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Ep. 80 How to full time travel on a budget and do responsible tourism with Lola Mendez

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Have you ever wondered how to do responsible tourism? 

This week I am so excited to speak with Lola Mendez who is a nomadic travel journalist and an advocate for responsible tourism.

After living in New York City for 7 years and working in the fashion industry. Lola knew she needed a change and decided to leave her job to full-time travel around the world.

This leap of faith led Lola to find her passion as a writer and to become a leading voice in Latina travel.

Today Lola has been published in Lonely Planet, Far & Wide, Matador Network and continues to travel around the world on a budget.

Listen on to find out how to full-time travel on a budget and do responsible tourism.

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responsible tourism

Listen Below:


In this Episode:

Sustainable travel and volunteerism

  • You will create a better impact when you are behind the scenes and volunteer your time to products that you already have the skills.

Are there any specific organizations that people should look into that reputable?

  • is a great platform to start since they vet all the organizations they list on their website.
  • A big red flag is when a volunteer organization asks you to pay them a massive amount of money.
  • It is better to make direct contact with the NGOs and offering your services.
  • The most impact you can make is by volunteering long-term.
  • For short-term products, think if you are taking a job away from a local.
  • Think about what you have to offer, rather than what you will benefit from the experience.

Teaching English to local children.

  • If you are only able to teach for a short period of time, instead of teaching children, teach the local adults so that they can become the teachers which will create a longer impact.

How have you differentiated your voice as a Latina traveler in the industry?

  • It took a while for Lola to find her voice as a Latina Traveler.
  • She knew she had to voice her experiences to let other Latinas know that they are being represented in the industry.
  • Lola started an Instagram page called Latinas love travel where she highlights other Latinas.
  • There are a lot of hurdles to overcome for Latinas who want to go see the world.
  • There are a lot of great websites like travel Latina, hip Latina,

How are you able to sustain a full-time nomadic lifestyle?

  • You can have a sustainable lifestyle as a full-time nomad if you lower your cost of living.

How did you make the transition to be nomadic?

  • It took about six months of planning and it was a slow transition.
  • Lola saved and sold a lot of her belongings before transitioning.
  • She had around 10K saved up before leaving New York City.
  • You are not only letting go of physical items but also mental barriers that are stopping you from making the transition.

What legacy would you like to leave and what do you want to be remembered for?

  • Making travel more mainstream and accessible to everyone.
  • Making people aware and conscious of the impact they are making in everything you do.

Listen to Lola’s extended interview where she shares beauty tips around the world and finding love without makeup.

Listen Below:

In this episode:

What beauty regimen have you learned while traveling?

    • Being a sustainable traveler Lola only purchases holistic natural remedies.
    • Lola uses charcoal soap as a face wash since charcoal is a natural magnet that will cleanse your face well.
    • She also uses Neem to help stop breakout and coconut oil for her hair and skin.
    • Lola has decided to stop wearing makeup since it is not sustainable for her lifestyle and her desire to find love without makeup.
    • Essential oils are a great way to have natural perfumes.
  • Bentonite clay will help heal wounds naturally.

Accepting yourself and feeling beautiful without makeup.

    • Learning to take care of your body and skin in a healthy way.
    • Feeling beautiful and accepting yourself without the cover of makeup.
  • The difference between men’s beauty routine to women’s.
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