ALL POSTS IN [Photography]

Lola Akinmade Akerstrom

Lola Akinmade Åkerström is a Nigerian-American, Stockholm-based writer and photographer who has contributed to digital and print publications such as National Geographic Traveler (both UK & US versions), BBC, CNN, The Guardian, Travel + Leisure, Lonely Planet, AFAR, San Francisco Chronicle,, several in-flight magazines, and many more. She is featured in a South Africa vignette Through The Lens that airs on National Geographic Channel and her photography is represented by National Geographic. Check out her blog, and follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Traveling Type: How did you get started travel blogging?
Lola Akinmade Akerstrom: I’ve always had a travel website of some sort since 2002 when I volunteered as a field journalist with an expedition race in Fiji. I shared dispatches, snippets and photos so my family and friends could follow along, but it wasn’t until late 2006 — when I discovered Matador Network — that I fully began “travel blogging.” At that time, I was still working a full-time job as a GIS system architect developing cool interactive online maps, but by 2009, I officially left that life behind in pursuit of travel writing and travel photography.

What’s your blog about?
I developed my own travel blog to feature highlights from travels along with dispatches because I work primarily as a freelance writer and photographer. So my blog acts more as a showcase for my work — writing and photography — with the occasional service-y “how to” post and product reviews.

How many countries, cities, and continents have you traveled to?
I stopped counting countries after my 40th because travel to me isn’t about some arbitrary list of places that need to be checked off and conquered. That said, I’d probably be well over 50 countries by the end of this year. But who’s keeping count? :)

What’s your favorite place you’ve traveled to?
I don’t have a favorite place but I do have favorite experiences, ranging from volunteering in Cambodia and photographing the Northern Lights in Swedish Lapland to learning about Zulu culture in South Africa and soaking up the vibrant markets in Lagos, Nigeria.

What’s your favorite place to get away from it all?
We actually live on one of Stockholm’s islands so we have a favorite cliff by the water where we steal away to just relax and watch sailboats and ships cruise by.

What’s your must-have item that you never travel without?
Camera. I have a hard time traveling without one.

What’s your favorite travel app?
Skyscanner. I’m always searching for cheap tickets.

Tell us your funniest travel story/experience. 
Strong winds plus me in a skirt and you already know what happened. But what made it even more embarrassing was that I was boarding a full double-decker bus in London and was climbing the stairs to the upper deck when a gust of wind rushed in, lifting and wrapping my skirt around my waist in the process. So those seated in the lower deck definitely got a good view of my underwear.

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten while traveling, and where was it?
A tough call, but I can say the best pizza I have ever eaten was in the remote village of Gratteri in Sicily — the type of tiny village where the baker rides a small Vespa through narrow streets delivering bread directly to homes. We had to wait all day until 7 p.m. for the pizza maker to arrive into the village … and it was well worth the wait.

What’s the best hotel/resort/hostel you’ve stayed at?
Right now, it’s Les Jardins de la Medina in Marrakech. I really enjoyed its ambiance and would return in a heartbeat.

Where’s “home”?
Home is anywhere my husband and daughter are. Right now, they’re in Stockholm so Stockholm it is. But I was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, and it will always be my “true roots” home.

What would you recommend to travelers visiting your hometown?
When visiting Lagos, try to experience one of its open-air markets for a sensory overload and a true glimpse into what makes it such a vibrant city. When visiting Stockholm, take a boat cruise around the harbor. Better yet, take a brunch or lunch cruise so you can dig into local Swedish specialties like pickled herring and cured salmon while soaking up Stockholm’s stunning views.

What’s #1 on your bucket list? 
Mongolia. Oh, and the North Pole.

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Travel Channel's Summer Photo Contest

There’s nothing better than a summer vacation that leaves lasting memories — except maybe capturing those moments on camera. Now you can upload your summer vacation photos for a chance to be featured on and win prizes from Comfort Inn®.

Every week, we’re giving away another $500 Choice Hotels voucher for a stay at the location of your choice! So what are you waiting for? Enter the contest now and check the blog every Friday through August 6, where we’ll reveal the week’s finalists and the lucky winner.

See how some of the Travel Channel editors spent their Independence Day. Then, show us how you spent yours! Instagram your photos with the hashtag #TCJuly4th and we’ll feature our favorites on the blog!

