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Finding Beauty Close to Home with Arden Joy

September 08, 2022

Finding Beauty Close to Home with Arden Joy
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For many of us travel, and vacations in particular, present the ultimate opportunity to experience Beauty. But what if we can't travel? Are we really destined to miss out on all of the beautiful experiences that travel enables?

Finding Beauty Close to Home

For many of us travel, and vacations in particular, present the ultimate opportunity to experience Beauty. In fact, we often travel for this very reason. We want to see all of the beautiful places and things in the world, to experience the sights, sounds, tastes and smells that a real vacation usually affords; the canals of Venice, the ancient terraced steps of Machu Picchu, the cherry blossoms of Japan, the food and wine of Tuscany, or the heady bloom of lavender in Provence. 

But what if we can’t travel as most of us could not do at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic? What if we’re stuck at home because of work, our kids’ school schedules, or because of our own limited budgets? What then? Are we really destined to miss out on all of the beautiful experiences that travel enables? 

This was the question Arden Joy and the staff at Her Adventures Travel found themselves asking at the height of the Covid pandemic when most of its community’s members found themselves in quarantine and unable to travel. 

The answer as it turned out was a decided “no”and the online travel community unwittingly found itself quickly becoming travel industry “staycation experts,” by enabling its some 81,000 worldwide Facebook group members with tools, resources and a shared knowledge-base for creating at-home travel experiences. 

In this interview, we discuss the Her Adventures mission of “radically re-defining travel to ensure that all women have the opportunity to explore the world regardless of their access, ability, or privilege,” and how it hit a nerve with women around the globe who had felt left out of the travel industry’s overly idealized picture of travel.

More importantly, we wanted to find out from Arden how our listeners can use the organization’s staycation expertise to create beautiful experiences in the here and now for themselves. Can we really experience travel to distant lands and find the same kind of Beauty we so often associate with passports and planes without having to go far afield? Some of the answers may surprise you. 

Highlights from the interview:

  • [00:05:25] Why women are afraid to travel
  • [00:16:24] Preparation and mindset - the keys to a successful staycation
  • [00:19:21] International travel from home
  • [00:21:53] Themed travel; subscription boxes 
  • [00:26:00] Airbnb experiences
  • [00:29:49] The alternative to getting out of town that really works
  • [00:31:51] The dark side of Airbnb
  • [00:32:55] Sustainability  
  • [00:34:19] Your street can be an adventure 
  • [00:36:16] Traveling locally by rail

Resources & Suggested Experiences From This Episode

Her Adventures Travel

Away She Goes Podcast

Driftless Area (“Unglaciated”)

Great places to visit in Illinois

Galena, Illinois

Geneva, Illinois

Springfield, Illinois

Woodstock, Illinois

Staycation Travel and Virtual Experiences



Airbnb Experiences

Dogs of Chernobyl

The Wordy Traveler


Most Beautiful Towns in Every State

Alabama: Magnolia Springs
Alabama: Mooresville
Alaska: Sitka
Alaska: Unalaska
Arizona: Bisbee  
Arizona: Greer
Arkansas: Eureka Springs
California: Carmel
California: Solvang
Colorado: Ouray
Colorado: Manitou Springs
Connecticut: Mystic
Connecticut: Noank
Delaware: New Castle
Florida: Surfside
Georgia: Senoia
Hawaii: Hanalei
Idaho: McCall
Illinois: Galena
Indiana: Nashville
Iowa: Winterset
Kansas: Abilene
Kentucky: Grand Rivers
Louisiana: St. Francisville
Maine: Camden
Maryland: Berlin
Massachusetts: Stockbridge
Michigan: Saugatuck, 
Minnesota: Grand Marais
Mississippi: New Albany
Missouri: Weston
Montana: Philipsburg
Nebraska: Nebraska City
Nevada: Minden
New Hampshire: Meredith
New Jersey: Cape May
New Mexico: Taos
New York: Cold Spring 
North Carolina: Ocracoke Island
North Dakota: Garrison
Ohio: Marietta
Oklahoma: Davis
Oregon: Jacksonville
Pennsylvania: New Hope
Rhode Island: Jamestown
South Carolina: Beaufort
South Dakota: Deadwood
Tennessee: Gaitlinburg
Texas: Marfa
Utah: Midway
Vermont: Woodstock
Virginia: Middleburg
Washington: Friday Harbor
West Virginia: Berkeley Springs
Wisconsin: Mineral Point
Wyoming: Hulett

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Digital Creator Arden JoyProfile Photo

Digital Creator Arden Joy

Founder, Her Adventures

Arden Joy is the founder of Her Adventures, an online community travel community serving women and girls around the world. The organization, whose mission is radically re-defining travel to make it inclusive, sustainable and empowering, is largely driven by a network of global volunteers, and is founded upon the belief that travel can happen any time you explore beyond your boundaries.

Arden founded Her Adventures in 2011 after returning from her own life-changing adventure abroad and discovered that there were many thousands of women who weren't being served by the travel industry. Numerous barriers, including affordability and concerns about safety, were making travel especially difficult for women. Her Adventures was born as a community of global bloggers who pooled their combined knowledge and resources to make travel more equitable for all women, regardless age, race, location, income or identification.

Today, the organization is one of Facebook's most successful travel communities with a membership of over 81,000 and growing. Recently, Her Adventures was recognized with a special award by the platform for being one of its most valuable groups. Grant money from Facebook is now helping the organization fund development of a database to connect travelers around the world.