“Just when the caterpillar thought her world was over,
she became a butterfly.”
I have always felt connected to science, transformation, and especially to the process by which fuzzy caterpillars become butterflies. Butterflies and their metamorphosis were even the focus of my Bat Mitzvah speech at the age of thirteen. I just did not realize it would take me three more decades to fill my own wings!
Change has been good to me. I have been evolving from having a fixed mindset to a more growth-based model, and from a heavy, single girl unsure of what to do next, to a sassy skinny married one who is a traveler, teacher, blogger, now appearing in a major women’s magazine!
Not only have I changed; now our blog has undergone a shift. We have joined our two web sites and left both Weebly and Blogger for the widely used WordPress. I hope you enjoy our new and improved site. Please send us your comments as we continue to finalize all the parts and pieces.
This transformation requires support. I must personally thank many of my friends, family members and mentors and would like to publicly recognize our website Advisory Council, including: Kit Herring of The Backpacker’s Handbook, Dave Thompson, Dave’s Travel Corner, and Dr. JessieVoigts and Ed Forteau from Wandering Educators. Also the technical wizard on our team, Ateeq Khan. Without them we would not be ready for this next step!
I also want to thank First for Women Magazine for including me in their story and the capable team that prepared me for my first Magazine photo shoot!
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)
26 responses to “Metamorphosis: The Website and I”
brava, lisa – on your new looks, and your hard work and perseverance! looking forward to more from this new site! 🙂
Thanks so much for reading, commenting and for all your support. I really appreciate it! Lisa
Lisa, You rock on so many levels! I’m so impressed!
Thanks so much! I appreciate it! Lisa
Congrats, Lisa! You are such an inspiration in so many ways!
Judy, Thanks so much for reading and commenting! Lisa
So proud of you Lisa — an enormous accomplishment and yet another reason you’re a great role model for your students.
Lisa – I’m very impressed with the before and after shots . . . especially the AFTER! Also think the website looks great. Keep up the great work . . .
Thanks so much for reading and commenting! That is a big compliment from you–your site is incredible!! Cant wait to see where both our adventures take us next!! Enjoy the big apple! Lisa
What an amazing transformation! It goes to show that eating well+exercise+determination =successful weight loss.
Carl, Thanks so much!! I agree you have to eat well, exercise and BE DETERMINED!!! Hope to see you soon! Lisa
You look GREAT what a fantastic article!!!!
Wow Lisa!!! You are incredible!!! I love following your journey!!! 🙂
Looks like you are living and loving the life you both have created too! Take care, Havi,
Congrats on the mag and the new website design!
Thanks Abbie! What is the news from Denver?
Congrats Lisa! Your story should be heard world wide. You are an inspiration and deserve the very best. Enjoy your travels and journeys. Much love
Tisha, Thank you so much! I appreciate your kind words. Cannot wait to HOOP with you! Lisa
Great work on the website transformation. I never saw the old one, but it’s only been 3 weeks since my blog underwent a complete revamp and it takes a lot of work and dedication. Keep up the good work 🙂
Great looking. I am just in the process of learning WordPress. Currently my site is on Intuit but WordPress gets much better reviews. Now I am looking for some sort of reference guide (yes, a real old-fashioned book that I can hold in my hands) to learn all the intricacies of the program.
Hi Lisa, I am so inspired by your story of transformation! In January my husband and I are setting out on our own around-the-world-trip. As we get prepared I realize that my out of shape, 170lb frame will hold me back and limit the experiences I can have on the trip. At only 5’4″ I know that 20-30lbs will make a huge difference and I am trying to make that happen. As you know though, it’s hard to just start and stick to it. Any tips or suggestions you have would be great! I have already eliminated all added sugars and have limited my natural sugars and carbs, but hearing what worked for you would be a great help. Also, did any of the weight loss happen while you were traveling?
Danielle, Hello! It is great to hear from you! I wish you a fantastic journey! YES I did lose much of the weight on the trip. You mentioned changes in your diet. Have you added more exercise? I highly recommend checking in with a medical professional that you trust for great suggestions but honestly for me, I ate less and walked more. Our memoir, Traveling in Sin, just launched on Amazon and may offer more ideas about our trip and my weight loss! Enjoy the trip! We will be waiting to hear more about it! Lisa