Lonely Planet Writer

Pathfinder spotlight: Holly Habeck

Holly having her photo taken in a wooden pier overlooking the ocean © Holly Habeck Holly is always thinking about her next travels © Holly Habeck

This month Holly Habeck from hollyhabeck.com takes the limelight for our Pathfinders spotlight! Holly’s travel and lifestyle blog takes her around the world, but we love the fact that she’s also a huge advocate for having adventures close to home, exploring your own neck of the woods as a tourist.

Tell us about your blog!

I started my self-titled travel blog, Holly Habeck, from my freshman dorm room in 2014. I was a journalism student at the time, but was feeling totally uninspired by the content I was producing for my classes. I've always wanted to travel the world, so starting a blog and documenting my experiences sounded like a great excuse to actually start doing it. I also create content to show people that it is possible to travel the world and experience cultures outside of our own; contrary to popular belief, you don't have to wait until you're retired or have more money saved up. That's why I try to share a variety of experiences for every budget on my blog, as well as tips on how to find good travel deals.

I want travel to be accessible to everyone, because I think it opens your mind and changes you for the better. It's also the one subject that I know I'll never run out of ideas for posts with, because there's a whole world out there to explore.

Describe your travel style in three words.

Researched, adventurous, cultural.

Exploring the colourful houses of Charleston's Rainbow Road © Holly Habeck Exploring Charleston's colourful Rainbow Road © Holly Habeck

Which destinations are on your travel list for 2018?

Oh my gosh, there are so many! I did a lot of travelling at the beginning of this year visiting Punta Cana, Newport (New England), Fort Myers, Orlando, Charleston, the Catskill Mountains and Atlanta. I also have some upcoming trips to Atlanta again, Pittsburgh, and possibly the Adirondack mountains in the next few months. There will definitely be more international travel in 2019, as I'm currently researching Bali as a possible honeymoon destination for next year.

Tell us about your most unforgettable travel memory...

I was in Italy during my sophomore year of high school. I went with my best friend at the time and a group from our school, and there was one day when my friend and I totally ditched the tour. We weren't really allowed to have free time to explore since we were with the school, but we just faded to the back of the tour group and eventually ended up going to lunch at this Italian restaurant located in the basement of a small shop. Not only was the homemade pasta unforgettable, but there was something special about that small Italian town and the feeling of rebelling as a teenager that made it a really memorable experience. That trip was also my first taste of Europe, which started to fuel my travel ambitions into adulthood.

A plate of Bologna’s famous bolognese pasta sauce is always served locally with taglietelle © Susan Wright / Lonely Planet That first experience of fresh Italian pasta is unbeatable © Susan Wright / Lonely Planet

Why do you think people should ‘be a traveller’ in their hometown?

It's so important to be a traveller in your hometown. Not everybody has the opportunity to travel full-time (I know I don't), but that doesn't mean you should stop exploring. It's easy to get into a rut when you don't have any trips lined up right away, so there's got to be something that keeps you going in between your travels. You can also miss out on a lot of cool, local experiences if you're not looking for them.

Why do you love travel blogging?

I think I love travel blogging so much because it keeps me inspired. I'm constantly honing my storytelling, photography and social media skills to better serve my audience, and it also gives me a great outlet to document my trips. I'm inspired by everyone who leaves a comment or travel recommendation on my latest post, and I try my best to inspire them in return.

If you’re a member of our Pathfinders community and would like to share your story, keep your eye on the Lonely Planet Pathfinders forum for our monthly spotlight call-out.