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About Me

I’m Liisa Ladouceur, a journalist, author and blogger based in Toronto. I seek out the weird and wonderful wherever I go and hope to inspire your next offbeat, off-the-beaten path adventure.

Liisa Wanders in Morocco
Morocco 2019

I started this blog for other travellers like me. Curious, independent people who dream of seeing the world and living a life full of adventure. And who do things a little differently.

For twenty years, I wrote mostly about arts and culture. I thrived on discovering new and exciting sights and sounds, exploring why they are important and turning on people to their new favourites.

(You may know me from my books Encyclopedia Gothica and How to Kill a Vampire, my music journalism, my work with BangerTV, or my goth style YouTube channel. Hi!)

I still do those things, but as I travelled around the globe for work, I realized that what I most wanted to share was what I learned about solo travel, so that other people could do it too.

I’ve been fortunate enough to visit more than 25 new countries and explore most of Canada. I’ve met the most fascinating people from all walks of life, gotten up close to awesome wonders of the world like the Eiffel Tower, the pyramids of Giza and the Taj Mahal, and experienced the best live music, visual art, food, and festivals on this planet.

No, I didn’t sell all my possessions to go live in a van. I don’t have unlimited funds to retire early and travel full-time. Sometimes I have a luxury budget. Sometimes I have no budget. When you read this blog I’ll prove to you that if you dream of travel there are so many ways to fit exploration into your life: day trips, long weekends, extended work trips, two-week vacations and the occasional grand adventure.

I’m here to show you how I squeeze extraordinary moments out of everyday. How to travel safely. Respectfully. With your whole heart. Whether you’er out there solo, with friends, or on a small group tour—all of which everyone should try once if they can.

A travel vision board made with postcards
Past adventures as a vision board

I blame the Oaxaca cheese sandwiches

It all started with a week in Mexico.

Where I came from — a low-income family in small-town Ontario — travel was for Rich People. Growing up I was plenty curious about the world, but I satisfied myself reading library books instead. Then in my twenties a partner convinced me if I could save up $1000 we could fly to Cancun and go climb Mayan pyramids. So I did!

That first trip opened my eyes and changed my life.

I climbed my first pyramid at Chichen Itza. I took my first ocean swim, saw my first banana tree, ate so many quesadillas before discovering there is more vegetarian Mexican food than quesadillas….Cancun is not the most “exotic” location on Earth perhaps, but a very long way from my hometown.

Every day is an adventure when you are travelling. I quickly realized that it’s an opportunity to learn about other people, cultures, and yourself. That when you step off the hamster wheel of daily routine, you can find out what truly makes you happy. (And that for me, this includes Oaxacan cheese sandwiches.)

Most importantly, I learned that travel is not just for The Rich. There is fun, excitement, wonder, and beauty to be found on any budget.

In Mexico I fell in love with experiencing new things in new places. And I haven’t stopped since.

Liisa Wanders in Mexico in the 1990s
Mexico 1990s

How can I help you travel more — and better?

My areas of expertise and passions you can expect to read about include:

I hope that Liisa Wanders inspires adventures of your own, whether that’s around the world, or around the block. Please send me a note or connect on my socials if you have any questions. I’d love to talk travel with you!

This world is a marvellous place. Let’s go see what’s out there.

On y va. Yalla!

Liisa Wanders in Parkdale, Toronto
Toronto, 2020

Freelance Travel Writer

My freelance work has been published in Canada’s top newspapers, magazines and websites and select international media. I’m always looking for opportunities to work with good editors to tell compelling, authentic travel stories and promote sustainable travel and cultural experiences. Contact me by email.

Select Articles

Astrotourism is travel’s next big trend (Toronto Star)

Being in beautiful Banff, alive, would be enough. My first trip after cancer treatment (Toronto Star)

A Look Inside Sobr Market, Canada’s largest non-alcoholic bottle shop (Toronto Life)

How to See Some of the Best Toronto Museums for Free (Ultimate Ontario)

10 Punk Museums Around the World (Spin.com)

Exploring Nashville on a sober group tour (Victoria-Times Colonist)

Collaborations and Corporate Travel Writing

If you’re a travel company, tourism board, or other organization looking for an exceptional writer to help tell your story, or would like to see my Liisa Wanders media kit, please make contact by email.

Select content

Meet the women rickshaw drivers of Jaipur, India (for Intrepid Travel)

What it’s like on a Women’s Expedition in India (for Intrepid Travel)

Everything you need to know about John C Munro Airport (for PLAY Airlines)

Best Day Trips from Marrakesh (for PLAY Airlines)

Explore Parkdale with a Street Art Tour (for Destination Toronto)


Liisa Wanders in Siena Italy
Italy, 2021

Ask me anything