Today I would like to share a few facts about me and my life. Hopefully you will know more about the real me after reading this post. So here we go:
1. It all began in my early teens. I finally managed to launch my dream site at age 16. I’ll be the first to tell you that my site has come a long way since then… I still remember putting “Los Angelos” on my first website instead of “Los Angeles,” and then later having a reader point it out to me! But I don’t have some cool experience about escaping my boring cubicle job and setting out on my own, though I do look very forward to moving across America over the course of the next few years to see which city I like best.
For those who have any doubts about whether I’m qualified to be an A-list travel writer, read my post with 5 Reasons Why I’m More Qualified Than Rick Steves. I guarantee it’ll change your mind!
2. In high school I was that kid. I was the kid always looking up travel maps and researching theme parks each day on sites like Screamscape. Meanwhile, all my classmates were busy refreshing their news feeds on Facebook! I’m pretty sure the teacher thought I was a nut case when he came walking by and saw a map of the grounds at the Atlantis Resort pulled up on my screen! 😉
3. I want to move to Vegas NOW. People can’t understand why I say this. I actually hate gambling (a month after I turned 18 I gambled $30 at a casino on a cruise ship and… I was nagged by 5 different people about possibly not being old enough and I lost all $30! I learned my lesson!) But seriously, I hate having to drive anywhere. I’m a walker at heart. I want to dump the Prius and get a Vegas condo that overlooks the strip, all within walking distance to atmosphere, five star restaurants, shows, concerts… there’s always something fun to do in Sin City. And not that kind of fun either, you sicko! NYC is my second choice, followed by LA. I’ll be moving to all three over the course of the next few years.
4. I also work as a marketing director. In early 2013 (at the ripe old age of 19) I got a job as the marketing director for a local shopping center and I’ve had a ton of fun! I continue to work there and I am also currently mapping out future internships for the coming semesters–fingers crossed that it will be in the tourism industry (*cough* If someone from The Waldorf Astoria is reading this–then hit me up! *cough*) Haha but seriously, I would love to learn from one of my favorite tourist attractions or resorts. That’s why I’m interviewing all of America’s finest travelers!
5. I’d like to start a franchise one day. I plan on continuing to build this site while also bringing my creativity into the real world. Ever since eating at Another Broken Egg in Panama City (and later Atlanta!), I’ve always wanted to open one of their franchises here in Tennessee. Or better yet, start a business of my very own.
6. I wanted to be an architect. I kind of regret not going to architecture school in Knoxville, but at 17 I simply decided that it would be a stressful job that involved a lot of public speaking, which was something that I didn’t care to do. Instead, I decided an entrepreneurship degree could take me down nearly any path I wanted–I even used to draw out floor plans in grade school. In fact, I still have a book of them and I posted a few throughout this post.
7. I’ve always wanted to build a pirate-themed restaurant! Similar to the Rainforest Cafe! In the fifth grade I drew out plans for a pirate themed restaurant and I’ve kept this wild concept in the back of my brain ever since. It would feature a huge restaurant housed in a building in the shape of a pirate ship. Guests would be entertained by a pirate-themed show, kids could play on the indoor pirate-themed playground and even go on an underground water boat ride beneath the restaurant. As crazy as all that sounds – I’d still like to build it one day! Any investors?!
At one time there were rumors around about a theme park called Disney’s Night Kingdom and I drew out plans for how I thought it would look!
8. I’m not going to stop working on this site until it becomes one of the world’s 10 most visited travel sites. I’ve always known it could be a huge success if I never gave up and followed my heart in doing something in a way that no one had ever done it before. Hopefully that’s just what I’m doing!
9. I’m 19 and I am yet to escape North America. I shall get to the Eastern hemisphere this December. I will be visiting Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Germany, Paris, and London! Rome and Sydney are also tops on my list. Dubai would be pretty cool too! I’d also love to visit Hawaii and Alaska one day.
10. I’ve been a vegetarian for the past 6 years but I’m not sure why. I believe it is healthier and I find it hard to eat our beloved animals. Plus, I took a trip to a local slaughterhouse that always left a bad taste in my mouth. You know, the blood and guts type of taste. But it sure is hard to travel as a vegetarian–Sorry, no reviews on the filet mignon from this guy.
11. Sadly, I could be a shopaholic. I have an unnatural obsession with the stores on Rodeo Drive and Fifth Avenue. Yet I always love to get a good deal! On my trip to the Bahamas I found a “faux” designer wallet for $14. Best wallet ever.
12. I have the puritan work ethic embedded into my brain. I’d like to spend 2014 relaxing more and taking some time to sit back and smell the roses. I got a lounge chair this past summer and only got to use it twice! But there’s always next year.
