Hey there wanderers – I’m back with our latest Woman of the Week: Lilly! We met a few weeks ago in Scotland through my sister, Emily. (They met in college at Indiana University through another friend, Emma, who also joined us). When I talked to her, hiking up Arthur’s Seat for views over Edinburgh, she had just finished a few months of teaching in a small Irish town. As we parted ways a few days later, she was heading off to New York City where she was to work with a tour company for a few weeks. Though she’s still in college, she’s clearly got a knack for blending her work with her travels and I knew she’d be perfect for the series. Luckily, Lilly agreed to be interviewed and share her experience with you all. I hope you enjoy her story as much as I enjoyed meeting her.
CONNECT WITH LILLY:
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF?
Hey! I am Lilly Karsh-Lombardo. I am currently 22 years of age attending Indiana University until December 2018. I will graduate with a license in elementary special education and therapeutic outdoor programming. I was born and raised in Colorado. I think mountains are spiritual and oceans are terrifying. I also love that scary feeling of meeting new people all around the world.
WHY DO YOU TRAVEL?
I travel to work and meet with people of all abilities around the world. I “traveled” or chose Indiana University because they provided one of the best special needs teaching licenses in the country. I traveled to Ireland to be with students of all abilities. I am currently working in New York as I travel with people with disabilities. I am able to find kindness among all my students, participants, co-workers, and strangers that believe helping and being kind is the best feeling in the world.
HOW DO YOU BALANCE WORK AND TRAVEL?
I traveled to Ireland with my mom for two weeks, in which we did a lot of back road driving, B&Bs, and tourist attractions. Then I began my 9-3 teaching job in Ennis County Clare. I had to write a paper every week, so I usually did that during the weekdays. I then took my weekends to take cabs and buses to different parts of County Clare and other parts of Ireland. I made sure to give myself a week after my teaching position to travel a little bit of Scotland. Upon arrival back to the states, I had accepted a volunteer position with Sprout (http://GoSprout.org). This position allows me to travel with people with disabilities all over the east coast. On my days off I can travel New York. The position pays for everything while I am on trips with participants and pays for my accommodation when not on a trip. While I am on trips I am in charge of budget and activity planning.
WHAT’S THE BEST LESSON YOU’VE LEARNED FROM YOUR TRAVELS?
The best lesson I have learned from my travels is that a great attitude makes a great trip. Whether I was with friends, family, co-workers, or traveling solo, I had to be the one to make that leap. I had to say hello, decide how I wanted my day to look, and decide my attitude about every experience if I wanted the trip to be a great experience.
SHARE ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE TRAVEL MEMORIES.
A favorite travel memory of mine was a solo trip to West County Clare. At this point in my travel I was feeling very lonely, so I decided, why sit in my bed and pout. I booked a bus ride to the town of Kilkee after a little research. I got in touch with a glamping site and reserved two nights. They picked me up from the bus stop and rented me an electric bike to get around the town. The site had no wifi too. I slept in a tent that overlooked the Atlantic Ocean. The next day I rode my electric bike for nearly two hours to this remote cliff side. They were narrow roads and nearly peed my pants every time a car passed. But I saw lots of beautiful hillside Irish farms with Irish cows. While listening to the waves crash along the cliff side, I laid in the rare Irish sun and read my book. This was one of the few points in the trips where I didn’t take any pictures, so I could just have this moment to myself. It was a spiritual and a revitalizing point in my travels.
IF YOU COULD SHARE ONE TRAVEL TIP WITH OTHER WOMEN, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
It’s ok to attend bars alone. I personally don’t go out much and I have a low alcohol tolerance, however, I would take my journal to the bar, grab a gin-a-tonic and people watch or listen to live music. You will more than likely be approached, but it is part of the travel experience to meet new people! For the most part, people don’t want to hurt you, they want to keep you company, and learn about you and your travels.
THANKS FOR READING LILLY’S STORY!
Looking for more interviews? Head to our Woman of the Week archives for the full library.
I’ve also created three freebies to help you plan your next adventure:
- 50 Practical Travel Tips from Solo Lady Backpackers (a 6-page PDF)
- 20 Tips for Sustainable Travel (a checklist)
- and 30 Jobs to See the World.
After you join the mailing list up, you’ll have access to all the freebies, AND get the password to the Global Directory! The directory will connect you to my recommended resources for each country and tons of travel topics. All blog posts I recommend are written by traveling ladies. From logistics to inspiration, the Global Directory will help you find the info you need no matter where you’re going.