Meet Lola Akinmade Åkerström, Nigerian-born travel photographer and writer whose award-winning work regularly appears in National Geographic, BBC, Travel + Leisure, Forbes, The Guardian and more. She is the author of the award-winning book Due North and bestselling book LAGOM: Swedish Secret of Living Well. She is editor-in-chief of Slow Travel Stockholm and founder of NordicTB Collective, which brings together the top professional travel bloggers and digital storytellers from Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland. 

Lola is also a sought-after keynote speaker, and I’ve had the privilege of hearing her talk on two occasions. The first was earlier this year in New York City at Women’s Travel Fest, where I asked her if she’d be willing to be a guest on this podcast. The second time I heard her keynote was right after this interview, at Wanderful’s Women In Travel Summit Europe in Riga, Latvia. Both talks were incredible, and left me deeply inspired. I’m so honored that Lola agreed to share her remarkable stories and insights with me on the show.

Lola shares what ignited her passion for exploring cultures, what brought her from Nigeria to the U.S. and Sweden, and her journey from computer programmer to photographer and writer. She also explains the role of travel in her life, how she balances work and family, and her thoughts on traveling as a Black woman.   

What You’ll Learn

  • What sparked her love of exploring other cultures
  • What brought her from Nigeria to the U.S., and then to SwedenHer journey from computer programmer to full-time travel photographer and writer
  •  Her favorite form of photography and why
  • Her various work projects
  • How her relationship with travel has changed
  • What allows her to travel for work while parenting two young children
  • The importance of finding balance in your life
  • Advice for those wanting to find ways to travel more
  • The beauty of traveling your backyard
  • Her passion for connecting with cultures and people
  • Her approach to diversity
  • How travel has impacted her life
  • Her insights on traveling as a Black woman

About Lola Akinmade

Lola is an award-winning writer, photographer, and author whose work explores culture through food, tradition, and lifestyle for high profile publications such as National Geographic Traveler, BBC, The Guardian, and Lonely Planet, amongst others.  She is the editor in chief of  Slow Travel Stockholm and has collaborated with many well-known brands – from Mercedes Benz and Dove to Intrepid Travel and National Geographic Channel.  Åkerström has received the 2018 Travel Photographer of the Year Bill Muster Award and was honored with a MIPAD 100 (Most Influential People of African Descent) Award within media and culture. Her photography is represented by National Geographic Creative. She is based in Stockholm, Sweden.  You can find out more about lola on her blog, and connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn.

Resources Mentioned

This episode was generously sponsored by Waypoint Goods, which is offering Globetrotter Lounge podcast listeners a 15% discount when purchasing one of their fabulous travel scarves! It’s the perfect holiday gift for the travelers in your life. Simply visit and enter the code JETSET at checkout. 

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