Twipper of the Week: Colleen Lanin from The Travel Mamas.


Current city: Scottsdale, Arizona

Age: 42

Total countries visited: 30

What makes you interesting: I do a great impersonation of Stitch, from Disney’s “Lilo & Stitch.”

What brands do you love: Estancia chardonnay. Coca-Cola Life (it comes in green cans and is made with Stevia and cane sugar instead of corn syrup). I’m a Sephora junkie. As a runner and hiker who lives in the hottest state in the U.S., I don’t know how I’d survive without my CamelBak water backpack.

What’s your favorite passport stamp: I don’t know what the passport stamp looks like, but I am so happy that I visited Finland because three of my grandparents were born in that country. It felt like going home, in a strange way, to see familiar Finnish names on buildings and to taste the sweet cardamom-flavored breads like my mom bakes. Finnish Americans don’t have the same sense of community in the U.S. as other groups of people do, and it was so exciting to see that I do belong to a history and heritage beyond America.

What item will you never leave home without: My iPhone. It acts as my camera, book, map and so much more! Also Dramamine because I tend to get motion sickness, especially on boats.

Describe your most unique or funniest travel experience: One funny experience was the time that a friend and I took an overnight bus from London to Liverpool (never, ever do this, by the way). We arrived many hours before anything was open in  the morning so to keep warm, we hung out inside a telephone booth (which tells you how long ago this was). Soon enough we realized two homeless people were having ahem relations in the booth across from us.  Unfortunately, it’s something I’ll never forget!

Other unique travel experiences: Getting invited for a tour of the Oval Office at the White House, leading a pack of sled dogs through a wintry Québécois forest, and falling asleep to the haunting call of loons while camping in the remote wilderness in Northern Minnesota.

If your personality was a city or country, which one would it be: I wish I could say Paris – sexy, interesting, confident and classy. I’m probably more like New York – loud, energetic and always very, very busy.

Do you have any recommendations to help battle jet lag: Get out in the sun!

How has travel changed you or how do you hope it will change you: Travel has made me more curious and understanding about different people, foods, cultures and religion. Pretty much everything!

Next travel destination: I’m headed to the Twin Cities in Minnesota to visit family and attend TBEX (the Travel Bloggers Exchange conference). Then I’m headed to New Orleans for the first time to celebrate my 15th wedding anniversary with my husband. We’re also planning a big family trip to Oregon this summer.