Cruising with @chelchen

Cruising with @chelchen

Cruising with @chelchen

There are many ways to wander the road less travelled. Chelsea, better known by her Instagram handle @chelchen, prefers to drive. This part-time Lyft driver and full-time adventurer lives in The Golden State but dreams of exploring all that the world has to offer. Cruise with us as Chelsea tells us tales of her travels, takes us through her favourite places to visit and the places she longs to visit. 
What sparked your love of travelling?

I traveled a lot growing up as my parents would take us on trips back to China almost every year to see family there. When I was 13, I went on a 3 week trip to Europe as part of an ambassador program with People to People, which further inspired me to want to see the world. Living in California now also continues to spark my love for traveling - there is so much to explore here, and being here has definitely made me more of an outdoors person. I'm so grateful for that!

How many countries have you visited?

Around 20! Is it bad that I don't know the exact number? Haha!!

What does traveling mean to you? 

Traveling makes me so grateful. It opens your eyes to this big, beautiful world we live in. It's also a small world - I'm always so touched by the amazing kindness I encounter and the wonderful people I meet along the way. We are more alike than we are different. I love immersing myself in another place, another culture. Getting uncomfortable. Being open to new experiences. Exploring new places and meeting people and taking photographs invigorates me like nothing else. I'm a very restless person and thrive on travel. The experiences and the people I've met have been the best parts of my life. 

What have you learnt about yourself while traveling? 

I've learned that I'm stronger than I ever thought I was. Traveling alone has definitely made me more confident in my abilities and has forced me to able to think on my feet at times. 

What do you love most about Joshua Tree National Park?

I love the otherworldly beauty of it. The desert is such a beautiful place. There are boundless opportunities for exploration and photography that are so inspiring and really drive me to be creative. I feel like it is impossible to take a bad photo here!

Does being a Lyft driver foster your love of traveling?

It definitely gives me the flexibility to be able to travel, and I'm constantly meeting people who also love travel and who share their stories and suggestions with me!

What was the last city you visited?

I went home to Pittsburgh for Christmas, does that count? Hehe! Besides that, I was in Las Vegas before that. It was a girls' trip and also my first time visiting, and it was so fun I lost my voice. Oops!

What city gives you the most wanderlust? 

I'm dying to go to Lisbon right now (I've never been but the photos make me want to go so badly). Also, there's something so magical about NYC that will always inspire wanderlust in me. 

What items are on your carry-on checklist? 

Journal - I always write in my journal when I travel, it's so amazing to look back on it and read about my travels.There are so many details I wouldn't have remembered otherwise. And I crack myself up hahaha! Gum, earphones, water bottle, snacks, extra underwear (if I checked a bag - gotta be prepared if I get stranded somewhere), a book, light jacket. 

What are your travel goes for 2018?
My list of places I want to see is impossibly long, but this year I hope to visit 5 new national parks and 5 new countries. I'd really like to visit national parks in Montana, Washington, and Wyoming this year as well as the national parks in California. Valley of Fire is a state park I am dying to go to in Nevada. On the cities list is Nashville, New Orleans, and Charleston. For countries, this is tough to narrow down, but I'm hoping I can visit Slovenia, Portugal, Georgia, Greece, Japan, Namibia, South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia within the next few years. Dream big :)