Hello all! If you have been following We Are Bermuda lately on our Social Media pages you may have noticed us tagging or tagged in photos with @CantStayPut. If you have been wondering who this person is, please read on. Meet Lauren, a Travel Blogger from Atlanta and owner of the Blog site CantStayPut.com. We happened to meet on Instagram as she was reaching out that she was coming to Bermuda and would love to do some collaboration work and showcase Bermuda while she was here. Naturally I jumped at the chance, and after talking, listening to this amazing person, I realized we actually had a lot in common, especially in the realm of taking the bull by the horn, while thinking outside the box. Not to mention, being able travel the world for a living I am sure is the envy of everyone who loves to travel as I do. So what is a travel blogger I am sure you are wondering? Well, I will let her tell you herself…. 🙂
So what exactly is a Travel Blogger?
I would prefer to be referred to as an Inspirational Explorer. I coined the term myself. When I first started Can’t Stay Put, my intent was to inspire young people to step outside their comfort zone to follow their dreams and travel the world. The title Inspirational Explorer seemed to describe it perfectly. I travel the world and curate my experiences and showcase them on the Can’t Stay Put platform. Blog, FB, IG, YouTube.
One of the ways I curate my experience is by blogging. I also create content for brands and businesses around the world.
Can you talk a little about your background and how you ended up in Bermuda?
I’m originally from Atlanta, GA. Because my father raised me in Atlanta and my mother lived in Washington, DC, I started flying by myself at 5 sometimes 5-7 times a year. I managed to have enough sky miles to buy my first ticket using miles only, by the age of 13. As a kid, I would explore the neighborhood park for hours on in. Throughout my life I took advantage of any opportunity to travel domestically or internationally. I attended Howard University and majored in Biology. I later attended a business program at Wake Forest University, where I was introduced to the general fundamentals of business. While there I traveled to Nicaragua where I consulted and taught local business owners.
I’ve been traveling to Bermuda since I was 18. My best friend happens to be Bermudian. While her mom was attending college in the states, she attended grade school in the states as well. We met 9th grade in homeroom and have been friends ever since.
What can you tell us about CantStayPut?
Can’t Stay Put is designed to be a movement to inspire people to step outside their comfort zone to follow their dreams and travel the world. I challenge everyone to live a Can’t Stay Put life, constantly evolving, growing, not sitting still, not being complacent, essentially not STAYING put. I use the platform to show people my journey to build CSP in hopes to show that you can really make moves to create the life you want and dream about.
Can you tell us your thoughts on Bermuda and how it differs from other countries you’ve visited?
Bermuda is a beautiful island. From the beaches to the scenery, it’s simply beautiful. Bermuda by far has some of the nicest people in the world. Because of my personal connection to Bermuda, I’ve never looked at Bermuda as a tourist because I’ve always had the “local” experience when I’m there. I think that has contributed to my love of the country. I’ve been able to see Bermuda through a different lens and I really appreciate it.
Most commonly people compare Bermuda to the Caribbean. Sometimes people think it’s in the Caribbean. The biggest difference between Bermuda and other Caribbean islands is the affluence present in Bermuda that is generally lacked in other islands. Bermuda is “out of the country” but is nowhere close to being a “third world” country. Like I mentioned before, the people of Bermuda makes Bermuda stand out. Another difference, which I’m sure is consistent with other island countries is that everyone or close to everyone has a passport, which means travel is somewhat important. How far people go is a different question.
Another thing very unique to Bermuda is the colors of the buildings and homes. Pastels and bright colors are beautiful.
Can you give us a brief walk through of your day to day?
My day to day depends on if I’m actually out in the field, which for me is an actually CSP trip abroad. If I am on a trip, I’m typically exploring, meeting people, curating my experience, documenting my experience, connecting with influencers of that particular country. If I am state side, I typically start my day by responding to emails and then working on major projects that could be anything from developing a content strategy, to coordinating the next CSP trip, to planning for a site update, to collaboration with another creative. If I’m not working on a major project, I’m liable to be working on building the business, creating and seizing opportunities.
