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Rendezvous with the Awesome Justin plus Lauren!

If we can’t get together face to face…let’s do it virtually!

Justin and Lauren petting sheep.
At the Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, NY

This week on our traveler interview series: A Rendezvous with Rovers on our Weekend Travel Inspiration, I’ve interviewed the adventurous couple Justin plus Lauren!  Come along with me as I find out where these guys have been.  

Where do you live now?  Tell us a little about where you are from.

We live together in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada in an area of the city called Port Credit. It has the feel of a smaller village and we live right by the lake. It is fantastic to go for a walk or bike ride along the Waterfront Trail, and there is always a festival happening on the weekends of the summer months. There is a lighthouse, a marina, and a very lovely downtown area with many cafes and restaurants. We really enjoy living here!

What inspires you to travel?  What types of places call to you?  How often do you get to travel?

We are inspired to travel because we want to visit places all over the world! We love to visit natural wonders, historic sites, beaches, mountains, great cities, and the list goes on! Generally, we are able to take one larger trip during the year and several shorter trips within driving distance, whether it be a road trip for the day or a lengthier week-long getaway. We both work full time jobs and travel whenever we can!

Lauren climbing in a hole.
Climbing out of the Hell Holes Cave in Napanee, Ontario

Describe your travel philosophy.  What is your style?  Are you more of a luxury traveler or is backpacking more your style?  Do you like to be in control and do all your own planning, or do you like to let go and go on tours or go to a travel agent to help out?  Do you like to pack a lot into a day or take it easy and follow your whims?

We definitely do all of our own planning. I find that planning is half of the fun! We love doing research ahead of time by reading amazing travel blogs, guide books, and review sites. We definitely fall more on the side of luxury travelers, though we do like a good bargain! We’re pretty flexible and will stay wherever our adventures take us. We like to have a good balance of visiting places and exploring at our own pace. We wouldn’t want to pack too much into one day, or else we could get too tired and it could all be a blur. Of course, with limited time, you do want to see as many sites as possible. I would much rather take a slower approach and get to know a place if it’s possible!

What types of things are you interested in while you are traveling?  Is it adventure/adrenalin or history/culture?  Do you want to relax on the beach or hike around ruins?

We love a bit of everything, really! We’re into adventures, like hiking, kayaking, snorkeling, and we’d love to try scuba diving very soon. We also love history and culture, too. Walking around museums and learning about a place is really great! Our next big travel plans will take us to Italy, where we will be taking in LOTS of history and culture! However, we do enjoy relaxing times on the beach as well.  I think we are more into adventures and culture though than working on our tans…though a beach day now and again is very invigorating!

Justin and Lauren in Quebec.
In Old Montreal, Quebec

Tell us a couple of places that you just love or surprised you, or a place you find yourself going back to, and maybe a place that was a little disappointing and didn’t live up to its reputation.

Our favorite place so far is the island of Bonaire. We heard that it was a great place to snorkel and scuba dive, but we did not know just how magical it would be! It is a whole other world down there. The coral reefs are spectacular, and we got to swim alongside so many fish and even a few sea turtles! The island itself is so beautiful and less touristy than many other Caribbean islands.  The views of those turquoise waters were incredible! Thankfully, we haven’t been too disappointed by any places yet. We tend to plan out our travels and visit places that really interest us and nothing has let us down so far! Even when situations haven’t worked out according to plan, we’ve always been able to make alternate arrangements that have worked out great!

Justin kayaking in Ontario.
Kayaking in Put in Bay, OH

What is one funny, embarrassing, cute, or even frustrating anecdote from your travels?

Something funny happened once at the Canada/USA border crossing when Justin and I first started dating and took our first trip across to the States together. Justin had never driven across the border before. We drove up to the border guard, answered his questions, and he let us drive through. It was a little bit confusing about where to drive next, so instead of driving onto the highway, Justin drove towards a border guard that was standing at the side. When we got there, he was speaking into his walkie-talkie and we heard the words “self-referral”. We had just driven into the area where people had to get their cars scanned for bombs and things of that sort! We had to leave our car parked in a big line-up of cars and stand alongside a bunch of other people, while this big van drove slowly beside the vehicles. We talked to a few other people that were waiting and apparently we were the only ones that “volunteered” for this! Thankfully, it didn’t take too long, and we were soon on our way!

Other than travel blogging, what do you do to remember your travels?  Do you buy souvenirs?  

We like to bring back small things like postcards and stamps from a place if we can find them! Otherwise, we love taking lots of photos and videos to remember our vacations! We have a small collection of fridge magnets and Christmas ornaments from our travels, too.

What is your next destination and what are you looking forward to doing there?

We hope to travel to Montreal and Quebec City this summer, and perhaps take a road trip in the USA. Our next big vacation will happen in 2015 when we travel to Italy!

Justin and Lauren in Bonaire.

Finally, if you could inspire someone to start traveling, which place would you recommend to him or her as a good starting destination and why?  Are there any places that you wouldn’t travel to your first time out and why?

If the person isn’t able to travel very far, I would definitely recommend being a “tourist in their own town” – explore places within your city or close to your city that you’ve never visited before. You’d be surprised at what you can find! Even when we can’t travel far away, we’re always finding out about new places around where we live. Otherwise, it really depends on what the person is interested in, and their budget. If you live in Canada or the USA, I would recommend taking a Caribbean cruise – you get to visit several islands or places, take some excursions, there isn’t too much planning involved, it is fairly inexpensive (considering all meals, transportation around the Caribbean, and entertainment is included!), it’s pretty stress-free, and you stay in one place overnight. 

I’m sure you will want to follow this adventurous duo!

Justin and Lauren on segways in Bahamas.
Riding Segways in Nassau, Bahamas


Author Bio: Corinne Vail is a travel photographer, food lover, and a perpetual traveler who has been travel writing for over 14 years. For many years she lived overseas in Germany, Japan, Turkey, South Korea, and the Netherlands teaching the children of the US. military. She’s visited over 90 countries, and she’s not stopping anytime soon.

rhonda albom

Friday 8th of August 2014

Nice to meet you Justin and Lauren. I also love Bonaire, although my trip there didn't end so well as I got decompression sickness (the bends) near the end of our trip and ended up in a hospital in Miami for nine days. From what I remember it was a beautiful island.

Corinne Vail

Friday 8th of August 2014

Rhonda, I hope you had a good time before you got the Bends. Jim had to go through some decompression therapy once. No fun.

Shikha (whywasteannualleave)

Thursday 7th of August 2014

Great interview! I love Justin and Lauren's site and they come across as lovely people so it's nice to learn a bit more about them in this interview Corinne :)

Corinne Vail

Thursday 7th of August 2014

Shikha, It so much fun to learn how everyone else travels, don't you think?


Tuesday 5th of August 2014

Thank you so much for featuring us on your site - we really appreciate it! :)

Corinne Vail

Wednesday 6th of August 2014

Lauren, Thanks for joining in!


Monday 4th of August 2014

Thank you so much for interviewing us, we feel very honored to be featured on your site! :)

Corinne Vail

Wednesday 6th of August 2014

Lauren, I loved your fresh and exciting. I'm sure it will inspire many people to travel!


Monday 4th of August 2014

Great interview. Love the funny story about crossing the Canada/USA border, bet you regretted driving into that line! Could not agree more about planning being half of the fun when it comes to travelling too.

Corinne Vail

Wednesday 6th of August 2014

Catherine, Isn't planning fun? All the possibilities!