Louise Southerden

Consult with me

Louise Southerden is an award-winning travel writer with a passion for natural places, low-impact travel and sustainable living. She has travelled the globe as a professional writer for more than 20 years and won numerous awards, including the Australian Society of Travel Writers’ prestigious Travel Writer of the Year award – four times, most recently in 2013. Louise is a regular contributor to Fairfax Traveller in The Sydney Morning Herald and the author of Surf's Up: The Girl's Guide to Surfing (2008, also available as an ebook) and Japan: A Working Holiday Guide (2001). Her most recent book is Adventures on Earth (2015), an interactive ebook of her best-ever adventure travel stories and images, available on iTunes. Originally from Sydney, Louise now lives in northern NSW, Australia, in between travels.  Find out more at No Impact Girl, including Louise's ode to travel: Dear world, I miss you: 13 things I love about travelling.

Posts by Louise Southerden

You asked...we answered!

  • 1
    Do you prefer traveling alone or with a companion? Why?

    I’ve spent so much time travelling solo over the years that I now love the freedom of it, and feel at home wandering alone, dining alone, making friends in new places. I also love being able to dissolve into a destination, cast off from my own cultural background and forget where I come from and what I think (as much as possible). I want to be surprised, off balance, out of my element – that to me is the joy of travel.

  • 2
    What's your favorite mode of transportation? Why?

    If I could swim everywhere, I would. Sea kayaking is the next best thing; if I can’t be “in” water, I love to be “on” it. I’ve also got a soft spot for walking, because it slows life down, letting you experience more of the place you’re in and, like other forms of low-impact travel, simplifies your daily existence when you’re on the road. No passports or train tickets, just boots and a backpack, and all the time in the world.

  • 3
    Have you ever been somewhere that was so bad you couldn't write about it?

    The short answer: no. In more words: I’ve been on trips where I’ve thought, “What ON EARTH am I going to write about this?” but surprisingly few in my 20+ years as a professional travel writer, and even in those cases, I always found something interesting to write about. Besides, what is “bad” to me, might be someone else’s “good”. And whether I like a place or not is almost irrelevant. My job is to take readers there in a way that shows who might love it, while always telling it like it is.

  • 4
    What is the most important thing you've learned from traveling?

    This is a tough one. So many trips, so many life lessons… The most important? Perhaps that life is short, like a trip you don’t want to end. In this way, travel wakes us up to the world, how incredible it is, and reminds us not to take any of it for granted.