As a little kid, her fiery personality stood out, even in her big family. However, family vacations and trips to Europe inspired her and she has now turned that inspiration into a passion for travel and writing. The redhead in her is still there but there is also a softer side as well. Check out Suzy’s passion – for travel and other things.
Where did you grow up? What did you like to do as a kid?
I grew up in Denver, Colorado, born and raised. As a kid, aside from getting into all sorts of trouble, I actually enjoyed doing packing shows for my pretend audience. I would educate viewers on everything they needed for that family road trip.
Aside from my TV appearances, I really did enjoy traveling. I went to Europe for the first time when I was 8 years old which I think had a huge impact on my career choice. I was also obsessed with swimming. It was the only sport I was good at and I felt like Ariel of the Little Mermaid.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
At kindergarten graduation, I said I wanted to be a bus driver. I really wanted to drive people around town. After a change in career plans, I mainly wanted to write or share my observations with the world in some way.
I come from a big family of brothers and sisters that are very talented in their own areas. I wanted to be the one to divulge their stories and others.
You joke about being a fiery, red head. Were you always that way even as a kid?
I was worse as a kid! My mom used to drop me off at my Grandma’s house all the time due to supermarket temper tantrums. Car rides across the United States were spent with me pinching my brothers and sisters while belting out Linda Ronstadt melodies of being wronged by love. I was a handful, but lucky a few visits to my grandparents straightened me out, well somewhat.
Where did you travel as a kid? What was your favorite place?
My early years, 3 months to about 8 years old, were spent all across the United States on road trips. My family of seven traveled all around America. Then, we went to Europe when I was 8 years old.
For a few years after, I traveled to England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Germany, Austria and Italy. By far, Rome had an effect on me that no other place did. I fell in love with travel and Italy probably when I was 14 while lapping up a gelato at the Trevi Fountain. Does it get any better than that?
What was your major in school? What do you for a living now and what was your first job?
I double majored in Communication and Italian Studies. For a living, I write for a travel company and freelance for a writing company. In addition, I travel and work on my own site.
Growing up I did odd jobs here and there from working in an office to running college orientations. My first big internship at a magazine turned out to be your classic licking envelopes, errand girl position. It made me never want to work in an office again so I haven’t.
What do you like to do when you are not traveling? What interests do you have?
I love to just be a homebody, hanging out with family and friends when I am not traveling. Watching baseball (Go Rockies!) is always enjoyable for me. Reading and writing though drive my time so I don’t have much room for other hobbies.
In what ways does your personality come out when you travel? What things do you like and not like about yourself when you travel?
My personality always comes out in how I deal with people and different scenarios. I have a hard time scaling back. However, believe it or not, I do have an introverted side I would say I don’t like when I travel. Sometimes I can choose the easy route rather than the more difficult option. I can shy up in certain situations.
I wish I would be more vocal. I am getting better at roughing it and truly engrossing myself into everyday travel, but it takes time. I guess it is time to go on another trip! Perhaps what I like most about myself when I travel is my independent character. I don’t mind sitting alone or having to figure things out on my own. I like how I handle trying situations when I travel. If I am not happy, I move on without hesitation or worry of judgment.
As a woman who has traveled by herself, what advice do you offer women about traveling solo?
It is unfortunate that women even have this question in their travel equation. Coming from a very cautious family, I naturally don’t trust easily. For a woman traveling alone, I think this works to my advantage and disadvantage.
Always be cautious with your surroundings and state of mind. However, don’t think everyone is out to get you. Just coming back from Italy, every walk down the street alone can be trying with all sorts of characters calling out to you. You have to be a master at ignoring.
What advice would you offer someone who wants to travel but is scared to do it by themselves?
First of all, it is completely normal to be afraid to travel alone. Even though I have on numerous occasions, I always get that near tears moment when I part with home. Don’t be afraid to be afraid. In the end, you will feel the greatest sense of accomplishment when you figure out the metro system in Barcelona on your own or chat with a restaurant owner for a few hours.
Making little goals, no matter how small they may seem will certainly make you want to travel more by yourself. Traveling on my own gives me the greatest sense of who I am, what I can handle and what I can’t.
What is your favorite destination? Why?
I would say it’s a tie between Sicily and Sardinia. Sicily has that backward, intense history. It is truly unlike any place I have ever been in regards to attitude, customs and setting. I suspect Sicily is what the rest of Italy was 50 years ago.
Sardinia, on the other hand, is just downright beautiful. You feel completely isolated on Sardinia, as though there is no other way to live with the backdrop of turquoise sea matched with emerald green mountains. Sardinia is the beauty and Sicily is the beautiful beast.
What place do you want to go that you have yet to see?
Everywhere. I keep going back to Europe because no matter how much I see, I feel like I haven’t scratched the surface. You can say you have been here or there, but I want to really say with utmost certainly, I have seen the place to its fullest degree. I might not even get there with some places but South America and New Zealand are high on my travel list.
What has traveling taught you? What is the biggest lesson you have learned?
I’m not sure what traveling hasn’t taught me. I learn so much about myself while I travel. As an extremely independent person, travel has taught me the connections in the world are great. You are never really alone or disconnected from one person to the next, even if you try to be by venturing to far off cultures and lands from your own. In the end, people are people.
Perhaps the biggest lesson travel has taught me is tolerance. When you travel, it can be easy to lose your temper about a little bump in the road. Emotions are especially heightened in a new place, but I have learned to keep my annoyances in check for I know not when I will return. Travel teaches me levels of appreciation for not just travel itself, but for home, for where I’m from and for the opportunities I’m given.
Suzy is a travel writer and blogger who enjoys traveling in Europe and sharing her passion – in her personality and writing. Check out Suzy’s blog http://suzyguese.com/ and you can follow her on Twitter as well @suzyguese.
Check out these other guest post and interviews as well.
From humble beginnings to travel entrepreneur – Andy Hayes
Traveling Young and Free – Andy Hayes
Travel with your five sense – Keith Jenkins
Sharing your travel experiences – Melvin Boecher
Travel, technology, and social media – Anil Polat
From Scotland to Europe..a la Carte – Karen Bryan
Latest posts by Jeremy Branham (see all)
- I am retiring from travel blogging but Budget Travel Adventures continues - July 20, 2013
- A sacrebleu Sacre Coeur sunset - July 12, 2013
- 4th of July, a different side of me, and a world domination summit in Portland - July 10, 2013
Filed Under: Guest posts and interviews