Just shy of her 50th birthday, Lisa Niver moved back in with her parents after leaving a toxic marriage. What felt like rock bottom at the time, was actually the beginning of an incredible journey that would span 102 countries across six continents!

In this podcast episode with Christina Daves, Lisa Niver shares an incredible journey that spans from the corridors of medical school to the enchanting world of travel. Her story encapsulates bravery, heartache, and adventure. It is a metamorphosis of aspirations and experiences, a tale of evolution and self-discovery. Come along Lisa’s journey as she gives us a sneak peek into her new memoir called “Brave-ish”.

Unexpected Detour

Long before becoming an award-winning travel expert and influencer, Lisa Niver was pursuing a degree in medicine. She applied and was accepted to one of the leading medical schools in the country—UCSF in San Francisco. With impressive ambition and determination, she was working towards a prestigious medical career. Entranced by the promise of healing and medical excellence, she moved to San Francisco and immersed herself in the rigors of medical studies. However, within this hallowed world of academia, Lisa experienced a disquieting realization: despite the prestige and acclaim, something was missing. 

In a serendipitous moment, the sounds of playful laughter from a nearby preschool yard wafted through the air, sparking a profound introspection. This innocent yet powerful ambiance cast a spell, causing Lisa to question whether an alternative path could offer the elusive fulfillment she sought beyond the confines of conventional medical practice.

A Significant Pivot

Lisa Niver’s departure from medical school was a significant pivot in her life, marked by a shift from a conventional path to one that embraced exploration, adventure, and storytelling. Her decision to leave medical school was rooted in a desire for a different kind of fulfillment and a pursuit of passions that resonated more deeply with her. The transition wasn’t just a change in surroundings; it was a seismic shift in perspective. She embraced the simplicity of the preschool, where her days were spent playing with and guiding children through games, crafts, and songs. 

The decision to pursue medicine often involves immense dedication and years of rigorous study. Lisa’s choice to leave this path showcased her courage to listen to her inner calling and follow her heart toward a different journey—one that involved travel and exploration. It wasn’t an easy choice as it meant diverging from societal expectations and the traditional trajectory she had initially chosen.

Her departure from medical school became a critical moment that allowed her to step into a world where she could explore diverse cultures, connect with people, and craft narratives based on her experiences. This decision reflects her willingness to embrace uncertainty and take risks in pursuit of personal fulfillment on the road less traveled.

Adventures Beyond Imagination

Seeking a life of joy, Lisa found herself taking the opportunity to work with children all over the world. Her adventures working in children’s clubs at Club Med in Colorado, the Bahamas, and later on cruise ships allowed Lisa to explore the globe. Working across different locations, she embraced the vibrant diversity of each place. Her experiences were more than just work; they were moments of laughter, camaraderie, and once-in-a-lifetime explorations. Lisa shares her tales, painting a picture where the mundane was replaced by the extraordinary. Each anecdote was a brushstroke, illustrating the vibrant landscapes she navigated. Through her narratives, she showcases the richness found in embracing unconventional paths. Her story is about the sheer joy of living life to its fullest, even when it takes you off the beaten track.

Facing Personal Challenges

Lisa’s openness about her marriage, divorce, and ex husband brings a raw honesty to the conversation, unveiling the complexities of personal struggles within relationships. Through her candid storytelling, she not only highlights the challenges faced but also showcases the resilience she cultivated in navigating those turbulent waters. Her willingness to confront the darker moments with introspection is a testament to her strength.

The journey she undertook toward self-liberation wasn’t a simple one. It was filled with twists and turns, moments of self-doubt, and painful realizations. However, within those challenges lay an empowering narrative—a story of growth and self-discovery. Her ability to reflect on the difficulties she encountered and learn from them illustrates that even in the midst of adversity, there exists a path toward personal empowerment and freedom.

