Tell us about yourself.
I was born and raised in Illinois, but once I got to Texas, I knew I had to live someplace warm year round! I have now lived in San Antonio for almost 20 years (with the exception of a brief move to upstate New York) and I love it here! The cost of living makes traveling an affordable passion. My wife, Adriann, and I love to travel (I found my travel bae). We take at least three international trips each year, and several domestic trips, which often include visiting family in Michigan and Illinois.
I work as a remote Project Manager so I can work and travel at the same time! I’ve been traveling since I was very young. My first trip was a road trip from Illinois to Canada when I was just two years old — my family is always amazed that I remember it! My mom used to send my brother and me to New York City during the summers by plane or train, and I feel like it was always my second home. My mom was from Haiti, and I was finally able to visit there for the first time in 2014, and have been back at least six times since! Haiti is such a beautiful country, and I truly feel at peace when I am there. I have been to 20 countries, and have four more countries that I plan to visit later this year!
As a long-time San Antonio resident, what are local sights visitors should make sure not to miss?
San Antonio is a big city with a small town feel. The people here are super nice, and there is always something to do. When people come to visit, we always take them to the Riverwalk, where there are plenty of places to eat and shop. The Tower of the Americas has beautiful views of San Antonio, and great food at the Chart House Restaurant that spins as you eat! Or, if you want to try the world’s largest pizza (that actually tastes good), head to Big Lou’s and try their 42” pizza… Make sure to take some hungry friends with you! And of course, visiting the Alamo is a must when in San Antonio.
One unique “sight” is Buc-ee’s, which is the world’s largest convenience store with the cleanest restrooms I have ever seen! It’s located about 30 minutes north of San Antonio, and I always stop there to get an Icee when we’re heading out of town.
What is your relationship with flying, and with travel in general?
I love flying! I always say if it’s more than eight hours in a car, put me on a flight and I’ll see you there! It really doesn’t take much for me to book a trip and say “Let’s go!” Last year, we got caught in the Great Texas Snowstorm, and unfortunately couldn’t catch our flight to the Maldives, which truly crushed me since the Maldives has been on my bucket list forever. So to make myself feel better, I booked us a trip to Belize to make up for it—my wife calls it my way of throwing a temper tantrum!
Travel is my therapy! I count down the days between our trips and if it’s too long I tend to book a weekend getaway to get my “therapy”. I love visiting new places and experiencing different cultures. We started traveling with the Haitian Nomad, and we really like traveling with this company because they curate amazing trips I like to call Cultural Immersion Adventures! We have been on 11 trips with them since 2017, and have three more planned for this year! I love the fact that they support local businesses when booking tours and activities, which ultimately benefits the local economy. That’s what travel is all about!
What would you say is the most unique experience you’ve had in your travels?
I don’t know if I can pick just one experience from all of the places we’ve been because each one has been special in its own unique way. I have done things in the past seven years that I didn’t think I’d ever do—like go on Safari in Senegal, visit the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, take a sunrise hot air balloon ride in Morocco, walk along The Great Wall in China, feed giraffes in Kenya, climb to the top of La Citadelle in Haiti, ring in the new year on Patong Beach in Phuket, ride a camel in Egypt, and visit the Eiffel Tower on a layover in Paris!
I will say that we did a Mystery Trip in 2021 (we didn’t find out where we were going until we got to the airport the day of departure) that ended up being a trip to Mauritius, which is a beautiful country that’s rich in history—I think everyone should visit!
Tell us about a trip you would repeat again and again.
One trip I could definitely repeat is our trip to Italy! We visited five cities in just nine days. It was a whirlwind, but I could visit those churches, museums, and ruins over and over! We made the trip to attend a co-worker’s destination wedding, and decided to extend it and make it a vacation!
We flew into Naples first and spent a day there visiting Mt. Vesuvius and all of the beautiful museums. My wife was stationed there for three years when she was in the Navy, so we were able to visit some friends too. Then, we took the train to Rome and had a full day tour of the city where we visited the Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum, and lots of beautiful churches! The next day, we visited the Vatican and I checked off a bucket list item when we entered the Sistine Chapel! Then we took the train back to Naples, and a private car drove us from Naples to Ravello on the Amalfi Coast with a stop in Pompeii to visit the ruins. My co-worker’s wedding took place at a venue overlooking the Amalfi Coast, and it was picture-perfect! We cruised around the Amalfi Coast and visited Positano, where I saw the largest lemons I had ever seen! The following day, we took a private car back down to Naples, and then took the train to Florence, where we spent the day shopping for the finest leather. We even got a tour of a leather workshop, and I bought the most beautiful purse and wallet I own! And towards the end of our time in Italy, we took the train to Venice, where we had a full day of touring and checked off another bucket list adventure with a gondola ride down the Canals of Venice! To top it off, the food was amazing the entire trip. I know that there is so much more to see in Italy, and we definitely plan to return soon!
What is something you wish you had known when you first started traveling?
I really wish I was hip to the points/miles game and loyalty programs when I first started traveling. There are so many ways to earn points, and you can use them to fly anywhere in the world! Free upgrades are my new addiction! I’ve also learned that being a loyalist has its perks too! The upgrades you can receive just by sticking to one travel brand, and building up points are amazing!
How did you discover App in the Air? Do you have a favorite feature?
My friend, Richard, once posted a cool map that showed everywhere he had flown, and when I asked him how he got it, he told me that his personalized flight map was generated through App in the Air. I immediately downloaded it, and loved not only the “Year in Review” feature, but that it’s a one-stop-shop for all of my travel information. I want to print out my map and hang it on my wall one day!