When one of my college friends posted on Facebook that his former coworker, Curtis Pack, was starting a new concierge travel planning company, I asked for an introduction, knowing we’d hit it off. Curtis and I exchanged a few emails – bonding over balancing work and wanderlust – and a few weeks later, I traveled to New York City for the launch of March Fourth Ventures (on March 4, also Curtis’s birthday).
NAME: Curtis Pack
RESIDENCE: I was born in Florida (yes, really), grew up in Ohio (Go Buckeyes!) and live in NYC.
OCCUPATION/JOB TITLE: Back office for investment funds
How have you made your life a “traveling life” and why?
I haven’t been afraid to take the time to travel.
While I am working, I always take vacations (and ‘non-normal’ ones) to make my coworkers jealous. 🙂 You can squeeze it in, even last minute…you don’t have to tell them you had a screaming kid on your lap in the middle seat for 5 hours on a long weekend…only tell them you made it to the hot springs at Arenal in Costa Rica (where the ‘expensive’ drinks were $5). For my more ‘traditional’ vacations, luckily working for banks, there is a mandatory 2 week leave, so I use that for going to Africa, etc. Even before the banks I would negotiate for the time off…as long as your work doesn’t suffer, you will be fine.
I’ve also taken advantage of every non-working part of my life…After college traveled for three months. I sold everything I owned, still ended up totally broke and working for a hostel and the circus for a few days (bucket list – check). After my MBA, I put my stuff in storage and traveled again for six weeks. By the time I got back and found a job, I was on very thin financial ice. Most recently, I am wrapping up a year-long sabbatical…again, time to get back to financing the next part.
Why is travel important to you?
Three reasons – people, nature, food!
I love meeting new people, learning new things, and trying new foods (and drinks)!
What are some of your first travel memories?/How did you first get the travel bug?
I remember a few flights from when I was a toddler…it all seemed so magical to me…I’ve actually never lost that feeling. Also, my family always did the proverbial Griswold family road trips – Florida, Colorado, etc.
What is your most significant travel memory and why?
My first trip to France at 16 years old with my high school class. Day one in Paris our teacher sent us on a scavenger hunt on our own…Doubt you could get away with that today! We were on our own to figure out the Metro, ask for directions, interact with hotel staff, etc. It was great!
Northern lights in Alaska, hearing the words ‘you are lost, my friend’ when asking locals for directions, seeing a lion take down a zebra about 50 yards away, Metallica concert in Cape Town, getting scuba certified in Curacao…
What are some misconceptions friends & family have about your travels?
People look for the ‘perfect’ vacation…not sure that exists. Also, people think that it is dangerous to go solo. I have found it rewarding.
Also, people think the have to have everything planned before they go. There are certainly advantages to doing some research, but so what if you don’t…just go!
Don’t worry about language barriers!
What advice do you have for others who want to incorporate more travel into their lives?
Pick an activity and go where they do it…whitewater rafting, bird watching, whatever…you definitely will meet people who share your interest. Language schools are a fantastic option too!
Where are you headed next?
Just got back from Mallorca. Heading to Croatian islands (Brac and Hvar) in July.
I spent my youth playing every sport possible, riding horses (although I really wanted a dirt bike), doing martial arts, and eventually jumping out of planes for a living prior to moving to NYC to ‘make my millions’. Well, I ended up ‘making my thousands’ and adventure kept calling me. I’ve been on several extended trips in my life, been to 33 states and 21 countries (and counting).