Fourth of July

Top Row, Left to Right:

“Happy July 4th from Kensington, MD!” - Jessica Menk, Digital Editorial Designer

“Sitting on the steps of Department of Labor, waiting for fireworks to begin on the National Mall.” - Vanessa Mack, Photo Editor

“Here’s a shot of Mike Espenshade resting before the start of Civil War reenactments. He’s been a re-enactor for the past 30 years, and this week he’s joined 40,000 compatriots to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg and a “new birth of freedom” – the Fourth rocked in Gettysburg!” - Lisa Singh, Interactive Producer

Bottom Row, Left to Right:

“There’s no better way to celebrate America’s birthday than by watching America’s favorite pastime! Cold beer, a great game and a cone of soft-serve vanilla ice cream made for the perfect Independence Day.” – Allee Sangiolo, Interactive Producer

“Even under repairs, the Washington Monument glows in anticipation of 4th of July fireworks on the National Mall.” – Robin Bennefield, Managing Producer

“No cookout would be complete without a patriotic blueberry pie! But the credit goes to a friend — I’m a terrible baker.” - Sara Gilliam, Senior Interactive Producer

Fourth of July

We want to know: How are you celebrating the most patriotic day of the year? Will you be commemorating America’s independence by taking in one of the best fireworks displays in the US? Are you lucky enough to be spending the holiday at one of the best hotels for 4th of July celebrations? Whether you’re celebrating with a picnic, a party or plenty of pyrotechnics, we want to see! Instagram your photos with the hashtag #TCJuly4th, and we’ll feature some of our favorites on the blog.

Here’s to the red, white and blue!

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We asked our Instagram followers to send us photos of their Memorial Day weekend trips, and after browsing all your awesome shots … we have a serious case of wanderlust! Our fans did everything from participating in a Color Run to visiting the USS Constitution Museum to exploring the island of Oahu. We’re impressed! Check out some of our favorite photos, and follow us on Instagram for more chances to be featured on our blog.

Top Row, Left to Right
USS Constitution Museum- Jordanraynor; Tampa Color Run- cheryllwebb; Stamford, CT-mdonuk

Second Row, Left to Right
Colombia- bb_heartbeat; Portland Head Light- Jordanraynor; Solelydefined

Third Row, Left to Right
Santa Barbara- dcg; Old Mission Santa Barbara- ckmercier; Pipes Beach- hedder02

Fourth Row, Left to Right
Ocean City, MD- Teddyburr; Oahu, Hawaii- mskabukimono; Pat’s King of Steaks in Philly- rachel_haan

Last Row, Left to Right
Galenaonthefly; Cape Hatteras- fofagacademy; Mt. Shasta- natsten

Travel Channel’s office is in Washington, DC, where springtime means one thing: cherry blossoms. For weeks leading up to the National Cherry Blossom Festival, speculation about when the thousands of trees would erupt in pale pink blooms lead all the local newscasts. Would it be the last week of March? The first week of April? Would unseasonably warm weather cause them to bloom early and then fall when a cold snap hit? They are, literally, the talk of the town. We’re well aware, however, that these gorgeous trees aren’t only in DC, so last week we asked our Instagram followers to send us their cherry blossom photos. Check out this explosion of spring! Here are some of our favorites:

Cherry Blossom Instagrams

Top Row, Left to Right: love2travel, fromaway, tinarima
Second Row, Left to Right: maydaymays, juleigh2000, nortonandco
Third Row, Left to Right: Toeinoi, kaostheory206, absolutetraveladdict
Fourth Row, Left to Right: Dercarler, bowtiesrfancy, ray2thero
Bottom Row, Left to Right: Dayangheimy, laura_1over, christinassi


Cherry Blossom Instagram

Nothing says Spring Fling like cherry blossoms in bloom! If you don’t believe us, check out this timelapse video, created by, of last year’s pale-pink blooms.

Are you traveling to Washington, DC, for the annual Cherry Blossom Festival? Do you have cherry trees in your hometown? Instagram your photos using the hashtag #TCSpringFling and we’ll feature our favorites on the blog.

Last week we asked our Instagram followers to show us the most #bizarrefoods they’ve ever eaten — and let me tell you, they did not disappoint. Bizarre Foods fans, you have certainly proven that you do, in fact, have the guts. While combing through all the photos of frogs’ legs, insects (lots of worms) and animal intestines — we even came upon a few images that left us feeling slightly … queasy (think: a severed, uncooked sheep’s head wrapped in cellophane). Here are a few of our favorites. Warning: They are not for the faint of heart.

