ALL POSTS TAGGED "[Our Type of Traveler]"

 

Photo Courtesy of Alex Chacón

Hitting the road on a motorcycle can be a major adrenaline rush, and for Alex Chacón, viewing the world from the seat of his motorcycle is the only way to travel.  This adventure videographer and photographer lives to ride on the open road and is committed to documenting his adventures while raising awareness and money for charitable organizations.  In fact, his most famous charitable expedition was a 500-day solo trip from Alaska to Argentina to raise money for the Children of Uganda in Africa.

In addition to his charitable efforts, Alex also owns Your Expedition South, a motorcycle travel consulting business that offers advice and occasionally leads motorcycle tours in Latin America. We wanted to catch up with this unique adventurer for Our Type of Traveler and understand why Alex is at his happiest when traveling on a motorcycle, even after clocking hundreds of miles. Buckle up and enjoy this ride.
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Fathom co-founder Jeralyn Gerba on a boat in Burma.

You know that cool friend of yours who always knows the best bench for people-watching in every city or the greatest little hole-in-the-wall bar down the alley that you would never find? That’s Jeralyn Gerba, co-founder and editorial director of Fathom — only she knows even more benches and bars than your cool friend. In fact, the entire Fathom travel website is full of insider recommendations, inspiring stories and unexpected itineraries.

Former DailyCandy editors Jeralyn and Pavia Rosati teamed up in July 2011 to create Fathom with an editorial motto to “focus on places we like, writers we trust, and stories that move us.” That genuine approach captured the travel space’s attention, winning the Society of American Travel Writers’ bronze medal for best online travel journalism site in 2013.

We tracked down Jeralyn — while she was in between logging airline miles, relocating her office to Spoleto, Italy, for 2 months, and mapping sushi joints in Japan — to chat about all things travel.

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Our Type of Traveler, Matt Stabile, meets a monk near Darjeeling.

Founder and editor-in-chief of TheExpeditioner.com, one of the largest independent travel sites in the world, Matt Stabile is Our Type of Traveler. Balancing a full-time career as a lawyer, managing a robust travel website and hosting a travel web series, Matt’s overflowing plate begs the question, “How does he do it all?”

It seems that the same limitless energy and attention to detail that makes a great lawyer also makes a great traveler. When we caught up with the globe-trotting attorney to find out how he juggles both worlds, the New Yorker explained that he funnels his boundless energy into documenting his travels when he’s not working on a case.  “I have a disorder that doesn’t allow me to relax, even while on vacation, so naturally, I would turn my travels into as much work as possible,” confesses Matt.

And the travel world seems to be happy Matt can’t sit still — his online web series, featuring his travels around the world, has been viewed more than 1 million times on YouTube.

Find out how Matt “unplugs” from lawyer life, what destinations he recommends for those short on time and money and where he hangs out when he’s home.

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All photos courtesy of Sonia Gill

A self-described language geek, entrepreneur and an award-winning travel web series host, Sonia Gil is Our Type of Traveler.

Founder of the digital language learning company Fluenz, and host of “Sonia’s Travels” web series, Sonia shows that you can travel the world and enrich your life without breaking the bank. With a mission to “crack the secret code of cities,” “Sonia’s Travels” uncovers the local flavor of destinations, avoiding the tourist-trodden spots, to dig deeper to find the true soul of a city.

Sharing her love of language, Sonia’s projects include the non-profit Fluenz.org that distributes free English language programs for people in need. Recently, Sonia partnered with Lonely Planet to create FluentRoad.com, a unique online program for travelers interested in learning travel Spanish.

Sonia also has her own video series “Almost Free” on Ulive.com. As winner of the Webby Award for “Web Personality of the Year” in 2012, Sonia continues to “recapture the small moments that add up to the art of travel.”

We caught up with Sonia on the road to find out about all those small, but meaningful moments in her travels:

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Wildlife adventurer Jessica Pociask curls up with a Harp Seal pup on the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

With her passion for wildlife adventures, from jungle trekking in Uganda to see mountain gorillas or curling up with lemurs in Madagascar, Jessica Pociask is our type of traveler.

As the owner of WANT Expeditions — Wildlife and Nature Travel, a conservation-oriented, expedition-style adventure travel company — Jessica leads tours to see the most amazing natural phenomena on Earth.  Jessica has been to over 70 countries, leading expeditions all over the world, and has visited all 7 continents. She has studied climate change in Antarctica, and she was one of 50 women chosen from the US and Mexico for the Women’s Leadership and International Sustainable Development award by the National Wildlife Federation.

Jessica “photo bombs” a giant tortoise in the Galapagos.

A biologist by trade, Jessica recently spoke on a panel with distinguished conservationists and biologists regarding the impact of tourism on conservation at the Wildlife Conservation Film Festival.

And where is Jessica currently? Oh, just leading a tour in Ecuador to see the first new carnivore species found in the Western Hemisphere in 35 years — the olinguito.

