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Daily Inspiration: Meet Lisha Riabinina

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lisha Riabinina.

Hi Lisha, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I’ve always been obsessed with traveling. I visited 27 countries by the age of 30 (yeah, I know, I felt a bit short and didn’t hit 30 before 30) and always found that traveling is not only great for learning about new places and cultures but also for learning more about yourself.

I am also a big fan of having a plan. I am not the kind of person who will show up if you say: “we are just going to play it by ear” I like to know where we are going, how we are getting there, what I need to wear, how long we are going to stay, and how we are getting back.

I’ve been doing photography professionally for more than 13 years, and I love to be able to capture the moment and tell a story so that you can feel like you are a part of the picture too when you are looking at it.

In November of 2020 (after eight long months of pretty much never going anywhere), I decided to combine my passion for these three and launched Weekend Trip Creator.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Starting a travel business in the middle of the pandemic was definitely not a very conventional idea. But I believe you don’t necessarily go far to get a fulfilling travel experience. I started with long weekend road trips exploring National Parks, nearby cities, and beautiful California beaches. It wasn’t until November 2021 that I went on my first international trip to Costa Rica.

I also work full-time in marketing for a Fortune-100 company, so I only have weekends to travel and create content for my audience. But I believe that this is what makes my content relatable and my custom travel itineraries realistic. Most people still have to go to work, right?

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I create custom travel itineraries for clients who want to have a fantastic experience on their trip without the need to put days into the research and tailor the plan based on the specific type of traveler the client is. You will have a detailed plan with times and locations so you will never have to stand 20 minutes at the intersection googling “best places for dinner near me.”

But I also believe every plan is made to be broken, so there’s a lot of built-in flexibility. Not feeling like going out to eat today? Here’s a list of great restaurants to deliver. Want to go somewhere else instead of the suggested 3-mile waterfall hike? Here’s a list of drive-up observation points along the route.

I also share plenty of travel tips and itinerary ideas on my @weekendtripcreator Instagram. So come say hi if you are passionate about traveling and want to chat about your dream destination.

Earlier this month, I announced a group tour to Iceland that I am putting together in July 2023. I went there for the first time in June and fell in love with the place. As a result, I have the perfect full Ring Road itinerary that lets you see all the best things Iceland offers in just a week. But who knows, I might organize a small group tour somewhere in the US before that.

It’s funny that I’ve always been teased for needing a plan for everything, which made me feel sort of embarrassed that I do. And now, I turned it into something beautiful that helps people to travel better.

Are there any books, apps, podcasts or blogs that help you do your best?
I am very passionate about self-development. I take French lessons, workout with the trainer, listen to podcasts, try to find time to read, and take courses on presentation skills, project management, social media, and filmmaking.

LinkedIn Learning is an excellent resource for learning more about marketing and business. There are tons of master classes and courses to choose from.

You can find a tutor for many different languages on Preply.

One of my favorite podcasts is “The Mindset Mentor” I once listened to 15 episodes in a row while driving from LA to San Francisco. It helps to look deeper into your day-to-day life and assess if how you live now is aligned with what you want to achieve.

Books: I am currently reading “The mountain is you” by Brianna Wiest, and it is already helping me to see where and why I am possibly holding myself back. Take this quote, for example: “Sometimes, we fight endlessly to try to force ourselves to want something that we do not really want, and it always leaves us empty because it isn’t a genuine desire.”

And also, go on a trip! Go somewhere new and try to really be in the moment. Don’t check your emails and social media, pay attention to small details, try something new, and reflect on your day after. What did you like? What could’ve been better? Would you come here again? New experiences combined with self-reflection can do magic for your personal growth.

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