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Lauren Gay: Travel Blogger, Photographer, Podcaster, and Speaker (Tampa, Florida)

Lauren Gay Outdoorsy Diva hiking in Smoky mountains, woman resist bear shirt

Known online as the Outdoorsy Diva, the creator and advocate Lauren Gay is a powerhouse of encouragement and inspiration to seek fun and healing in nature and to promote diversity in the great outdoors.

Lauren is the creator of Misadventures of an Outdoorsy Diva Blog and the Outdoorsy Diva Podcast and the CEO of Lauren R. Gay Consulting where she offers professional consulting services for blogs and podcasts.

With all her work as a travel writer, digital content creator, photographer, podcaster, speaker, consultant, and social media influencer, Lauren seems to prove that breaks in nature are a great source of energy.

Originally from Texas, Lauren now lives in Tampa, Florida, just across the bay from our current headquarters – somewhere between the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico and the rivers and springs where you can find the Outdoorsy Diva birding, kayaking, and capturing it all.

Lauren Gay Outdoorsy Diva photographer, Gasparilla Island State Park, Florida
Lauren Gay (Outdoorsy Diva) exploring and photographing Gasparilla Island State Park, Florida.

Lauren is a dedicated longtime advocate for racial diversity and inclusion in outdoor recreation and adventure travel. Besides all her individual activism and outreach, she’s a launch team member of the Black Travel Alliance and the Race and Ethnicity Ambassador for the Hello Ranger Community. She’s promoted the joy of being in nature on all kinds of media outlets, including the BBC Earth Podcast.

But Lauren goes beyond just creating digital content and advocating, she actually gets people outside by organizing nature outings via her Adventure is a Lifestyle Facebook Group. While the adventures have been mostly based in Florida, this year has already included a trip to Ashville, North Carolina.

We discovered the Outdoorsy Diva during the inaugural Black Birders Week (organized by BlackAFinSTEM). She managed to answer our questions during the Black Travel Alliance #PullUpForTravel Campaign. And now we are excited to share her interview (by chance) during Black Hikers Week. It’s been eye-opening, inspiring, and encouraging to see the focus on black people in nature throughout this month. May this be just the beginning of more awareness and opportunities! (And more selfishly: may we hopefully soon join Lauren on one of her outdoor adventures…)

Roaming bison in Yellowstone National Park, photo by Lauren Gay, outdoorsy diva
Roaming bison in Yellowstone. (Photo: Lauren Gay)

Now let’s finally hear from the Outdoorsy Diva in her own words:

Lauren Gay – what do you do?

I’m passionate about inspiring and empowering women to create the life they desire through adventure and embracing nature. On the Misadventures of an Outdoorsy Diva Blog, I share travel stories and first-hand accounts of my outdoor recreation as well as guides to help people plan their adventures, both domestic and global. On the Outdoorsy Diva Podcast, I’m able to provide a more personal behind-the-scenes experience for my listeners of my adventures. I also bring on guests that inspire travel or share my love of nature and adventure.

As a photographer, I capture moments and memories from my travels and nature/wildlife from my outdoor adventures and provide an opportunity for readers to have a piece of my adventure in their homes.

I love to speak at conferences and events to help other bloggers or budding podcasters learn the business and how to get started. I have also had the opportunity to give talks on how we can improve diversity and inclusion in the outdoor industry.

Why do you do what you do?

My main reason for doing all that I do is ultimately to inspire. I want other women, single moms, and particularly Black women to see someone like me that resonates with them so that it empowers them to live the life they truly deserve and not let fear, stigma, or other people’s expectations hold them back.

Gibbons Falls, Yellowstone NP, Lauren Gay, Outdoorsy Diva
Gibbons Falls in Yellowstone National Park. (Photo: Lauren Gay)

General Happier Place category?

Waterfalls are my Happier Place in nature!! The sound of the rushing water is so calming and soothing, and they just leave me in awe because they are so beautiful

Specific Happier Place locations?

Yellowstone is one of my Happier Place locations. I could visit there every year and be in awe of how beautiful it is. The Azores Islands is another Happier Place destination that changed my life because it was my first solo international trip. I learned so much about myself and it is still one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen.

