I sat next to Kristin Amico during a session at the 2015 Women in Travel Summit in Boston, and we quickly bonded over our desire to balance our demanding public relations careers with freelance travel writing. Ever since, she’s been a great sailing buddy, drinking buddy and road trip buddy (We traveled together to Québec City in March, to Bar Harbor, Maine, in August, and most recently, to the Catskills for a writing retreat.) She shares her bite-sized travel tips at 5 Things to Eat.
NAME: Kristin Amico
RESIDENCE: Boston, Massachusetts
OCCUPATION: Public Relations
How have you made your life a “traveling life” and why?
Throughout my adult life I have had very typical 9-5 jobs with standard two or three weeks of vacation. As I hit my 30s I realized I was not traveling as much as I wanted, and made a pact with myself to travel to at least one new destination each year. I made several budget adjustments, like canceling cable and cutting down on the amount I spent eating out, so I could afford to travel more.
Why is travel important to you?
Travel is my meditation. Getting outside of my normal routine allows me to slow down and appreciate life. Whether it’s trying a new food or smelling the ocean from a new side of the world, these experiences me reinvigorate me, and keep me going until my next journey. And the aspect of trying new food is an important part of my travels. Wherever I go I aim to find a local market and try out food native to the area – whether it’s old-school Basque cooking in the northern part of Nevada, or street food in Israel, I’m always eating when I travel. It’s one of the best ways I’ve found to connect to locals.
How did you first get the travel bug?
When I was 15 I spent the summer in France as part of an exchange program. That experience changed my life. I grew up in a small city, and being able to understand that there was indeed a big world out there and I had many options changed my perspective. Those two months powered me through the rest of an unhappy high school life, and kept me focused on ways I could travel throughout the rest of my life.
What is your most significant travel memory and why?
Most recently, getting sick in Morocco had a profound impact on my life. Being a bit of a type-A personality I have trouble slowing down and enjoying the moment. Having had a bad stomach bug and needing to ask others on the trip for help – were were all strangers at the start of the journey – turned out to be rather positive and allowed me slow down and enjoy my travels. Even though I hate asking others for help, I did, and in turn now have the best travel companions a person could ask for. We have traveled together since our Morocco trip, and plan to keep traveling together when possible.
What are some misconceptions friends & family have about your travels?
Many folks assume I spend much more money on travel than I actually do. While I love a fancy hotel, I don’t often stay at them. I make travel plans largely based on discounts and other sales. Last year I intended to spend a long weekend in the Southwest to get away from New England winter, but after a little research discovered that Paris at that moment was about 30% cheaper than five days in Arizona. Paris won out and I spent a few lovely days snacking on some of the best cheese in the world.
What advice do you have for others who want to incorporate more travel into their lives?
Go now. Even if you don’t have a free month to travel, take a Friday off, take a few days off and go on a short road trip. You don’t need to cross the border to experience new things and get a fresh perspective on life.
Banner Image: Kristin visiting Wadi Rum desert in Jordan