Meet Lela – Half British. Half American. Presenter. Globetrotter. Mad love for hashtags, party planning, underused adjectives, and making you smile. Lela was never a massive traveler, however after waking up one day with sight loss in one eye, she became more open to adventures and her interest in travel began. Lela took to the mountains and waterfalls of Slovenia and has since traveled her way around the world, writing on her blog Lela London…
Tell us more about how your outlook on travel changed after going blind in one eye?
I think I instinctively became a lot more open-minded to my abilities and my response to challenges in general. In perspective, I had a fully working eye that some people don’t. There are of course certain boundaries when it comes to driving or operating any sort of machinery (as my perspective isn’t “normal”) but otherwise I feel I’m still able to do what anyone else can.
What challenges have you faced as a woman on your travels?
When it comes to solo travel, I am very conscious of being alone in cultures that potentially don’t have Western approaches towards women. I would say my guard tends to be up a little higher (to be safe), but there’s certainly nothing I wouldn’t do that a man travelling alone would.
Tell us more about your blog Lela London
It started as a labour of love; everything I was enjoying in London, food I was eating, places I was travelling, etc. I am incredibly fortunate to have it as my job and especially thankful that my content has grown with me. Six years in, I am as honest and positive as ever…just with a lot more opportunity!
How do you inspire women through your blog?
My general message is that of positivity. I am a silver linings woman and talk about feminism, politics, and everything in between in a way that intends to empower every reader and viewer.
Have you encountered many gender shocks on your journeys?
Oh god, absolutely. The term alone – “blogger” – is usually wracked with gender stereotype. Some bizarre idea that all of us are only talking about perfumes we love and getting paid to take selfies. I am very proud to be both woman and blogger, though, so the more I defy the stereotypes, the happier I feel.
Is there any advice you’d give to fellow women travelers?
Do your research (man or woman) and use your feminine wiles to make as many friends as possible! One of the best things about womanhood is the assumption we are easier to talk to…and the people you meet will always be the icing on top of a great trip.
Why do you think it’s so important for women to travel the world?
I think it’s important for women to travel because travel helps you grow. A woman that isn’t growing is not only limiting herself but not allowing herself a reward for the family she may be raising, tests she may be ace-ing, or work she may be smashing.
Are there any particular women who inspire you?
I think most women have had some positive influence on me (we improve as a sisterhood), but I particularly love Caitlin Moran. Homegirl took me from feminist to FEMINIST with a few carefully considered words. My ambition and mindfulness is thanks, in large part, to her.