Writer Wednesday – Meet Patti Morrow
If you love sun, beautiful beaches and looking great while travelling from one adventure to another than travel writer and adventure thrill seeker Patti Morrow is the girl for you!
Please tell us a little about yourself.
I’ve been traveling all my adult life, so writing about it was a natural progression for me. I started out as a “traditional” travel writer in 2011 and to-date I have approximately 100 bylines in 35 publications. A couple of years ago, I started a simultaneous travel blog, Luggage and Lipstick, so that I would have an outlet to write about what I like – adventure travel. I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie. I do extensive research before I get to my destinations to see if there’s anything new and exciting to try. Some amazing experiences I’ve had are sky diving, hang gliding, snorkeling with sharks, sea lions, stingrays and other sea creatures, getting my scuba certification, zip lining, mountain climbing, sulpha mud baths, regatta race, cave tubbing, dog sledding, jeep treks, surfing, white water rafting, and jetpack flying – just to name a few.
How many countries have you visited?
I’ve visited around 50 countries and islands.
That’s kind of like asking me which one of my children I love the best! Different places appeal for different reasons – adventure, beaches, culture/history, nightlife, shopping, etc. I will say this… the most beautiful island that I’ve been to is Bora Bora in French Polynesia. The view from the overwater bungalow looking across the crystal aqua lagoon to the volcano on the main island will take your breath away. Mexico and the Caribbean are places I go to several times a year and will continue because they’re so fabulous and easy to get to from the southern US. My favorite European country is Croatia and in Asia it’s Thailand.
If you could describe your method of travel in one word, what would it be?
Boutique. I really like staying in places that are smaller, unique, personal, and even a little quirky. Ocean view, please – I’m such a beach girl! As far as who I travel with, that’s a toss-up. I love solo travel and do a lot of it, but I also really enjoy traveling with my honey, with groups such as on press trips, and on girls’ getaways. I just love it all! However, I have no desire to be a “digital nomad.” I own a really nice home and I always appreciate coming back to sleep in my own uber-comfy bed and special place for writing, and to reconnect my social life with family and friends.
What is your must have travel accessory?
My Nikon SLR camera. It’s really important to capture the moment. I refer to the photos when I’m writing to jog my memory. I also try to post photos on social media every evening when traveling so my readers can follow my adventures in real time.
That’s not easy to choose, but I’d have to say snorkeling with whale sharks. It was surreal. Those gentle behemoths are up to 40 feet long, and I was close enough to reach out and touch one (I didn’t, of course).
What is your dream destination?
The Seychelles or the Maldives. They look so exotic! I love the color of the ocean – would love to dive there.
Do you have any upcoming trips? If so, to where?
For 2016: Bahamas, Siesta Key Florida, an Alaskan cruise, Sweden, Athens, Barcelona, Malta, Turkey, Italy, France, Azores, Bermuda. Also maybe Cuba, Jordan, Nicaragua, Denmark, and St. Petersburg – my calendar isn’t complete yet, and I have no idea what opportunities for press trips are going to be introduced.
How has travel changed you?
Travel takes me out of my comfort zone, and I think it’s made me a more interesting person. People want to hear about my adventures – and even more about my misadventures. I’ve learned how big the world is, and how small I am… the more places I visit, the more I appreciate how incredibly lucky I am to have the opportunities to travel the world.
Another thing that radically changed me was my near-fatal car accident while traveling in South Africa in May 2014. I was in the hospital there for 7 weeks with many months of physical therapy afterwards, just to learn how to walk again. But it’s all good – I’m alive and able to travel again! Every day is a gift, and I’m not going to waste a single second on things that are not important.
I thought about Girls Go Solo for a couple of years before actually deciding to write it. Once I started, I was pretty motivated so it only took about a week to write, format, insert photos and publish. I really wanted to (1) persuade women to try traveling alone at least once and (2) give them some tools and confidence to do it. With that in mind, my book is free for a limited period of time.
Where was your first solo trip and why did you chose that location?
My first solo flight was when I was 18 – I flew out to Colorado to meet a group of friends who were camping in the Rocky Mountains for the summer. My first actual solo trip was when I was 24. I flew to Delaware to give a presentation and then stayed a couple of extra days. I’ll admit, I was pretty nervous to fly alone, but after doing it, I gained a lot of confidence and have done many solo trips since.
What’s one of your best tips for women traveling solo?
Goodness! There are so many in my book! But if I had to narrow it down to just one, it would be ALWAYS trust your intuition. For example, if the hairs on the back of your neck stand up when you see a man alone in an elevator, wait for the next one. Don’t worry about hurting his feelings – you’ll never see him again!
Do you have any new books on the horizon?
I’m currently working on one about the best Mexican beach destinations.
What is your favourite travel book?
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Last spring, while in Bali, I got to visit Ketut Liyer, the (now very old) medicine man from the book, and have a palm reading. Very cool!
What is your favourite travel quote?
“No, no! The adventures first, explanations take such a dreadful time.”
~ Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass