Meet July 2012 Travel Lady Lennia: Allison Hales

Meet Lady Lennia Allison Hales!

JulyMagCover2012-copy-231x300In one way or another everyone travels. Especially now that it is summer time, traveling is on everyone’s mind. This month we will be dedicating our time and energy to give our viewers everything they need to know in regards to TRAVEL! What better person to help us than an experienced traveler, Allison Hales, Lady Lennia for our travel edition. She is ready to share her tips, experience, and expertise on traveling just for YOU! Read below to find out more about our travel Lady Lennia Allison Hales!

Age: 32 years old

Astrological Sign: Libra

Pet Peeve: When people eat with their mouth O-pen

Favorite Family Event: Having a lazy day together on Christmas.

Tell us something you absolutely must have: Coffee in the morning and a good haircut.  So much so that I pack ground coffee with me if I know I am traveling to a country that drinks mostly tea or instant coffee, which is a shocking amount of places!  And I send my hairstylist postcards while I’m gone.

What makes you an expert in travel?
I have gotten lost on a rickshaw in India, sailed in the Marshall Islands, ridden on the top of a bus through the Amazon, and lived across the road from the pyramids.  In my twenties, I traveled like it was my job.  I don’t know what got into me, but once I started traveling, I could. not. stop.  I went to places like Israel, Palestine, Egypt, India, Nepal, Hong Kong, South Korea, China, Japan, Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, the Marshall Islands, Japan, Morocco, Costa Rica, and many European countries, sometimes in a group, other times alone to work, study and play.  In the process, I became a traveler.

Are you in, or have you gone to college? If so, when did you graduate or what is your expected graduation date?
Yes, I happily graduated from college in 2002!  And I completed my Master of Divinity in 2007.

What is your area of study? If you are not enrolled in school, then what alternative did you take to put yourself on the road to accomplishing your dreams?
Textile design.  After formally studying Spanish, sociology, and theology, I decided I wanted to be a quilter.  So I took some classes in arts entrepreneurship at a local college and worked on my designs and business plan by night.  After moonlighting while working a full-time job, I quit–yes, I quit a job mid-recession–to focus full time on launching my business, which I did this winter!  Now I am working odd jobs to pay my bills while slowly but steadily building my business.

What has been your biggest struggle in achieving your goals? How are you overcoming it?
Doubt and loneliness.  I’m naturally drawn to unexpected paths, and I’m always (unintentionally) squashing expectations put on me by others—institutions, friends, family etc.  While that might look brave (or crazy), it can actually get pretty lonely.  It has often been a challenge to explain my choices to others, loved ones and strangers alike, who think I ought to be more “normal” or at least practical. Sometimes, I am the only one who nags at my own choices, which is ENTIRELY unproductive, but I think a pretty common problem.  I just try to remember that I do have good support and that at the end of the day, I’m the one living my life, so if I want to start a quilting business or move to Costa Rica, I can!

What inspires you?
People, mostly.  I love kind, eccentric, light-hearted, thoughtful people.  Now that I’m living in Chicago, I go to Lake Michigan most every day, which is a big source of my inspiration, but when I travel, I always seem to find a similar quiet spot where I can sit and just be.  Like when I was in Egypt, I loved taking long walks along the Nile or in India, I rented a bike and rode through the villages for peace of mind. Also, I really love crazy, intricate, beautiful, colorful patterns, like the ones you see everywhere in Morocco.  I went to Morocco last winter and it was CRAZY beautiful, love at first sight, bursting with traditional, handmade art that made me dizzy just looking at it, it’s so detailed and gorgeous.

What would you write about for the blog?
Travel!  I can write about places I’ve been, traveling in groups, as a solo woman, financing travel, how traveling can be used as a way to heal and as a way to get to know yourself, that you don’t have to be practical or afraid—just go, the way travel expands our global perspective and gives us experiences that can ultimately make us more compassionate and understanding human beings, and how ironically, travel brings us closer to home.

Do you feel like you can inspire women in their 20′s and 30′s? If so how would you go about doing this?
I hope so.  My main goal would be to write authentically about my experiences.  Readers have a sixth sense for authenticity, a quality I think people can relate to.  I think authentic writing also frees readers up to apply the writing to their own lives, which is what inspiration is, right?

Who does Lady Lennia represent to you?
Lady Lennia is any woman I meet with a sparkle in her eyes and a dream in her heart who’s tired from working so hard to make it all come true.

Why would you make a great Lady Lennia for the Travel edition?
I can convince unlikely candidates to book flights to crazy places, and Lady Lennia’s looking to encourage women to travel.