13. I was an artist in high school. Before putting all of my free time into this site, I used to paint back in high school and attend a weekly art class. Good times. In fact, I won three school art awards, had my paintings featured at a variety of local galleries, and even had one of my paintings featured in a children’s book called Chattanooga From A To Z.
14. I’m a TV addict. Whenever I make the time to catch up on a few shows, either on Hulu, or Comcast’s OnDemand, I can’t stop. Just like Miley. My favorite shows include American Idol, Hotel Impossible, the Celebrity Apprentice, Shark Tank and a few reality shows. I’m also a huge fan of E!’s “#RichKids of Beverly Hills,” as you probably know by my interview with Jonny Drubel, one of the lead actors from the show! We are going to hang out sometime this summer (I’m hoping he’ll introduce me to Paris Hilton)! I also like the Oprah Winfrey Network! ...Hey Oprah, if you’re reading this, I think you need to bring Taylor Goldblatt on your network!
15. I’m currently working on a travel themed eBook, which I can’t wait to release to you sometime within the next few months. It’ll feature all of my best tips for saving money while traveling. Lately I’ve been doing a series of budget minded interviews to correspond with the launching of this highly awaited book.
16. I love listening to good current music. Especially when I’m uploading photos to the site! My favorites tend to be hip hop and pop. There’s nothing like traveling with my Beats by Dre headphones. My favorite singers/rappers are Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Lorde, Drake, Lil Wayne, and even Rick Ross! I actually played the violin in middle school.
And I’ve never been to a real concert but it’s up there at the top of my bucket list! I just went to my 1st concert at Jimmy Kimmel Live this past December and got to see mac Miller!
17. When I was ages three to seven I would set up little stores across our house. No joke either! In fact I begged and begged my parents to buy one of those big commercial (electric) open signs to put in front of each of my stores! When guests would come over to the house I would beg them to buy one of my soft drinks! I would even set up a sunglasses stand in the middle of a nearby park, selling dusty old sunglasses. Looking back, I think a lemonade stand would have done a lot better! When I got a little older I tried to convince my parents to build a glass wall around one of my stores but of course it didn’t fly!
18. I hate “cookie cutter” anything. Being someone who is pretty artistic, I hate staying at a traditional Quality Inn or Comfort Inn or Motel 6 (Yeah… not really a Motel 6 fan!) – I like to stay somewhere innovative and out of the box. I love themed hotels, themed restaurants, unique museums (like the Neon Museum in Las Vegas) and so on and so forth. The same goes with my website – I’ve spent years tracking down the best designers and developers so I can bring you the best looking, easiest to use travel site out there.
Here’s an architecture plan I drew for an indoor water park resort!
19. I’ve never stayed at a five star resort! Another thing on my bucket list would be to stay at a five star resort like the Ritz Carlton or the Four Seasons. I’ve stayed at one 4.5 star resort (The Grand Floridian at Walt Disney World) and I believe that’s about the closest I’ve gotten to the real thing.
20. Not so sure if I would want to be Nomadic. Especially when I would be working on the road, it really seems like it would take away from the adventure. And I’d probably have to leave my rat terrier at home and I’m pretty sure I’d get lonely without man’s best friend. So lonely that I may have to rename my site Lonely Planet! Wow, that was pretty corny. I would love to rent out an apartment in a large city for a few months to see if I would want to live there permanently. Of course I’ll be doing a little of this when I temporarily live in Las Vegas in summer 2014 and NYC in Fall 2014. In regards to being nomadic, I’ve always dreamed of having a cool little futuristic looking condo (with a travel themed office of course… and a TV above the bathtub!) and being a full time traveler would put an end to that vision.
21. “The Donald” is my idol. Sure, I said it. In fact I even got Donald Trump’s autograph when I was in NYC last year! I’ve visited three of his Trump Towers (NYC, Chicago, & Vegas) and I plan on visiting them all within the next few years. The funny part about it is that I only got to page 6 of this autographed book! So yeah, I’m not really into reading all that much…though podcasts are where it’s at! Pat Flynn, Tim Ferriss, and Gary Vaynerchuk are a few of my other favorite entrepreneurs.
Here’s a plan I drew for an ultra-modern nursery that I wanted to build at one time!
Thanks for reading this far – I hope I didn’t scare you off the site! As always, don’t hesitate to email me if you need help planning your next vacation. I love to help! Feel free to subscribe to this blog, “like” me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter and subscribe to me on YouTube.
PS – In the comments, I would love to hear something about you that I don’t know!