Global Goose readers, meet Suzy! (pictured here throwing a coin into the famous Trevi Fountain in Rome) Suzy has known since she was young that she loves travel, and has worked hard to establish herself as a travel writer, the dream job of many. Way to go girl! Read on to find out more about her travels, and make sure to check out her blog.
Tell us about yourself and your story? Do you travel full time, work and travel, study abroad, or something else?
My name is Suzy Guese. I grew up in Denver, Colorado, but I began traveling at an early age. My first flight was at 3 months old. Even though I don’t remember it, I think I was born to always want to be on the go. I used to threaten to run away as a child. I would pack up all of my necessities and then go hide behind a plant or under my bed and fall asleep. I was just mentally traveling at that point I think. I still love to pack though. I studied abroad for a while in Italy after family trips across the United States and Europe perked my interest in going far away from home. When I tell people my job, I am usually met with glares of disbelief, but I am a freelance travel writer. Apparently, it is hard to believe. It must be the red hair. I balance work and travel at the same time. Lately, the pattern has been a trip here, a trip there. While I travel, I am constantly writing so it is bit of juggling act of work and travel.
What was your inspiration or the event/idea that made you want to travel?
I was sitting at the Trevi Fountain in Rome at 14 years old, lapping up a chocolate and banana gelato. Being from a family who loves to travel, it was my first time in Rome, Italy. I just can recall that night so vividly, the light bouncing off of the turquoise waters of the fountain, the architecture, the Italian couples surrounding me, the warm night air. It may be one of the most touristy spots in Rome, but in that moment, I feel in love with travel, seeing new things, hearing different languages, observing people and their mannerisms. I knew I had to keep traveling, specifically throughout Italy, which is why I studied abroad in college for over a year in Italy, and majored in Italian Studies. Since that moment in Rome, I have managed to make traveling my full time job.
What has been your favorite traveling experience/destination?
It is difficult to pinpoint just one experience, but I was immensely affected by living with a host family in Florence, Italy. Mauro and Loriana became parents to me, something I didn’t expect. It is amazing the connections across cultures you can form if you open yourself up to travel. I also think my recent solo trip to Ireland really strengthened me as a person. Driving on the left side of the road can be frightening when you are jet lagged and alone with no idea of where you are headed.
What do you miss most when you are away from home?
My bed! That sounds vain. I should say family and friends, dogs, etc., but there is no greater feeling than curling up into your bed at home after traveling and sleeping on suspect mattresses and bed linens. If I could pack my bed with me, I would.
What do you miss the least?
Television. When I travel, I hardly ever watch TV. Occasionally I will turn on the TV to see what the local lineup is like, but I generally watch less television when I travel. At home, there are a standard number of shows I just have to see. I never miss them when I travel.
What have you learned from traveling?
Travel teaches me so much about myself. Recently I traveled to Ireland all alone for a month. I learned I am a lot stronger than I think I am as I was forced to make decisions and deal with mishaps on my own, including being robbed for the first time. Traveling also teaches a connection you can’t really get from any other area of life. There are so many misconceptions out there about people and cultures, but with travel you can reverse them. You can’t do that from your couch at home.
Do you plan to stop?
Never. I think even when I am a gray haired old lady, or peach I’m told for aging redheads, I will still want to get out of town. I don’t think I could travel non-stop, but I like the balance I have created of having a home yet filling up my calendar with travels.
What’s in your backpack? Which item could you not live without?
I am one of those strange rolling suitcase travelers so I guess I will tell you what is in my suitcase. I always pack a journal, hair dryer, jeans and loads of shirts. If I have a lot of shirts, I never feel like I am wearing the same thing over and over again. I couldn’t live without my laptop computer as I travel and work at the same time. Throw in a tube of mascara and I could survive on a deserted island.
Who inspires you? What other travelers do you look up to?
I have always looked up to my dad as a travel role model. I was able to travel with him throughout Scandinavia last summer and the way he approaches every travel scenario is admirable. He always has a smile on his face. He is never afraid to talk to someone. And most importantly, he wants to see it all. Travel brings out his best character and person, something I think all travelers are looking for when they travel.
What advice would you give newbie travelers?
It’s normal to be afraid. I get so sick of reading articles about how to fully prepare for travel and how not to have any hesitation or doubt. I think it is healthy to be a little fearful of travel. I always am with every trip I take, as there are so many unknowns. The reason I say to be fearful is that when you conquer travel and those fears, you will have this sense of accomplishment and confidence you can’t really find anywhere else.
What are your future travel plans?
I am headed on a road trip from Colorado to California for my sister’s wedding and then I am looking at going somewhere for longer in August or September. I still have this urge to head to Greece. Wherever the wind takes me, I guess you could say.