Working Through Fears

Amidst life’s storms, Lisa found solace in travel, diving into new experiences and challenging her fears. During the podcast, she shares a story in which she had a near-drowning experience when she was younger. This led to a fear of swimming. With the support of her friends, her bravery, and her determination, Lisa conquered this fear of swimming and ultimately learned to embrace the adventure of diving on her travels. Her story resonates deeply because it highlights the human capacity to overcome fears and limitations, regardless of age or past experiences.

Lisa’s journey serves as an inspiration, not just for overcoming a fear but for embracing discomfort as a catalyst for personal evolution. Lisa’s narrative encourages others to step out of their comfort zones, acknowledging that true growth and self-discovery often occur when one is willing to confront fears and uncertainties.

Moreover, her story highlights the beauty of resilience—how facing fears can transform into a source of strength and empowerment. By embracing discomfort and venturing into the unknown, Lisa found a newfound sense of freedom and a new adventurous hobby—illustrating that life’s storms can indeed lead to unexpected moments of growth and resilience.

The Road to Influence and Inspiration

With an engaging blend of determination and adaptability, Lisa transitioned her career into a renowned travel influencer. Her journey from Club Med adventures to navigating the world of online content creation exhibits her versatility and willingness to embrace new platforms.

In 2010, Lisa started the website: “We Said Go Travel.” With the help of self-guided study and instruction from a helpful student, this website became a hub for her captivating stories and insights into various travel experiences. Her ability to weave engaging narratives drew a vast audience eager to embark on her journeys vicariously. Through her YouTube channel, she amplified her storytelling prowess, leveraging the visual medium to bring her adventures to life. Her authenticity and passion for travel shone through, resonating strongly with her viewers.

During the COVID pandemic when traveling was paused, Lisa connected with a book agent. It was on that journey that she discovered the invigorating power of TikTok. Lisa’s pivot to TikTok had a significant positive impact on her YouTube growth, growing her followers to over 2 million. Embracing TikTok, she adapted her storytelling to suit the platform’s concise format, tapping into a new audience and diversifying her content. The ability to transition seamlessly between platforms and understand their unique nuances is a testament to Lisa’s adaptability and innovative approach to content creation.

Lisa’s success in navigating these digital landscapes speaks volumes about her entrepreneurial spirit and her dedication to evolving with the ever-changing digital world. Her insights shed light on the dynamic nature of online content creation and the importance of staying adaptable in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.

Beyond Boundaries: A Quest for Exploration

Lisa’s future is teeming with limitless possibilities and exciting ventures. Her upcoming podcast endeavors hold the promise of captivating conversations with notable personalities, offering audiences a glimpse into diverse experiences and perspectives. These podcasts, rich with insights and stories, are bound to resonate with listeners, adding a new dimension to her already vibrant storytelling.

Additionally, the prospect of touring the United States presents an incredible opportunity for Lisa to connect with people firsthand, spreading inspiration and sharing the essence of her book, “Brave-ish: One Breakup, Six Continents, and Feeling Fearless After 50.” This book encapsulates a journey of resilience, embracing life’s transitions, and finding strength amidst adversity. By sharing her story on this tour, she not only promotes her book but also becomes a symbol of empowerment and resilience for others navigating their own challenges and transitions.

The title itself, “Brave-ish,” hints at the relatable nature of her experiences— acknowledging that bravery doesn’t always come in grand, fearless moments but often in small steps taken despite fear. Lisa’s willingness to share her vulnerabilities and triumphs resonates deeply, encouraging others to embrace their own journeys with courage and resilience.

As she embarks on these endeavors, Lisa continues to inspire through her experiences, proving that life’s transitions, no matter how challenging, can lead to newfound courage, strength, and an abundance of opportunities for growth. Her story serves as a testament to the transformative power of resilience and the beauty found in embracing life’s twists and turns.

A Journey to Remember

As the podcast drew to a close, listeners were left with a trove of lessons from Lisa’s remarkable journey. Her story is a testament to the transformative power of change, the liberation found in embracing the unknown, and the resilience that emerges from life’s most trying moments.

Watch Lisa’s full episode here:

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