My Chicago Winter Adventures 2024


I was honored to be back in Chicago to speak again at the Chicago Travel and Adventure Show.

The Westin O’Hare was a luxurious winter haven for my stay so I could be prepared to share my stories at the show and on NBC Chicago Today about my award-winning memoir, Brave-ish.

Matt Rodrigues, Lisa Niver and Cortney Hall on NBC Chicago Today.

I wanted to be in Rosemont since I was speaking two days in a row at the Travel Show at the Convention Center. “Westin Hotels & Resorts empowers guests to enhance their well-being while on the road through their Six Pillars of well-being: Sleep Well, Eat Well, Move Well, Feel Well, Work Well, and Play Well.” The Westin O’Hare has wellness interwoven into every facet. I slept so well on the award-winning Heavenly® Bed that I may purchase one for myself and the Heavenly Bath indulges you in a spa-like escape within the confines of your own room. I loved the rain shower and the thick comfy robe and towels.

The WestinWORKOUT® offerings include Fitness Studios with TRX fitness equipment, and you can request in the app or at the front desk to use their Gear Lending program for the Recover and Recharge Kit by Hyperice which includes Hyperice’s most sought-after recovery gear such as the new Normatec Go, Hypervolt Go 2, and Hypersphere Mini or the Sculpt and Flow Kit by Bala which includes Bala’s full body workout essentials such as bangle weights, resistance bands, balance blocks, and a Westin branded yoga mat. You can see all of it in my video from my stay at the hotel.

Swimming is part of my travel ritual and is an important counterbalance to the energy required and excitement of speaking. I picked this hotel so that I could swim every day which allows me to unwind and recharge amidst the demands of my schedule.

The Westin O’Hare has a shuttle service seamlessly transporting guests the short distance to and from the Chicago O’Hare airport multiple times an hour. In the cold and rain, I took the shuttle to the airport and then the Blue Line to downtown Chicago to meet my friends.

During the day, I had signed books with City Lit Books at the Chicago Travel Show and wanted to check out their bookstore in Logan Square. We ate next door at Lula Cafe, which has an organic and comfortable dining experience.

The next night at the Fairmont Lodge, the experience was nothing short of magical, combining the elegance of the Fairmont with the nostalgic joy of toasting marshmallows. I ate with local Chicago authors, Christie Tate, who wrote both BFF and Group and Alison Hammer, author of several books including You and Me and Us and we enjoyed our mocktails, charcuterie and conversation. Making s’mores was a huge highlight!

Thank you to PADI and the Travel and Adventure Show for the opportunity to speak and to NBC for including me on their show. I am so grateful for these opportunities. I loved my stay at the Westin O’Hare and hope to return in another season when I can wander on the River Walk without my coat and gloves and explore the Westin Chicago River North.

Next I will be speaking at the Los Angeles Travel Show, Women’s Travel Fest in Mexico and Women in Travel Summit in Utah. See all my events here. I hope to meet you in person at one of my talks.

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries on six continents. This University of Pennsylvania graduate sailed across the seas for seven years with Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, and Renaissance Cruises and spent three years backpacking across Asia. Discover her articles in publications from AARP: The Magazine and AAA Explorer to WIRED and Wharton Magazine, as well as her site WeSaidGoTravel. On her award nominated global podcast, Make Your Own Map, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors, and as a journalist has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. 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-two times. Named a #3 travel influencer for 2023, Niver talks travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, her YouTube channel with over 2 million views, and in her memoir, Brave-ish, One Breakup, Six Continents and Feeling Fearless After Fifty.

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