Traveling Type: How did you get your start leading wildlife and nature tours?

Jessica Pociask: It’s a long, convoluted story that probably started when I made my first insect collection somewhere around the age of 7. Over the next 20 years, fueled by stories in my grandfather’s collection of National Geographic magazines, I was inspired with the idea of being an explorer and adventurer. I took my first trip abroad when I was 16, and I once traveled with an orchestra through Europe. From there on, I was smitten with traveling, so I began working for various conservation organizations and outdoor outfitters and started traveling abroad independently. READ MORE

Meet Matt Long — he’s Our Type of Traveler. An experiential traveler at heart, Matt shares his adventures with thousands of readers every day through his site LandLopers.com. As someone who has a big case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer. Based in Washington, DC, Matt has been to more than 60 countries and all 7 continents. Check out his blog, and follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Traveling Type: How did you get started travel blogging?

Matt Long: At the time I was working as a lobbyist for a trade association and just didn’t find my job fulfilling. I started the site as a way to help friends and share my adventures, and now it’s my full-time job and undeniable passion.

What’s your blog about?

Like most blogs, my blog is about me and the way I like to travel. I love adventure and experiential travel, but I also like coming back to a comfortable hotel room. Luxury adventure is usually how I describe it, but with an emphasis on adventure.

How many countries, cities and continents have you traveled to?

I’ve been to around 60 countries, who knows how many hundreds of cities, and 7 continents.

What’s your favorite place you’ve traveled to?

Hard question and it depends on “favorite” for what. Paris is my favorite city, New Zealand is my favorite place for adventure travel and Jordan is a great place for foodies. But most countries I visit hold a soft spot in my heart.

What’s your favorite place to get away from it all?

The Bahamas, there is just something so peaceful about the islands and with so many Out Islands to explore it’s never the same trip twice.

What’s your must-have item that you never travel without?

Other than my passport and camera? My battery pack to keep my iPhone always charged is a must-have for me.

What’s your favorite travel app?

I swear by TripIt, it keeps all of my travel information stored in one place and is indispensible for trips.

 

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten while traveling, and where was it?

Simple meal of chicken and fried basil at a riverfront restaurant in Bangkok. I go every time I visit and it has some of the best food in the city.

What’s the best hotel/resort/hostel you’ve stayed at?

Yikes, hard question! I’ve stayed at some great ones, but the 2 Four Seasons resorts on the Hawaiian island of Lanai are  hotels I love and never get tired of visiting.

Where’s “home”?

Washington, DC, but it’s also whenever I’m with my loved ones and my 3 furry kids, Siberian huskies that are always hard to leave behind when I travel.

What would you recommend to travelers visiting your hometown?

To plan an evening at the beautiful Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. It’s the only national park of its kind in the US and an evening listening to great music under the stars is a quintessential DC moment that we locals usually keep to ourselves.

What’s No. 1 on your bucket list? 

Not usually a fan of bucket lists, but I really want to explore India. I’ve never been, I’ve heard mixed things but I have to admit that it really intrigues me.

 

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Our Type of Traveler: Lola Akinmade Åkerström

Our Type of Traveler: Johnny Jet

 

 

Lola Akinmade Akerstrom

Lola Akinmade Åkerström is a Nigerian-American, Stockholm-based writer and photographer who has contributed to digital and print publications such as National Geographic Traveler (both UK & US versions), BBC, CNN, The Guardian, Travel + Leisure, Lonely Planet, AFAR, San Francisco Chronicle, Fodors.com, several in-flight magazines, and many more. She is featured in a South Africa vignette Through The Lens that airs on National Geographic Channel and her photography is represented by National Geographic. Check out her blog, and follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Traveling Type: How did you get started travel blogging?
Lola Akinmade Akerstrom: I’ve always had a travel website of some sort since 2002 when I volunteered as a field journalist with an expedition race in Fiji. I shared dispatches, snippets and photos so my family and friends could follow along, but it wasn’t until late 2006 — when I discovered Matador Network — that I fully began “travel blogging.” At that time, I was still working a full-time job as a GIS system architect developing cool interactive online maps, but by 2009, I officially left that life behind in pursuit of travel writing and travel photography.

What’s your blog about?
I developed my own travel blog to feature highlights from travels along with dispatches because I work primarily as a freelance writer and photographer. So my blog acts more as a showcase for my work — writing and photography — with the occasional service-y “how to” post and product reviews.

How many countries, cities, and continents have you traveled to?
I stopped counting countries after my 40th because travel to me isn’t about some arbitrary list of places that need to be checked off and conquered. That said, I’d probably be well over 50 countries by the end of this year. But who’s keeping count? :)

What’s your favorite place you’ve traveled to?
I don’t have a favorite place but I do have favorite experiences, ranging from volunteering in Cambodia and photographing the Northern Lights in Swedish Lapland to learning about Zulu culture in South Africa and soaking up the vibrant markets in Lagos, Nigeria.

