10 Questions With Women’s Travel Fest Speakers: Emily Cooper

We sit down with Emily Cooper, Founder of Emily Eats and Explores, to discuss her insights on travel and her memorable experiences with the conference.

At Women’s Travel Fest, we’re always in awe of the inspiring travel leaders who offer their experience, wisdom, and vast knowledge on how to create the life you want. This is why we’re honored to feature an amazing interview series on past and current speakers.

We were excited to speak to Emily Cooper of Emily Eats and Explores. She’s an epidemiologist turned full-time traveler and content creator. In 2021, she started her social media platforms and website to teach women how to confidently travel solo.

Today, Emily teaches her community of over 90,000 how they can get paid to travel. Check out her free Masterclass on this very topic! She has been featured in Newsweek, Huffpost, and is the co-host of the top travel podcast, Travel Chat with Ashley and Emily.

Enjoy this installment of 10 Questions with Emily Cooper!

Emily shares her solo travel insights to inspire others.

What inspired you to start traveling?

My grandparents and parents were big travelers – mostly domestically, so I grew up traveling around the US. I went abroad for the first time when I was 17 with my high school and was hooked!

What’s your favorite destination and why?

This question is so hard to answer! So, I am going to give 2 answers (oops!). The first is Ireland. I loved everything about it, from the gorgeous scenery to the kind people to the cozy pubs.

The second is Bali, Indonesia. There is this amazing energy about the island that I can’t describe. Plus, you can live like a queen because the US dollar goes so far!

How has travel impacted your life?

Travel, especially solo travel, has given me insane confidence that I don’t think you could get from anything else in life. I have learned to completely depend on myself and my own company and that is a powerful thing.

On the flip side, I now have friends from all over the world that have opened me up to experiences I never would have had being from a small town in the US. 

What motivated you to pursue a career in travel?

Even though I have always loved travel, I didn’t have any set plans to make it my career. When I started my online platforms, I was doing it just for fun. My accounts started to gain traction, I learned ways to monetize, and I took some seriously messy action. I have now been a full-time travel content creator for almost 2 years!

What current project are you excited about sharing with the world right now?

My favorite part of my business is that I get to support other women in their pursuit of becoming a travel creator. I have a membership called the Travel Boss Membership (TBM) that offers resources and partnerships to current and aspiring travel creators. Currently, we have over 275 creators inside!

Her content is a mix of information, inspiration, and personal experience.

What advice would you give to others who want to travel the world?

Make it a priority, and never give up on your travel dreams! I had to pause from travels during my time in college and graduate school because I thought I couldn’t afford it financially. In reality, there were so many scholarships and volunteer opportunities that I could have applied for.

When I did start traveling again, I made financial sacrifices to save for my trips. I never thought I would be able to travel like I am today (basically a trip a month!), but the small sacrifices paid off 10 fold. 

What drew you to the Women’s Travel Fest community?

I attended my first Women’s Travel Fest in 2022 because I knew someone that was speaking that year. I didn’t go in with a ton of expectations (it was my first travel conference ever), but I was blown away by the sisterhood, the inspirational talks, and the energy of the event. I went into it only knowing one person, and I left with 20+ new friends! 

What’s your favorite memory of a past Women’s Travel Fest event?

Hands down, meeting Samantha Brown! I watched her on TV growing up, so it was such an incredible moment being able to hug her and thank her for showing us all what’s possible.

What’s your all-time must-have travel essential? Something you can’t travel without?

A portable charger! My phone died during my first solo trip while I was wandering around the city. It took me 3 hours and hundreds of wrong turns to get back to my hostel (didn’t help that I didn’t know the address). I won’t make that mistake again! 

And the last question – are you team carry-on or checked luggage?

Team carry-on and, if possible, team personal item! I have packed for a month in Europe only using a personal item backpack. I love the challenge of packing light and only taking clothes that can be worn in multiple ways. I obviously have Travel Fashion Girl to thank for the best packing tips!


Connect with Emily further on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest, and X.

Want to know more about Women’s Travel Fest? Read About Us here. We look forward to welcoming you to Playa del Carmen, Mexico, February 16-19, 2024! And watch out for news on the 2025 conference destination! 



FEBRUARY 16-19, 2024