Sao Miguel, Azores, Hot Springs, photo by Lauren Gay, Outdoorsy Diva
Sao Miguel Hot Springs in the Azores (Photo: Lauren Gay)

What do you always bring out into nature with you?

Insect repellent. The Diva part of my name is the part of me that does not like bugs. But I love nature more than my dislike of insects; so I just do what I have to do.

Happier Place tips or hacks?

I’m actually more of a glamper than a camper, but even if I’m roughing it, I bring fancy snacks. I love to make smores using fancy chocolate instead of just plane old Hershey’s bars like most people.

I also pack a personal fan to keep me cool, and my camel pack is life.

A dream destination (in space or time)?

I think it would be pretty cool to have a front row seat to the Ancient Egypt civilization.

Words of inspiration?

It’s only the great outdoors. What are you afraid of?

Lauren Gay

Find Lauren Gay, the Outdoorsy Diva, online:

Misadventures of an Outdoorsy Diva Blog:
Instagram: outdoorsydiva
Twitter: outdoorsy_diva
Facebook: theoutdoorsydiva

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Lauren Gay, Outdoorsy Diva, Travel Blogger, Digital Content Creator, Photographer, Podcaster, and Speaker, in Florida, Happier Place
Lauren Gay, Outdoorsy Diva, Travel Blogger, Photographer, Podcaster, Speaker

All photos courtesy of Lauren Gay.

Let’s inspire and learn from each other!

Have you been on one of Lauren’s outings – or seen her speak? We’d love to hear about your experience. Have you been to any of the places she talked about, like the Azores, Yellowstone or our very own Tampa Bay? Tell us about it. Or maybe you can share something about your own experience as a person of color in nature? Do you have any questions for Lauren?

Please leave a comment below – inspired by these questions or whatever you’d like to share or ask…

A quick note on these profile posts. Up until now (including this interview with Lauren), WE have pursued people to be featured in our very occasional People Profile Pieces.

In an effort to bring more visibility to underrepresented people in nature, we want to publish a lot more profiles of people and of organizations. So we would like to invite YOU to nominate yourself or someone else to be featured on our website and our channels. We’re mainly looking for people and organizations who are passionate about “the outdoors” and do something to help make the world a happier place. Of course, we’ll also keep looking for inspiring people ourselves… CONTACT US

14 thoughts on “Lauren Gay: Travel Blogger, Photographer, Podcaster, and Speaker (Tampa, Florida)

  1. So cool to read about an awesome woman with such a great mission! I’ll have to look up more of her stuff!

  2. It is always nice to learn about what other bloggers are up to and their motivations for travel blogging x

  3. I enjoyed reading about Lauren in your post today. As a fellow black travel blogger it’s nice to see her highlighted. I especially like the travel association she created

  4. This was a great introduction to Lauren Gay. I love her pictures and mission.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Ceci. Feels great that we could introduce Lauren to you!

  5. It was nice to read about Lauren Gay. I wish I could live the same lifestyle. However, both me and my husband suffer from chronic illness with limits our opportunities for travel. I love photography too and thinking of getting my very first DSLR. Although I don’t travel much, our neighborhood has some great spots for nature photography. Thanks for letting me know about such an inspiring person.

    1. Hi Kristine! I’m sorry to hear you and your husband aren’t able to get around as much due to illness. I DO hope you get that camera – because I think it’s a great tool to not only be creative (which makes one happier), but also because it might make you discover so much more right around where you live. Sounds promising that you have great spots in the neighborhood. Having a nice camera might make you discover the beauty of smaller things right outside your door. Hope to see some of your photos!
      xx Luci

  6. Wow I love her mission! Also her photography is so good. I love landscape photography myself as a hobby so can relate to the patience it takes.

    1. It’s a very important mission. Nature brings so much happiness to people – it’s great to see how she inspires more people, especially women of color to enjoy and find healing in the outdoors. Sharing photography is a great way to inspire, I think.

  7. she seams so wonderful! I didn’t know about her before and I am glad to know about her now. she seams awesome!

    1. That’s great you enjoyed the interview! We think she’s awesome, too.

  8. Your enthusiasm about nature shines out. It’s nice to hear your words. Wish you all the best in your future endeavours. The pictures are nice.

  9. I really like reading about people. And people who love nature take nature everywhere are usually very good humans.

    1. Glad we could introduce you to Lauren!

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