What’s your favorite place to get away from it all?
We actually live on one of Stockholm’s islands so we have a favorite cliff by the water where we steal away to just relax and watch sailboats and ships cruise by.

What’s your must-have item that you never travel without?
Camera. I have a hard time traveling without one.

What’s your favorite travel app?
Skyscanner. I’m always searching for cheap tickets.

Tell us your funniest travel story/experience. 
Strong winds plus me in a skirt and you already know what happened. But what made it even more embarrassing was that I was boarding a full double-decker bus in London and was climbing the stairs to the upper deck when a gust of wind rushed in, lifting and wrapping my skirt around my waist in the process. So those seated in the lower deck definitely got a good view of my underwear.

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten while traveling, and where was it?
A tough call, but I can say the best pizza I have ever eaten was in the remote village of Gratteri in Sicily — the type of tiny village where the baker rides a small Vespa through narrow streets delivering bread directly to homes. We had to wait all day until 7 p.m. for the pizza maker to arrive into the village … and it was well worth the wait.

What’s the best hotel/resort/hostel you’ve stayed at?
Right now, it’s Les Jardins de la Medina in Marrakech. I really enjoyed its ambiance and would return in a heartbeat.

Where’s “home”?
Home is anywhere my husband and daughter are. Right now, they’re in Stockholm so Stockholm it is. But I was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, and it will always be my “true roots” home.

What would you recommend to travelers visiting your hometown?
When visiting Lagos, try to experience one of its open-air markets for a sensory overload and a true glimpse into what makes it such a vibrant city. When visiting Stockholm, take a boat cruise around the harbor. Better yet, take a brunch or lunch cruise so you can dig into local Swedish specialties like pickled herring and cured salmon while soaking up Stockholm’s stunning views.

What’s #1 on your bucket list? 
Mongolia. Oh, and the North Pole.

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Meet Johnny Jet – he’s Our Type of Traveler. Johnny Jet travels around 175,000 miles and visits more than 20 countries each year. He and his website JohnnyJet.com have been featured over 3,000 times in major publications, including USA Today, Time, Fortune and The New York Times. JohnnyJet.com has been named “one of the best money-saving web sites for travel” by Budget Travel Magazine, while the LA Times calls it “one of the top 10 essential travel resources on the internet.” Sign up today for Johnny Jet’s free weekly travel newsletter at JohnnyJet.com and follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

Traveling Type: How did you get started travel blogging?
JohnnyJet: I kind of fell into it. I started before the word ‘blogging’ was even created. Back in 1995, I began emailing stories of my travels to my friends, along with useful travel tips. My friends started sharing it with their friends and when my email list grew to over 500 people, I created a website. A few months later, Laura Bly from USA Today featured JohnnyJet.com and it became my full-time job about 4 months later.

What’s your blog about?
My website chronicles my travels and includes useful travel tips and advice to help people travel better and smarter. You’ll also find travel news and great travel deals.

How many countries, cities, and continents have you traveled to?
I’ve been to 6 continents and roughly 100 countries according to the Century Club’s list.

What’s your favorite place you’ve traveled to?
That’s a tough call. It really depends on the time of year. I love Southeast Asia, Australia and the South Pacific in the winter and I love Europe and Nantucket in the summer.

What’s your favorite place to get away from it all?
A European cruise on Seabourn.

What’s your must-have item that you never travel without?
My passport! And my Acer Aspire S7 laptop, which has the new Windows operating system.

What’s your favorite travel app?
FlightAware

Tell us your funniest travel story/experience. 
I was at Club Med Opio in Provence, France, and had signed up for a massage. When I arrived for my appointment, the receptionists were giggling as they handed me a robe and showed me to the men’s locker room. When my masseuse showed up, she escorted me to the room and said something in French, which I didn’t understand. Then she said, “Voila.” Usually, after being led into the therapy room, the masseuse steps out so you can get your naked body on the table and under a towel so no one has to witness what’s beneath the robe. But when she said, “Voila!” again and motioned for me to get on the table, I gathered she was telling me to drop the towel and hoist my naked self up onto the table. I didn’t want to look like a prude American so I did as I was told and just … well, dropped the towel.

WHOA NELLY! You should have seen this scene. I don’t know who was more surprised — the masseuse or my reaction to her reaction! After I let it all hang out she let out a little scream and quickly turned around. I instantly grabbed the paper covering from the table and covered you-know-who. With her back to me and one hand over her eyes, she handed me some paper underwear. It turned out that the women at the front desk had ‘forgotten’ to give me this important cover-up.

What’s the best hotel/resort/hostel you’re stayed at?
That’s another tough call. But as of right now, I would have to say Southern Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island or Richard Branson’s Mahali Mzuri Kenya Safari Camp.

Where’s “home”?
Manhattan Beach, California

What would you recommend to travelers visiting your hometown?
Rent a bike and ride along the Strand to soak up the views and the sun.

What’s #1 on your bucket list?
Vietnam.

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