Interview With Scott of The Traveling Travel Agent
•Please give my readers a background about yourself. What made you want to start thetravellingtravelagent.com?
I have taught English, public speaking, soccer, and tennis for the past 17 years. In 2009, due to the economy and 3 principals in less than a 6 month period, I was a teacher who became laid off even though my students performed better than any other class. I graduated from Warner Southern College in Lake Wales, Florida. I started The Traveling Travel Agent hoping to become a successful travel agent and travel writer. I didn't accomplish much as an independent travel agent, but I did get my first article ever attempted published in America Family Magazine out of Seattle. However, money was tight and it takes a few weeks or months to get accepted and paid when travel writing. So, for 2 years I have searched and searched for employment and even became a Certified International Tour Director out of a school in San Francisco.
•How's life in the Ukraine? Please tell my readers about the country and it's people.
Life in the Ukraine is quite simple. People here are great, but there are those occasional people you do not want to come in contact with. I am in a city called Nikolaev, which is about 2 1/2 hours north of Odessa, Ukraine. Most of the country speaks Russian, but the Ukrainian language is also strong. Anyone in America who makes over 30,000 / yr could live a great life here as most things are relatively inexpensive, but the country is moving forward.
•Why did you move to Ukraine?
I moved to the Ukraine because I had an extremely difficult time finding a teaching job in Florida and new if I came here I could teach English. I was right. This is what I am doing here now. However, it is possible I will be doing tours here as well in the next few months. In the meantime, I have been getting many job opportunities with companies in Florida since I have been in the Ukraine. Go figure.
•In all of your travels, in your opinion what country has the best food? and the worst food?
Well, the USA has the best food by far. I would say the Ukraine has the best food, especially in Odessa. Women here are passionate about cooking and they take delight in being the best cook possible for guests. Restaurants here are also great as the variety is quite amazing. I am not one to try many different types of dishes, but here I have quite a bit and there are few things I have tried that I do not like.
•When you first started traveling, did your family support your decision?
My family is always supportive in what I do although they may think I am crazy sometimes. My first overseas travel was when I was 16. I made a Teams USA soccer team from Florida and I played in Sweden, Holland, and Denmark. I enjoyed the people so much from different countries, I returned when I graduated college. My destination - Ukraine. I have always enjoyed languages and wanted to learn them as a kid. Although I am not fluent in any, I do know a lot of Spanish and a lot of Russian. I will probably be fluent in Russian upon my return to the states.
•What impact has thetravellingtravelagent.com had on your life?
My website, The Traveling Travel Agent has had a positive impact on my life. I have made some money writing articles for different sites, meeting people from different businesses and even getting a free Caribbean Cruise. As I continue, I will be creating tours and even a model agency as I have done some acting on shows like Burn Notice and The Glades.
•What has been the least exciting destination you've traveled to?
To me, there is no such thing as a "least exciting" destination. Every new experience is a learning experience and I create the excitement.
The most exciting destination was Honduras. The scenery from the cruise port was phenomenal, which I believe I have photos on my website. The mountains connected with the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean were beyond breathtaking. I also did not realize their main language was English (I was on the island of Roatan). I didn't know much about Honduras as every other destination on this cruise was flat.
•If you had to decide which destination has been the most influential in your life, which destination would you chose?
The most influential destination for me was probably San Francisco. It brought me back to who I really am and want to do. My passion is traveling and enjoying the world. Why sit in one spot when there is a world of opportunities?
•If you could travel with any celebrity for one week, who would you chose and why?
Good question. I actually drove Paul Newman and his pilots for a whole 3 miles about 10 years ago. I would want to travel with Kelly Kelly from the WWE. I have met her in person and the best way to describe her is WOW!! (However, I could list quite a few for this question)
•What advice would you give to a newbie traveler?
The best advice I could give is to learn just a little bit of the language you are traveling to. It will save you a lot of money and more people will respect that you tried and took the time to learn. I would also say to get to know the locals to see what your destination is really like from their point of view. Getting to know guides and sightseeing is nice, but getting to know the people of destinations you visit will give you a better advantage of culture and what people are like everywhere.
•In 10 years, do you see yourself still traveling or slowing down?
Slow down? I am not familiar with this term. Starting in March or April of 2012, I will be doing nothing, but traveling.
Thanks Scott for the interview. Please visit Scott's blog @ The Traveling Travel Agent