When I became a student at Penn, my parents recommended that I take classes from many departments. “Don’t specialize too early,” they said. I am glad I listened, because many of the classes I took led me to new ideas, new friends, and new places as I studied Hebrew while at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. I graduated with a major and two minors and learned so many interesting things. In addition, I am still in contact with incredible people that I met from many of my diverse studies.
When I left Penn in 1989, I traveled to San Francisco to study medicine at UCSF, but life had other plans for me. I realizing I wanted to teach and received my Masters in Education at SFSU. After teaching for several years, I traveled for seven years on cruise ships and then returned to teaching again. Now, I am traveling full time again on my second sabbatical year in Asia.
During all of my travels and teaching, I have always written in a journal and written letters but now I also write articles that get published. 2012 has been the year of media for me with an appearance on national television, a photo shoot for a national magazine, and a recent article in National Geographic! I loved it when my bio named me as a “travel writer.”
So many people have asked me how to get started with a website or writing, and because of this, my husband and I decided to create a contest for writers all over the world. To that end, we are sponsoring a travel writing contest–no cost to enter, and we’re offering cash prizes as well as a raffle with travel literature from incredible published authors. Our theme is Inspiration: A Place You Love. Let us share your stories with our growing Global Village.
I hope all of your dreams and goals come true in 2013! Start working toward them today by joining our contest—send your article to us by February 14! All the details are available here.
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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 a speaker at the Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Dallas Travel and Adventure Shows for 2023. Her podcast, “Make Your Own Map,” has been watched in more than 11 countries on 4 continents. Niver is represented by Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary, Inc. Look for her memoir in Fall 2023 from Post Hill Press/Simon and Schuster.
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 nearly 2 million views.
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.
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.
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 (1.7 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)