Bizarre Foods Instagrams

Top Row, Left to Right

1) “#bizarrefoods Buah Keluah. Indonesian black nut pulp. Poisonous if it isn’t soaked properly for a couple days.” –  chubbychinesegirl

2) “Look at the buns on those guys.” - sarahcuiksa

3) “Homemade chicharon na bituka or deepfried pork intestine.” - jonathankano09

Second Row, Left to Right

1) “Tripe with ginger and scallion #offal #foodie” - thehungrydudes

2) “What the heck are my parents cooking for me to eat, tongue attached and everything #bizarrefoods #sundayfamilytime” - juliejaejung

3) “@travelchannel @andrewzimmern I ate Casu Marzu, the Sardinian cheese filled with live maggots! #BizarreFoods” - annaward14

Third Row, Left to Right

1) “Goooood Morning! Diet-mode Breakfast time… No Fried Rice but Tuyong Bisugo (dried salted fish) and Eggs for me ツ Yummmmy!” - xoxogrusha

2) “Tarantulas for tea! #cambodia #travel” - travelbugjac

3) ”Someone tried #balut tonight and it wasn’t me! The husband said it tasted like liver which doesn’t sound appealing at all… For those who don’t know what “balut” is, google it at your own risk! Needless to say we won’t be making out for a few days… Blehhh.” - taliastudio

Bottom Row, Left to Right

1) “Boiled sheep head for dinner.” - trekker_heck

2) “This is probably the last time I will ever eat rotting #shark fermented in urine again. #hakarl #lokicafe #reykjavik #iceland” - trekker_heck

3) “Most bizarre thing I’ve ever eaten? A whole piranha out of Lake Nicaragua#BizarreFoods” - jessicaarmour

And for even more of the bizarre, follow Andrew Zimmern’s “Organ” Trail.

There’s less than a week left until the all-new season of Bizarre Foods begins, and we want to know: Do you have guts like Andrew? Or are you chicken? From now until this Sunday, Instagram photos of the most #bizarrefoods you’ve ever eaten, and on Monday, Feb. 11 — just in time for the season premiere — we’ll feature our favorites on the blog. In the meantime, get a sneak peek of some of the strange grub that Andrew gets his hands on this season.


Tonight at 11|10c is the season finale of Dangerous Grounds. Todd takes his coffee hunt to Colombia, the source of the best coffee in the world before violence took over. Todd and his cameraman also have a close call on a treacherous South American mountain road, which Todd recounted here for us during filming.

Last week, we asked you to share on Instagram where you were drinking your coffee. As it turns out, you’re enjoying coffee of so many different varieties all over the world! Here are some of our favorite photos:

Left to right, first row:
1. @eversonmarsh – Cognoscenti Coffee in Culver City, CA
2. @carriedelamer – “Rise and shine! Proud of this one ;) @lacolombetorrefaction”
3. @thefalife – Coffee In Copenhagen
Left to right, second row:
4. @carovb76 – Juan Valdez coffee near El Batan, Ecuador
5.  @chadbrewbeard  - A La Colombe blend with beans from Brazil, Ethiopia, Mexico and Tanzania.
6.  @semisweetmegan – Espresso at Artisan Cheese Company in Sarasota, FL
Left to right, third row:
7. @kovacsae1 – “Craving an Americano from @lacolombecoffee #dangerousgrounds #coffee #edpresso #NYC”
8. @amybrock – “Love from The Coffee Fox… Cheers to a chill Friday evening! #savannah #visitsavannah #coffee #coffeefox”
9. @brianripps – Kookaburra Coffee in Rockville Centre, NY

Don’t miss Todd’s recipes for these delicious coffee drinks: Pure Black Velvet Float, Hot Buttered Coffee and Mexican Hot Coffee-Chocolate. If you’re not in the mood for a hot cup of Joe now, then you’ll never be!

Latest Pins on Pinterest

  • The majestic temples of Bagan #Myanmar #LiveTravelChannel Photo by: @pearsonphotography

  • Boneyard Beach, South Carolina via @sightseeingkate

  • Jardines de Sabatini, Madrid, Spain via @eric_lucchesi_

  • The Flatirons, Colorado via @courtneycmorrissey