From white-water rafting, skydiving, paragliding, bungee jumping, and biplane flying to dog-sledding, base-jumping, kayaking, surfing, boogie-boarding, rappelling, and caving, traveler and writer Lesley Carter has tried every bucket list item she could imagine. She’s been to more than 50 countries and envisions exploring 100 more. Far from ordinary, rock-climbing and a trapeze act were even part of her wedding day in Jamaica.
Inspired by Carter’s life-loving adventures, Sprangled was fortunate enough to catch up with Lesley about how far she’s come on her journey and how it shaped her as a person. Check out the excellent interview below for proof that you too can shape your life the way you want it.
Sprangled: Where did you grow up and where was the first place you traveled to?
Lesley Carter: I grew up in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. The first country I traveled to, besides the US, was Cuba. My parents owned a private trade school and did business there. I was able to travel back and forth regularly even at a young age.
S: How many countries have you explored? Which is the most memorable and why?
LC: I’ve been to more than 50 countries but I don’t have an official count. The most memorable was Antarctica. I sailed as part of the training crew on a tall ship, Bark Europa. It was a 24 day adventure that included sailing the Drake Passage, hiking volcanoes, getting selfies with penguins, watching for whales, swimming, sledding down a glacier, meeting new friends that became like family, and learning the ropes of sailing a tall ship.
S: What was your life like before you became an experienced traveler?
LC: I was a high school teacher and a student. Writing, reading, and learning have always been a part of my life.
S: Why did you begin writing about your worldy experiences and when did you start?
LC: I started writing/blogging almost five years ago. My husband and I were living in New Brunswick, Canada at the time and I was teaching high school. We talked about if we could live anywhere in the world and have any job, what would it be. We chose California, quit our jobs, sold everything we owned, and moved across the continent. I started blogging then and never looked back.
S: Out of all of the adventures you’ve taken, which was your favorite? Tell me a bit about it!
LC: My favorite adventure was doing aerobatics in a bi-plane over the Pacific Ocean with Biplane Fun. I will always remember the adrenaline I felt as we flipped around in the open air above the ocean.
S: It seems you travel alone often. What’s that like?
LC: I travel alone often but it’s not usually by choice. My husband works full-time and my daughter is still a toddler so there are many adventures that she is still too young to experience. I don’t mind traveling on my own though. It forces me out of my comfort zone and into a new world. When you only have yourself to rely on, it’s amazing what you’re capable of achieving.
S: Is it difficult to support yourself financially?
LC: I’m grateful for my sponsors and the opportunities I’ve been given. I don’t struggle financially but I do choose what is most important to me and put my money toward that. I don’t drive a fancy car or spend money on make-up or expensive food. I buy second-hand clothing and my husband and I make a lot of our furniture from pallets and scrap wood. Outside of travel and adventure, my life is pretty cheap.
S: How has traveling across the globe shaped your life?
LC: Traveling is one of the biggest parts of my life. It has given me patience, understanding, and confidence that I didn’t know existed in me before. It has educated me more than my seven years of university and taught me that the possibilities are endless.
S: Is there any advice you’d like to share for adventurers looking to make a living out of experiencing the world?
LC: It is possible. There are so many successful adventurers out there living their dreams and making it happen. Decide what you want and figure out the best way for you to make it a reality. You’ll never get these hours, days, weeks, or months back again. Make them count. Work with others, cooperate, share, and it can all be a reality. It’s not the stuff of fairy tales. My life didn’t start out this way. I make it how I want it.