Island Girls In-Transit is a new series that features amazing Caribbean women who are pursuing their wanderlust with that signature West Indian passion and pride. We’re an underrepresented segment within the travel community but it is my hope that these stories will serve as a source of inspiration for women throughout the region who dream of traveling the world!
Meet Lizra Fabien
This month’s Island Girl In-Transit is Lizra Fabien, a travel enthusiast from the island of Dominica who has already journeyed to 27 countries and 17 major cities! As an Executive Director, Lizra travels for work as well as for pleasure and she certainly makes the most out of each opportunity. Author of the blog Wanderlust Lizzie, she chronicles her international adventures online, sharing great insights into the amazing experiences that exist within each destination she visits. Her most recent trip for this year was Paris in June, now she’s narrowing down her options for her next jaunt. Thus far, its a toss up between Cuba and Brazil. However, while she takes the time to decide, have a read and learn all about her Island Girl travel story!
Describe your travel style:
I am a budget traveler yet I like comfort.
What do you love most about traveling?
Speaking to locals and learning more about their lives. I learn from them and it gives me inspiration on how to do things differently.
One thing you absolutely can’t travel without:
My portable charger! Whether I travel for work or vacation, it keeps my phone charged so that I don’t miss capturing awesome moments.
When did you realize you’d been bit by the travel bug?
During my 2 year study period in China, after visiting Thailand half way through my first year, I caught the bug! Though I got the opportunities to travel a bit before then, especially to several other Caribbean islands, travelling in South East Asia took it to a new level as the language and culture was vastly different.
When I visited Thailand, I came to the realization that I knew so little as there is sooo much more to learn and by experiencing other cultures, my mind would be stretched so much that it would be impossible to remain the same. The bug bit and I began to plan for my other destinations in Asia.
Fave travel buddy:
That’s a tough one :). I’ve had exceptional moments with my friend Cristina. She’s adventurous yet still cautious and we both get to do and see what we like. Plus we’ve had no disagreements in our travel which span 3 continents.
What was the best experience you’ve ever had while traveling?
I must say it’s the connections I’ve made. During my time in China, I’ve made some lifelong friends from various parts around the world. That to me is precious.
What’s your favorite destination so far?
I fell in love with so many that it’s tough to choose! 🙂
I really got to love Iceland. I visited there a couple months ago and the nature is magical and exquisite. The landscape is different from anything I’ve experienced. The people have been really kind, the water was tasty and clean, the Blue Lagoon was one of a kind, and the air fresh and rejuvenating. When I left Iceland, my skin was it’s best self!
What’s the most challenging experience you’ve encountered while traveling?
I was detained in Manchester and my passport taken by Border Control. This occurred when I was in transit to Morocco for my 30th birthday celebration. My family and friends went on to Morocco on the trip that I planned but it all worked out in the end that we caught up the last day in Europe before returning home to Dominica. I had to get an emergency passport in London which had other hurdles such as being denied leaving London on the date planned and having to get another flight so that I spend less than 24 hours in each of the 2 other transit countries to Dominica.
Furthest destination you’ve ever travelled to:
Top 5 destinations on your Travel Bucket List:
Can I add more!!? 🙂
How do you finance your travels?
I save throughout the year so that I can travel far and frequent for vacation.
Why do you think its important for women from small islands/countries to travel?
It expands our minds, networks, self-confidence and opportunities infinitely. Being home is great but a mind stretched can never return to its former self. Small island should never mean small mind for us.
Do you think there’s a difference between our experience as ‘third world’ female travelers, as opposed to our first world counterparts?
I believe there could be a difference though it really depends on the individual and what they look for. Many of us from small islands get to appreciate the smaller things and desire to make a great change upon returning home. I think that the confidence we build in traveling has exponential value due to the travel itself.
What piece of advice would you give to a young Caribbean woman who wants to travel but thinks this lifestyle is beyond her reach?
Nothing is beyond you. Tell yourself what you want and work to achieve it. Don’t believe the naysayers who try to block your vision. Also, spend your money wisely so that you can save up even though it means missing some local events. I’ve experienced that even from a small island, we can reach far without spending a fortune.
Many thanks to my Caribbean sister, Lizra Fabien, for sharing her Island Girl travel story! If you’d like to learn more about her international excursions, visit her blog, Wanderlust Lizzie, as well as follow her on Instagram!