On the Road Again: Do You Want to Explore Santa Cruz


On the Road Again: Do You Want to Explore Santa CruzFor my 50th birthday, I have been working on a project of doing 50 New or Adventurous Things before I turn 50. I know that what is important to me is experiences. “Success is not a destination, but the road that you’re on. Being successful means that you’re working hard and walking your walk every day. You can only live your dream by working hard towards it. That’s living your dream.” Marlon Wayans

In order to make my celebrations complete, I chose to celebrate with people in person! I wanted to see my favorite teacher and mentor, Joannie Parker, who had moved to Santa Cruz last year.

On the Road Again: Do You Want to Explore Santa CruzI flew from Burbank to San Jose and picked up an incredible car for my road trip. I loved being behind the wheel of the brand new 2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid SE! It is sleek, stylish, comfortable, quiet and really handles the curves from San Jose to Santa Cruz. The all-new Dynamic Force Engine has power when you need it and 53 mpg! While Lily Tomlin says, “The road to success is always under construction,” I know that I need to feel secure on that road.

I felt very safe and confident with Toyota Safety Sense™ P (TSS-P). The dashboard alerted me to turn my lights on and a RED FLASHING SIGN said BRAKE! when two cars ahead of me stopped short. It has “an active safety package that includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) and helps you drive with confidence.”

On the Road Again: Do You Want to Explore Santa CruzBeing at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, I felt very calm. Some of the trees are over 1,000 years old! I figured in this 40-acre grove of towering old-growth redwood trees, I was very very young! It is a beautiful drive in the Santa Cruz mountains to the start of the trail. You can bring your bike but not your horse and it was $10 for parking. I was told that “these sky-scraping redwoods were admired by explorer John C. Frémont, President Theodore Roosevelt, and inspired some of California’s earliest redwood preservation efforts.”

Joannie and I walked the 0.8-mile (1.2km) flat loop trail. While we were there, we met a bus group from South Korea. They were marveling at the largest tree with us. It is approximately 277 feet tall and about 1,500 years old.

I loved visiting my mentor and the redwood trees. It made my holiday even better that I was driving a car that made me feel confident with every curve. I am looking forward to my 50th birthday celebrations and know that whatever comes next I am capable to handle it!

On the Road Again: Do You Want to Explore Santa Cruz

 Photos by Lisa Niver with #LGV20
Thank you to Toyota for sharing the 2018 Toyota Camry with me! I loved my driving experience.
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Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries and six continents. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she worked on cruise ships for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. She is the founder of the website WeSaidGoTravel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. Niver is represented by Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary, Inc. With more than 150,000 followers across social media, she has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on Twitter and listed on IMDb, and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. You can find Lisa Niver talking travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, Satellite Media Tours, The Jet Set TV and Orbitz travel webisodes as well as her YouTube channel, where her WeSaidGoTravel videos have over 1.6 million views. After three months on TikTok, Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels and YouTube Shorts, she had over 500,000 (1/2 million) views. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors and been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She has been a judge for the Gracie Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media, and has run 15 travel competitions on her website, publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards and been a finalist twenty times.   Niver has published more than 2000 articles, in more than three dozen magazines and journals including National Geographic, Wired, Teen Vogue, HuffPost Personal, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, AAA Explorer Magazine, American Airways, Delta Sky, enRoute (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, BuzzFeed, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, USA Today, TODAY, Wharton Magazine, and Yahoo. Awards National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards 2021 Winner: Book Critic: Ms. Magazine “Untamed: Brave Means Living From the Inside Out” 2019 Winner: Soft News Feature for Film/TV: KTLA TV “Oscars Countdown to Gold with Lisa Niver” 2019 Finalist for: Soft News, Business/Music/Tech/Art Southern California Journalism Awards 2022 Finalist: Book Criticism 2021 Winner: Technology Reporting 2021 Finalist: Book Criticism 2020 Winner: Print Magazine Feature: Hemispheres Magazine, “Painter by the Numbers, Rembrandt” 2020 Finalist: Online Journalist of the Year, Activism Journalism, Educational Reporting, Broadcast Lifestyle Feature 2019 Finalist: Broadcast Television Lifestyle Segment for “Ogden Ski Getaway” 2018 Finalist: Science/Technology Reporting, Travel Reporting, Personality Profile 2017 Winner: Print Column “A Journey to Freedom over Three Passovers” Social Media Presence YouTube Channel: We Said Go Travel (1.6 million views) Short form video:TikTok, Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels, YouTube Shorts Twitter: lisaniver (90,000 followers) Instagram: lisaniver (24,000 followers) Pinterest: We Said Go Travel (20,000 followers and over 70,000 monthly views) Facebook: lisa.niver (5,000 followers); We Said Go Travel (3,000 followers) LinkedIn: lisaellenniver (9000 contacts)

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