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    Illustration by Kendall Swann 

    Garcia, 28, is the travel writer behind the blog Practical Wanderlust, where she documents her around-the-world adventures with her husband.

    Earliest childhood memory?

    “We moved from Boston to Louisville when I was three. I remember playing with my Ariel Barbie doll and having to get in the car to leave. I think her leg popped off and fell into the snow and I couldn’t find it.”

    What song is stuck in your head?

    “I recently caught a live show at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, and there was an amazing singer named Tenille Townes. I’ve had her song ‘Where You Are’ stuck in my head ever since.”

    What’s on your credit-card statement?

    “Three weeks of eating my way through Indianapolis, Louisville and Nashville, and a flight to Bali.”

    How’d you make your first dollar?

    “I used to make these awful crafts, like stuff with popsicle sticks and yarn. I’d hawk them to my parents’ friends at the Jewish Community Center.”

    Favorite Kentucky Derby winner?

    “I grew up drinking exclusively out of Kentucky Derby glasses, and something about ‘1995 Thunder Gulch’ sticks out in my mind.”

    The weirdest place somebody has recognized you in public?

    “I was in Minca, Colombia, relaxing in the lounge of my favorite hostel, when someone approached with my blog pulled up on their phone. They had booked the hostel because of my blog!”

    What’s on your nightstand?

    “I live in California now, so I have a few things on my nightstand that are perfectly legal here but not in Kentucky. Let’s call them ‘special sleep aids.’”


    “Definitely ’90s pop and awful reality TV. Like, I’d probably die of excitement if Britney Spears appeared on The Bachelorette or House Hunters.”

    What dish do you make at home most often?    

    “My husband is the cook, and I always get him to make me a version of the kale soup from Olive Garden, with coconut milk instead of cream. I developed an addiction to that soup when I worked at the Olive Garden on Hurstbourne one summer in college.”

    Best book you’ve read over the past year?

    “My husband and I recently spent five months backpacking through South America, and the book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, by Charles C. Mann, was so eye-opening. Basically, the idea that the Americas in the 1400s were mostly uninhabited lands filled with bands of nomadic, warring tribes is totally inaccurate.”

    Secret talent?

    “I play the cello!”


    “I firmly believe that if I don’t say ‘I love you’ to my husband before one of us leaves or hangs up the phone, some horrible freak accident will happen.”

    Biggest regret?

    “I did the Disney College Program my senior year of college and I left early. I was panicking about getting a ‘real’ job after graduation and I quit working at Disney World to pick up two retail jobs and a fashion-design internship.”

    If forced to get a tattoo today, what would you get?

    “The lyrics to ‘Dear Prudence’ on the back of my neck: ‘The sun is up, the sky is blue, it’s beautiful and so are you.’”

    What three people (living or dead) would be on the guest list to your ideal dinner party?

    “Beyoncé, Michelle Obama and then, to round out the queen-ness, Ruth Bader Ginsburg.”

    Last online purchase?

    “Some recording equipment for a podcast that my husband and I are going to be working on.”

    One thing Louisville is missing?

    “A light-rail system or a bigger, better TARC.”

    If Actors Theatre staged a production about your life, what would the performance be called?

    Traveling Disaster Magnet: The Lia Garcia Story. My business card says ‘accident prone travel blogger,’ and half of the articles on Practical Wanderlust are about my travel disasters: getting lost in the Andes or being rescued off a waterfall in Colombia or failing to hike the Inca Trail or accidentally driving a BMW into a medieval castle in France.”

    Something unexpected you love in Louisville?

    “During my recent trip, I was bowled over by how many people came out to walk the Big Four Bridge for the summer sunsets.”

    What word do you overuse?

    “My grandmother used to count the number of times I’d say ‘like,’ and then inform me after I finished a sentence. I write the same way I talk, so I use ‘like’ constantly on my blog. My mom edits them out before she prints them for my grandmother.”

    What makes somebody a Louisvillian?

    “I haven’t lived in Louisville for 10 years but still consider it home. My husband and I are hoping to move back, but the recent teacher strikes are making that look like a faraway dream because he’s a teacher.”


    What do you collect?
    “Postcards from everywhere I travel. I tack them up on my walls.”

    Least favorite word?
    “‘Squat’ makes me shudder.”

    First thing on your bucket list?
    “Section-hike the Appalachian Trail.”

    What Louisville dish have you eaten the most?
    “The lunch buffet at Shalimar remains the best Indian food I’ve eaten.”

    Greatest movie ending?
    “I was so disappointed when my high school graduation didn’t involve choreographed dancing and a magical flying car like Grease.”

    Can’t-miss TV show?
    Jane the Virgin and Santa Clarita Diet.”

    Your drink?
    “Bourbon — preferably in ball form, covered in chocolate, with a pecan on top. Does that count?”

    This originally appeared in the August 2018 issue of Louisville Magazine as the 21 Questions. To subscribe to Louisville Magazineclick here. To find us on newsstands, click here.

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