A huge part of travel for me is the people I meet and the friends I make in the places I get to experience. Some of, well most of my best friends are people I have met while living overseas & the number one thing we have in common is that we get it. Get what? This whole travel life. The coming & going frequently, the moving towns often & regularly. The fact that we will rarely live in the same place for long. And the feeling of saying goodbye/reuniting with each other. So when I meet people who share this same passion I immediately want to know more about them and where their adventures have taken them.
When I was living in Vancouver I often found myself restless and endlessly searching for quality people to spend time with. Thanks to the BC Adventure Girls page I was able to do just that, and was able to meet Willa-Lee (& her pup Peggy). While we only managed to get out onto the trails once it was more than enough for me to see what kind of person Willa-Lee was, a seriously quality person! Her sense of adventure & love of the outdoors was contagious and during our day on the Sea to Sky trails we chatted all things adventure & camping, recently returning from an epic road trip with Peggy I knew I wanted to hear more! So here we are with Aprils WanderWoman ; Willa-Lee (& adventure up Peggy)
Alright girl, tell all these wanderers about yourself…
A little about me..I am a self employed yoga teacher based out of Vancouver, Canada. I LOVE to adventure into nature..locally and globally. Especially if it involves physicality (hiking, biking, surfing etc) and/or my favorite adventure buddy Peggy (My pup)! I will do yoga pretty much anywhere, as you can see by my instagram. And I believe nearly every adventure is possible and worthwhile. If the idea of it scares you, makes you laugh or serves your heart- do It!
What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?
That despite all of my lengthy adventures, my time travelling abroad and exploring locally, I have had the same apartment for 13 years! I did not plan it that way, it just happened. In fact I took the apartment largely because it was month to month, I could leave at any time and I did not want to be tied to any particular place. Maybe that is why I still live here. I have a sense of freedom PLUS a cozy home base to return to with my cat and my dog. I have sublet my space while spending months on the road and have had my incredible neighbours watch the fort while I head out into the woods for shorter jaunts. I am very grateful for the space, the support of my nutty neighbours and for the freedom it affords me!
Did you always want to travel/what made you start?
Yes! As a kid I used to price out dream trips as part of my sales pitch to my parents to get them on board with travel. My Mom was an accountant so I figured if I gave her some reasonable numbers, I might just find myself in the Mediterranean ;) Far fetched for sure, but it did work for a few summer road trips to Montana and Point Roberts! My real travelling started as soon as I graduated University with a family trip to visit our Irish roots, followed by my first 4 month backpacking trip to South East Asia and Australia 6 days later!
How do you decide where to travel to?
I am a very active person and I am obsessed with the outdoors. So more often than not, I am inspired to explore nature using my own power. If there is a great hike or two somewhere, I am in. If I can live in a tent while I do it, even better!
What is your travel style?
While I have travelled with friends for numerous outdoor explorations and with a boyfriend or two on some fabulous holidays, I largely travel alone/with my four-legged adventure buddy. Like you, I tend to make friends wherever I go but I like the ability to really live in the moment and do what my intuition tells me to do in a given place. For the most part I travel on a pretty tight budget or I selectively choose where to spend my money while travelling. Camping is a great way to keep costs low and stay connected to nature. You can then splurge on a night in a great place without it breaking the bank!
You’re working towards a website, what is the inspiration behind that? I have been involved in media through television, online and print publications for years. I am also a certified yoga instructor. My goal is to build a life that pairs wellness, adventure, movement and travel and to inspire others to do the same. At the moment I have publications I write for, an online presence and online yoga videos.
What is something you wish you could share with your pre-travel life self?
You don’t need as much as you think you do- in your backpack or in life in general. Minimalism is key as it makes your bags and your troubles lighter. But you need a first aid kit either way;)
Best & worst travel moment?
Best Travel Moment- So many to pick from! Summiting Kilimanjaro was a hard earned dream come true. Attending weddings of good friends on the other side of the world is a pretty meaningful reason to travel. Spending days on end living in a tent, on a beach in Kauai, completely isolated from technology was magical.
Worst Travel Moment- Any time I have been in danger as a woman travelling solo.
Top 3 bucket list places to visit?
Again, so many!! Mongolia, India, Everest Base Camp….
What’s next for you?
I am currently developing a series of yoga instructional videos that are sport specific and outdoor based. I share the content on my instagram page currently and will be expanding to a larger audience very soon!
I also have my sights set on India and Iceland in 2018!
Famous Last words for all the wanderers out there...
Travelling as a solo female can be challenging, educational, terrifying and exhilarating all at the same time. Don’t let anyone tell you that it is a bad idea. Go camping on your own. Book a flight. And take the trip. Anything can happen at any time, but if you remain aware and follow your instincts, you can handle any situation that comes up and you will come out even ballsier than you already are, with an awesome story under your belt. Have fun!
Be sure to keep up with Willa-Lee & the precious Peggy on their adventures by connect with her on her social channels below!
Instagram - @wlr.creative
Facebook - @Willalee.reid