3 minutes reading time (578 words)

Wildland Women Talk Travel: Part 3 (Laura Cahill)


Born into a military family, the travel bug bit Laura Cahill early as she traveled all over the US with her family as a child. She earned a Master's Degree in Cultural Geography, where her research took her to the Republic of Georgia, researching families involved in rural to urban migration. While leading a group of high school teachers there, on a cultural and career development trip, she realized how transformative travel can be for people and those around them. Since then, Laura has worn many hats in the travel industry and strives to create authentic experiences that touch both the traveler and the local community. Her love of travel has taken her throughout Southeast Asia, Europe, Latin America, and Antarctica and she now works as Wildland's program director for Asia and Women's travel. When not traveling, you can find Laura photographing graffiti in the city or wildflowers in the woods, roller skating, or trying to find the perfect street food.

Laura's 5 ingredients for the perfect travel day

  1. Morning animal sightings! From leopards trying to find shady spots for their day's nap to seeing a hornbill glide from tree to tree, Laura loves seeing wildlife in nature.
  2. Beach or pool time, preferably with a view.
  3. Making new friends and finding great deals at the market. 
  4. FOOD! All of it, particularly street food; the spicier the better!
  5. Nothing makes a day of travel better than a goodnight's sleep in a super comfy bed.

Laura's top 5 travel must-haves

  1. Scarf/pashmina - They are so versatile when you need to cover up for a temple or just from the sun. A cute scarf can also spice up any basic travel wardrobe!
  2. Camera - From the main sights to graffiti, or a wild tigers to cute street dogs, Laura is always ready with her trusty camera.
  3. Collapsible water bottle - Staying hydrated is key and she hates to see all of the one-use bottles everywhere.
  4. Postcards - She's a bit of a collector and loves sending them to loved ones, even from Antarctica!
  5. Jackie Lope - Her jackalope travel companion has been with her to the Great Wall, Machu Picchu, Taj Mahal, and Antarctica!

In her own words

What is the most transformative travel experience you've had?

My most transformative travel experience was my visit to the Green Hill Valley elephant camp outside of Kalaw in Myanmar. Although I am a huge animal lover, I never had the chance to spend some one-on-one with these amazing creatures. Not only was it awesome to be so close to these huge, massively intelligent animals, but I learned so much about their behavior, their care, and the difficult pasts these animals have had. This experience has pushed me to look into all of the elephant sanctuaries we work with to make sure they are humane and are in the best interests of the elephants.

Why is women's travel important to you?

Travel can be intimidating so what better way to tackle that fear than with a group of like-minded female adventurers? In a supportive and encouraging group, women can discover their inner explorer!

What advice would you give to women who want to travel?

Don't give in to the fear! Venture out, be safe and use common sense. There's a lot more you can do out there than just stay in an all-inclusive hotel. Go swim with the piranhas in the Amazon, try the stinky durian fruit in Thailand, zip-line across a Costa Rican cloud forest or take a polar plunge in Antarctica! 

If you have questions about Asia or women's trips don't hesitate to give Laura a call or read our blogs about women's travel or travel to Asia.

Keeping it wild,

Hannah Lunstrum

P.S. Read Part 1 and Part 2 of the series "Wildland Women Talk Travel".

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