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 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…)
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.
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.
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?
Find Lauren Gay, the Outdoorsy Diva, online:
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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