What can you tell us of some of the challenges you have had to face since starting Can’t Stay Put?
There are tons of challenges but I see them as speed bumps that are part of the process. Sometimes they are a test to see how dedicated you are to sticking to your vision. One thing I’ve had to overcome is the loneliness of starting your own business and brand. No one has your vision or understands it the way you do. The late nights and long hours are typically spent by yourself. I’m in the travel business, so I typically travel by myself and work with new people. sacrificing having a stable life, and I don’t get paid every two weeks. I’m a nomad. My life and plans can change by the day. I have friends but they live different lives. When you are working on something that is unorthodox or something that hasn’t necessarily been done before, it’s hard to relate to others. I don’t watch much TV; I don’t spend money on a lot of material things. Majority if not all of the money I generate goes right back into my business and brand.
For someone who is interested in going into a profession like yours can you tell us of what you think would be essential attributes, skills etc?
Determination and Ambition are two of the most important attributes you must possess on the business side of things. If you have a “by any means necessary” attitude nothing will stop you. You have to be curious, adventurous and love people and be engaging if you want to capture an audience that trust you and your experience.
What are some of the best things you like and dislike about Bermuda?
I like the beaches and the people of Bermuda. I don’t like the prices! Because I cater to a younger crowd, I typically travel to places that are economically feasible for people to experience and have a good time. Bermuda is not that place. Bermuda is a place for people 35 and up who have more disposable income.
How much travelling do you actually do per year? What are the some of the highs and lows of working and travelling around the world?
Hmmm. That’s a hard question to answer because I travel a lot domestically and internationally. I would say I’m on an airplane at least 4 times a month. Like 4 round trips. I typically do 4-5 major trips a year. This year I traveled to 8 countries. Because I’m building a brand called “can’t stay put” I literally can’t stay put. I have to live, eat and sleep my brand. So even when I don’t want to travel, I have to figure out a way to travel. The highs are walking off the plane in a new country. It’s literally a high. Meeting new people and making connections all over the world is amazing. Being able to learn and immerse myself in a culture unknown to me makes my heart smile. The lows have to be that most of my traveling I am by myself, but just because it’s a low doesn’t mean it’s a complaint. Also, traveling itself is tiring. Since I’m a budget traveler, I always use public transportation and stay in budget hotels. Very rarely is it luxurious.
What skills sets did you learn either through school or previous work that has helped you with CantStayPut?
Doing the business program at Wake Forest gave me a good foundation to really understand how business works. How to present an idea, how to have the right conversations, how to strategize, and general business acumen. Also, my job after the program helps tremendously. I worked for a family business so I was able to apply what I learned at Wake Forest. Because it was a family business, I was exposed to all facets of running a business with my focus being marketing and events. Marketing skills are a big factor in doing what I do.
What are your personal goals and ambitions?
My goal is to build CSP to be an empire that sustains itself. I hope to change the lives of many and inspire them to see the world and take charge of their life. But above all I want to live up to my full potential.
How would you encourage more people to get out there and travel?
Check out my site and follow me on social media. My experiences alone should inspire you get out and see the world. I try to show the amazing benefits to seeing the world. It’s a different level of education that isn’t stressed enough in school. Traveling is fundamental and should be treated as such. It shouldn’t be a luxury it should be a requirement. The more people that travel the more united this world will be. People will start to see and understand that we are so much the same and that it’s only politics and religion that separates us.
What are some things that would draw you back to Bermuda?
The people and the beaches!!!
What plans and goals do you have for the future of CantStayPut?
My plan is for CSP to become an empire that encompasses many different things. I plan to launch CantStayPut Experiences next year as well as extend my product line for Cant Stay Put apparel. I am hoping for bigger and better collaborations with influencers and brands as well.
Where can those interested keep an eye on your travels and adventures?
Describe Bermuda in three words.
Quaint, Beautiful, Easy-going
It was quite the experience meeting and working with Lauren. While bouncing ideas off each other we were able to produce some great content while she was here during her visit. Very much look forward to working with her again when she visits Bermuda soon! We will be posting interviews and photo shoots of our content together within the coming days so stay tuned!