Avid travelers and entrepreneurs, Lisa and George fell in love while exploring the world, and have continued to strengthen their bond while reaching out to inspire others to live their dreams. They are two educators with a passion for globetrotting, and their adventures have brewed their creation of We Said Go Travel, a site that has developed into a global community, where over 300 people have come to share their story. We had the chance to interview Lisa and George and uncover some of their story below:
1. When did you fall in love with travel?
George: I first fell in love with travel when I traveled with my parents as a young child on a road trip in Mexico, and during family trips to Israel and the Bahamas. I eventually truly fell in love with travel on my own when I traveled to Europe for the first time. I knew it was something I wanted to continue to do.
Lisa: My parents took my sister and I on a cruise to the Mediterranean when I was twelve. I loved being at sea and waking up each day in a new port. The waiter gave us huge bags of fruit to take on the bus to the pyramids; he was worried we wouldn’t find anything to eat. Riding a camel that day was an experience I have never forgotten, and I am still hungry for more adventures!
2. What does adventure travel mean to you?
George: To me, adventure travel means visiting places that are off the beaten path. It could include activities that would be deemed hardcore, but not necessarily, it is about the location more than the actual activity.
Lisa: There is the idea of adventure as something challenging that I am not sure is attainable for me, like when we trekked in Nepal in February 2013. We did two eight-day mountain expeditions but at our own pace in our own style. I also think adventure is finding your own path in life as we have done this year, taking another sabbatical and building our website.
3. How did the idea of your website first come about?
Lisa: We decided to travel together for a sabbatical year in 2008-9. We left with the idea to write about our journey in two voices. After we had the manuscript completed, we started a blog.
George: We created the website as a platform to promote our book.
4. Tell us about your book, Traveling in Sin…would you describe it as your and George’s love story?
George: Yes. It is a memoir about our relationship and how it evolved during our year-long journey traveling, primarily in Asia from Indonesia to Mongolia.
Lisa: Our book starts with the actual emails we sent when we met online. From our first contact to spending 24/7 together on the road, we share the good, the bad and my tears on our journey. There are humorous moments and colorful characters.
5. Out of all the guest writers you’ve had on your blog, which story made the most impact on you?
Lisa: We are honored to have had over three hundred writers and travelers share their stories with us. Our global community has grown to include articles from every continent. Our last travel writing contest had entries from 188 writers from 31 countries and includes posts about 73 countries. My favorite moment has been sending messages on Facebook to a female writer in Islamabad, Pakistan. She wants to share the true story about how she loves her country. I am touched by her friendship and am learning so much from her.
6. You guys have some great music recordings that you created during your travels in Samoa. Can you tell us more about how this came about?
George: Traveling with musical instruments has been a rewarding way to interact and meet local people. In Samoa, the recording with the children was spontaneous in front of the school at recess. The other recordings were more planned using a four track iPhone recorder to do multiple tracks with overdubbing, and with local musicians contributing music, vocals and other parts.
7. What has been your favorite adventure so far?
George: My favorite adventures include: trekking the Himals, the eleven-day Gobi desert journey in a van, and traveling overland across China with limited language skills.
Lisa: I agree with George’s top picks! I would add the voyage of discovery of our relationship. Traveling together you really learn to work as a team.
8. How did you get into all of the education programs that you are involved with—were these organizations ones you picked up via traveling?
George: We are both educators and continue to work with a variety of programs. I was in the Peace Corps in Paraguay 1999-2001 and am active with RPCVLA.
Lisa: I share about my travels in my science classes. My students love hearing about children in other countries! I was invited to speak on the radio about education and started researching more about teachers who were travelers. My students participated in the OXFAM recycled toy challenge because George and I met the head of the program hiking the Ella Gap in Sri Lanka.
9. Where are you looking to go next?
George: We are speaking as we travel towards Los Angeles in the Festival of the Pacific. We met up with travelers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and industry leaders in Manila, Philippines.
Lisa: We are excited to visit a few places that are new to one or both of us including: the Philippines, Palau and Guam. We are figuring out where we will go this winter after visiting family and friends in Los Angeles this October.
10. What are some travel tips you would give to someone who wants to drop everything to go travel?
George: I would say- do not try to see everything. Focus on one part of the world. If you are on a budget, pick Asia or South America. Travel more slowly to learn more about the culture; it will be a more enjoyable relaxing time than being constantly on the road.
Lisa: Both George and I traveled for school and for work. I highly recommend programs like Earthwatch and study abroad. I was able to learn about myself as a traveler and figure out what worked for me.
11. If you could go on any MTS trip, which one would it be?
George: My top pick would be a safari trip to Africa or Antarctica.
Lisa: I would love to see the blue-footed booby in the Galapagos!