The INSIDER Summary:
• Lisa Niver was a teacher before quitting her job to work on a cruise ship.
• She’s since been to 95 countries, founded We Said Go Travel, and wrote a travel memoir.
• She believes a traveller’s attitude and outlook shape their experiences, and that staying positive is key.
Travelling hasn’t always been easy for Lisa Niver. You wouldn’t know it from watching her 600+ videos and reading her insights on We Said Go Travel, but she’s had to overcome vision problems and her biggest fear in order to have some of her best adventures.
Through her work as a teacher, she found that a positive outlook and a can-do attitude could take her more places than she imagined — 95 countries, to be exact.
After dropping out of medical school, she taught preschool, then worked as a ski instructor at Club Med, where she met cruise ship employees on their vacation.
When Renaissance Cruises went bankrupt, she opted for low-budget travel, backpacking through Southeast Asia for 11 months.
Niver then returned to teaching, travelling when she could and sharing her experiences with her students.
'There's so much about travelling that people want to share,' she said. 'They enjoy having the experience, but they want other people to know about it. One of the best things I started to do when I was in the classroom was share my travels with my students.'
She told her students about gers she saw in Mongolia, and months later they recalled the round structures in a unit about architecture.
She started We Said Go Travel to share her own travel expertise and give others a platform to share their stories.
As a writer, speaker, and self-described 'social media ninja,' Niver curates We Said Go Travel with content from 1,600 travel writers in 75 countries.
When one of her fifth graders taught her how to use iMovie during recess, she began making travel videos, too.
Travelling has come with its fair share of challenges for Niver, but that hasn't stopped her from visiting 95 countries.
She has intermittent esotropia, a condition that impairs her vision and makes it difficult to navigate unfamiliar places.
'There's a lot of choices I've made travelling over the years, where I travel with a group, like on a cruise ship, or in a certain pattern, which, looking back, is the only way I could accommodate (the esotropia),' she said.
'That's been a huge thing to overcome,' she said. 'Getting lost and being a traveller is not that great a combination, but I kept going.'
'It's one of my most favourite things, but I had a very hard time getting certified to scuba dive because there was a lot of getting certified that reminded me of drowning,' she said.
She's seen how a mindset can shape one's experience both in and out of the classroom and continues to propel herself forward into new adventures.
'If I was having a bad day or if I was really tired, the energy in the room would be different because they feed off of the way the teacher sets the environment,' she said. 'That's something I've noticed with travellers and for myself travelling.'
'One of the main things I've learned over the years is if you're open to it working out, it will,' she said. 'You find what you're looking for.'
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