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Why do you travel?

I am visually impaired due to a rare condition called retinitis pigmentosa, which is slowly rendering me blind. I was diagnosed while in college and had to immediately give up driving. This diagnosis changed my life: I started living with a lot more intentionality and faith. The initial motivation behind travel was to see the world before I lost my vision, but it’s become so much more than that. My background is in painting, and so creative expression has always been important to me, but as I traveled more, it became my therapy and self-expression. Thankfully, it eventually catapulted into a career of sorts: today, I am an author, photographer, travel writer, social influencer, and business owner. I work with brands all over the world on digital marketing campaigns, telling visual stories of how travel and adventure intersect. I love what I do!

Share a travel experience that really shaped who you are today.

I love traveling with my husband, or with a group of girlfriends, but the best (and most memorable) way to travel is solo. My favorite trips are when I’m completely alone, traveling at my own pace, doing exactly what I want, when I want. This is best illustrated in my very first international solo trip to Puerto Vallarta a number of years back. I was working with Alaska Airlines promoting a new nonstop route, and spent a week exploring the city. It was the best! Highlights included dining on escargot at a restaurant called Le Leche, margaritas along El Malecon, and (literally) getting lost in a jungle and missing my flight (ironic — ha). One of my favorite trips ever!

Check a bag or carry on? 

Actually, I often do check a bag. As I travel with a decent amount of camera gear, I like to keep my gear with me as my carry-on, then check a bag so I don’t have to worry about juggling a ton of luggage in airports. As a visually impaired traveler, it makes my life a lot easier to have as few bags as possible (I don’t have peripheral vision). Of course, taking just a small carry on or backpack is ideal whenever possible!

Do you collect souvenirs when you travel? If so, what? 

Sometimes! It all depends on where I am, and why I’m there. I will often purchase a nice bottle of locally distilled liquor to take home to my husband. We own a coffee roastery, so sometimes I’ll purchase local coffee too, as we enjoy experiencing coffees from all over the world. I rarely purchase clothing. Locally made art, pottery and really unique cultural pieces that tell an interesting story will sometimes win me over. One of my favorite bags is from a trip to Morocco, and most of our Christmas ornaments are also from my travels. It really just depends on where I am!

You just won an all expenses paid trip. Where are you going? Who are you taking with you? 

This is the most impossible question of all time. There are so many variables! I do often receive free travel, and even get paid to travel, but it’s rare that I get to choose the destination. Bucket list spots would be Croatia, the Amalfi Coast, Jerusalem, Patagonia, Ethiopia… the list goes on and on! I’d most likely take my husband, Nick. He was a professional snowboarder for a decade and is even more adventurous than me — the perfect travel partner!

Where are you heading next? 

I’ll be spending a good chunk of my summer backpacking and camping in the mountains around my home in Lake Tahoe. I absolutely love where I live, and it totally beats most travel destinations! Aside from that, I’m looking forward to a week in the Canadian Rockies at the end of August. Banff has been on my bucket list for a long time, so it will be rad to finally cross it off!

A quote you live by is… 

My favorite quote is a Bible verse I have tattooed on my foot in Braille: “We walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7

Laura Lawson Visconti is an author, Sony Alpha photographer, travel writer, entrepreneur and adventure-obsessed visual storyteller based out of Lake Tahoe, California. She is the Founder & CEO of GEOGRAPHY CREATIVE, a creative agency, and Co-Founder & Creative Manager of DRINK COFFEE DO STUFF, a coffee roastery. As a social influencer, her personal audience is over 150,000. Laura enjoys directing and producing projects uniting travel and adventure for a variety of brands worldwide. When not consuming copious amounts of coffee in her office or running through an airport, Laura can usually be found exploring the mountains she calls home. Keep up with Laura’s adventures on Instagram at @lauralawsonvisconti or on her blog.