy a car because you can drive ANYWHERE in the United States.
4. What is the local cuisine like? Are you a fan of American cooking, what dishes float your boat?
I’ve always lived in an urban type of environment where loads of cuisine options are available. But I’m originally from Texas and am a HUGE fan of BBQ and Mexican food. I make mean enchiladas and guacamole!
5. What cultural activities and events would you suggest everyone seeing or taking part in while travelling the US and why?
The activities I would recommend would be based on location and calendar. Like Fourth of July in Boston, Thanksgiving in New York City, Mardi Gras or Jazz Fest in New Orleans. Leaf peeping in New England in the Fall is amazing. Going to a college football game in one of the Southern States like Alabama or Georgia would give a sense of American culture for sure. Wine tasting on the west coast, skiing in the Rockies…I could go on!
6. What is your favourite thing about travelling this country? What is your least favourite thing?
I really enjoy the natural beauty of the US, different architecture styles and the cultural differences that made this country a “melting pot”. It’s refreshing to be reminded of this. I don’t enjoy the costs associated with getting some place further away. As I mentioned before, I don’t go away for long, so I pretty much fly wherever I go and, sadly, this is quite expensive.
7. What things do you focus on most when you blog about this country? Why do you choose these things?
I tend to focus on accommodation, food and drink and activities that are unique to the place I’m traveling. I think people are interested in where to stay, where to eat and what to do. Again, I try to pack a little of everything into my quick getaways and I want to encourage people that it’s better to do a little of these things than none at all. It enriches your life!
8. What’s one thing you can’t travel the US without?
Well for me it’s my iPhone. It is my everything! It would be hard to travel in the US without some kind GPS device – that’s for sure.
9. What kind of response have you had to your blog posts about the US? What post had the most interest?
I think people are interested in reading about my US travels as much as my international posts. It looks like my Austin, Texas posts had the most hits – great city by the way!
10. If you could think of one thing you wished someone told you before you started travelling around the US what would it be?
It’s really really big and it takes longer than you’d imagine to see all that you might be interested in seeing. I guess that saying “less is more” would apply well. I kind of use this motto wherever I travel. I’m not going to be able to do everything I could imagine so I choose to do what I do well.
Massive thanks to Lola for telling us just how great it is to travel in the US and throwing some great photos into the pile also! Make sure you check out her blog Lola’s Travels and follow her on Twitter.
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