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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, Fodors.com, 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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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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It’s January, which means it’s time to put our New Year’s resolutions into action. Whether you are planning to travel more, hoping for a fresh start, or wanting to get away on your own, we’ve found some travel blogs that will help you achieve your travel goals.

The new year is a time to start off new and refreshed, so Fodor’s lists their top picks for the best places to get some quality R&R. Soak up the sun, relax in a blue lagoon, take in the stunning views, and you’ll be ready to face whatever 2013 throws at you.

READ MORE

Day 5 of our 12 Days of Sparkle comes from the Shops at Columbus Circle in New York City, thanks to Instagram user issamas. Send us your photos using the hashtag #TCHolidayLights if you’d like to be featured!

Photography by Getty Images

Red Rock State Park outside of Sedona, AZ, may only be 298 acres — small by state park standards — but its postcard-worthy crimson ridge is an iconic American backdrop. More »

We asked, and you Instagrammed! See where our fans traveled this Thanksgiving. From Cape May to Vegas, Charleston and Asheville, this year Travel Channel fans encountered both long (and non-existent!) airport security lines, plenty of traffic and some impressive foliage. It even looks like a few furry friends joined in the Thanksgiving travel madness — see the full gallery here.

2) @travelchannel Spending the holiday in Newport, Rhode Island #turkeytravel -courtneybradley 3) On the road again. Headed to Charleston for Thanksgiving. #airstream#airstreamintherearview #malimishintherearview #turkeytravel -malimish_airstream 4) Went from Tulsa Ok to the beautiful Texas Hill Country #turkeytravel -fritzante 5) Zero security line at Reagan airport! #turkeytravel -alleesangiolo 6) On the road again.. -digitalboombox 7) Happy thanksgiving from Montana! #cows #turkeytravel#almostgothitbyadeeronmyrun -klcp33 8) Hello #ocean#TurkeyTravel #grateful -valeriekremer 9) #btv #turkeytravel -benlens 11) #TurkeyTravel w/ Mardis Gras beads -smallestpepper 12) #washingtondc #turkeytravel -jifferalderman 13) #turkeytravel #travelchannel #literally -heymandababy 14) Chasing waterfalls #asheville #turkeytravel #roadtrip#waterfall -nikolerucker 15) Chesapeake Bay Bridge -ckmercier

Yesterday, we asked our fans to tell us: If your candidate loses the election — what will your #ElectionEscape be? It seems as though — regardless of party affiliation — by Election Day,  all of our fans had a SERIOUS case of election fatigue, because we got quite the outpouring of tweets, Instagrams and pins. Check out some of our favorite #ElectionEscape Instagrams!  READ MORE

Today’s Daily Escape is Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona. More »

 Photograph by Joel Addams / Aurora Photos

Travel the blogosphere with us as we bring you our favorite travel blog posts from this past week. We saw that there’s a lot more to London than the Olympics and we learned what a glacial erratic is. Read all about these tidbits and more:

Global Grasshopper offers tips on the 10 London neighborhoods worth exploring.

As We Travel keeps the London theme going with Beatles-inspired places around the world.

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Want to know where some of our favorite travel bloggers have been this week? So did we. So we scoured the blogroll and found our 5 favorite posts. Did you know that Paris transforms into a beachside resort every summer?  Are you traveling with your significant other for the first time and worried that it might be a bad idea? Read on to find out more …

Vagabondish offers 6 questions everyone should ask before embarking on a trip with a significant other – to preserve both your sanity and your relationship.

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