Hello and welcome! I started this site focused on conscientious luxury travel in June 2015 to share my passion for responsible travel and good food with others. Food, I have always loved. Travel… I truly got to discover once I became an expat. First in Dubai and then in Italy. I focused my site in a somewhat new direction in late 2018 when I finally figured how to put Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an autoimmune condition, into remission. My life now is focused around my newborn son and family, health and travel.
I’m a New Yorker born and bred but I never realized the challenges that living in New York posed for one who wants to travel… namely time. My 80+ hour a week job in Finance allowed me very little vacation and when I finally did get time to go, it was to the Caribbean, Canada or somewhere in the domestic United States. These are lovely places but I wanted more after being exposed to international travel with my family when I was younger. It was only after I moved abroad did I realize how five weeks of vacation versus an inhumane two and being within a five hour flight of fabulous destinations, versus ten, made such an impact on my ability to travel. The impact not only increased the number of pages and stamps in my passport but affected my identity, faith, spirit and sense of self.
A few phrases and beliefs that I’ve come to live by:
#1 Sometimes Its OK to quit your day job
Now this advice is not aimed at everyone, put in your dues first (I worked my a$$ off after university). It’s worth it if you need time off to experience something new or to get your sanity back. Take a sabbatical or ask for unpaid leave if you don’t want to cut ties. If questions like “what about my career progression?” or “won’t the next prospective employer think I’m a flight risk?” pop into your head, forget it. The fact that you’re well traveled and can offer a new and fresh perspective on things will make you more of an interesting candidate. I can name a few times where a job interview skewed off on a tangent about travel and I was made an offer. If money is an issue, prioritize. Skip the expensive restaurants, buying that useless handbag you’ll get sick of seeing after two weeks and make small changes that will eventually add up. Travel memories are priceless and last forever whether you’re on a budget or not.
#2 Think before you spend
Your money has real impact, especially when traveling to underdeveloped or emerging countries. Think about booking the boutique hotel versus one of the big chains. Eating at restaurants a few blocks from the main avenue or outside your hotel will benefit a local family versus an international franchise and the food will be authentic and much cheaper. Try buying real souvenirs to take home from native artisans versus ones mass-produced from you know where. Choose operators that employ nearby residents or that at least give back to the community. Choose activities that leave the smallest footprint on the environment i.e. skip the cruise ships, rent a canoe. It makes a big difference when you add it all up.
#3 Get out of your comfort zone
I know you’ve heard it all before. But how is anything going to change if you never try anything different?! If you have a perfect life, my apologies and please ignore (eyes rolling). The two best things I ever did for ME (relocating to a different country and spending three months touring parts of the African continent, including trekking Kilimanjaro) involved challenging myself, my comfort zone and getting rid of naysayers (there are always still a few that you have to deal with). At the time, they seemed to me like big challenges to take on. Now, it’s no big deal. Even if it doesn’t involve travel, just do it. Take a fun class in the evening, sign up for a boot camp, try a new sport. Do it.
#4 Don’t care about what other people think
I got over this a long long time ago. I stopped listening to everyone else and did what I knew was good for me. This may start to sound like Me, Me, Me. But the people you care about and who care about you don’t always know what’s best for you. They know what’s best for them and sometimes that best is the tried and tested path or an existence with self perpetuated limitation. As a general rule, people don’t like what they don’t understand. It’s good to take advice from the wise and respect their wisdom, but in the end you know what you have to do. There may be some mistakes but who cares. As for the haters and generally negative people … you’ll be able to sniff them out a mile away. Best thing you can do is to stay far away. There’s no room for that and they don’t matter. at all.
#5 Its all about energy
You get back what you put out into the world. It’s all about kindness and positive energy. Start appreciating what you have and more blessings will come your way. Stop looking at what others have or pretend to have. How can the world give to you if you’re closed off and always focused on everyone else? Traveling is one way to open yourself up to receiving that good energy. After all, you’re spending your energy, time and resources to see the world … and so the world will give to you the same in return.
More about The Travel Captain: If you’re wondering where the name “The Travel Captain” comes from… well it’s not too exciting of a story but back in my finance days, we all had nicknames for each other on the trading floor. Mine was “CaptainRolio.” The name just stuck and eventually “Captain” became less about work and more about my strategic planning abilities when traveling. Anyone who has traveled with me will tell you I’m a master planner. I allow for downtime and unplanned exploration but that’s all still part of the plan. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes you just need to go with the flow and ditch the itinerary if something great is taking shape but I prefer to soak in as much as I can when I’m in a new place and that’s only possible when there’s some structure.