About Me and My Spots

About Me and My Spots

Hi, I’m Amy. I have a morbid fear of caves and an unhealthy obsession with macaroni and cheese, but we’ll get to that later. For now, let’s start with the basics:

♥ Hometown Spot: Hobe Sound, Florida

♥ Other Spots I’ve Lived: Colorado, New Zealand, Malaysia, Thailand

♥ Favorite City Spot: Venice, Italy

♥ Favorite Scenic Spot: Queenstown, New Zealand

♥ Favorite Historic Spot: The Pyramids of Giza, Egypt

♥ Favorite Spot I Haven’t Been To Yet: Antarctica

♥ You May Spot Me Doing This: Horseback Riding, Snowboarding, or Photography

♥ You Will NEVER Spot Me Doing This: Spelunking, Singing Karaoke, or Eating Durian

♥ Spots I’ve Visited: USA, Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, Belize, Honduras, Cayman Islands, Panama, Spain, England, Scotland, Wales, France, Italy, Sicily, Hungary, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Belgium, Turkey, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, India, Nepal, Myanmar, Indonesia, Egypt, Jordan

The way I see it, I was born to travel. I’m half Irish rover and half Slovak gypsy, so wandering is definitely in my blood. Why do I call myself a giraffe? Well, at 5’10”, I tend to tower over a crowd, so I often resemble a giraffe – a very tall, very blond giraffe, which means I don’t blend in anywhere. (Except maybe Norway.)

Indian children
With the locals in Mahabalipuram, India

A Little Bit About Me

I was born and raised in the tropical sprawl of south Florida, surrounded by beaches, horses, and lots of sunshine. My earliest travel memories revolve around cross-country jaunts in a hideous mustard-colored motorhome we (affectionately) nicknamed “The Beast.” Arches National Park, the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone…I saw them all through the big boxy windows of The Beast.

I got my first taste of international travel at 15 when I visited Panama, but the travel bug officially sank its teeth in during my senior year class trip to Spain. Three weeks of touring Gothic cathedrals and sampling tapas, and I was hooked.

Spain
San Sebastian, Spain

I did the university thing and everything else that’s expected of young adults, but my heart wasn’t in it. Since my first taste of Europe, I was craving more, so I spent my early twenties booking every flight deal I could find and taking backpacking trips around Italy, France, the UK, and eastern Europe.

I traveled alone, with friends, and with family, but I had a great time no matter who I was with simply because I was on the road.

Amalfi Coast, Italy
Amalfi Coast, Italy

Fast-forward a few years through lots of aimless wandering, hospitality jobs, and one Vegas wedding (yes, people actually do that, and no, not surprisingly, it didn’t last). Seeking a bit of stability, I soon found myself back in school studying to become a massage therapist.

While I enjoyed it and I got to work in some beautiful resorts, I never lost my desire to travel. Enter Jeremy circa 2006 – sweet, smart, funny, and full of wanderlust like me – and I knew I’d found my lifelong travel partner.

With Jeremy in Queenstown, New Zealand
With Jeremy in Queenstown, New Zealand

We were married in 2008 and wasted no time planning our escape from the daily grind of life in America. After obtaining a pair of work holiday visas, we set off for an incredible year in Queenstown, New Zealand, backpacking through China and Southeast Asia along the way.

Another couple years in the states – this time in the picturesque ski town of Vail, Colorado – and we were off again, spending six months in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia before settling down in our new “home” of Bangkok, Thailand.

Ancient ruins of Ayutthaya, Thailand
Ancient ruins of Ayutthaya, Thailand

What I Love (And Love to Write About)

Food: My years in the hospitality industry introduced me to all sorts of cuisine, so for me, the highlight of any traveling is sampling the local food. From Mexican to Italian to Indian to Singaporean, I can’t wait to dive in and taste the local dishes and drinks that make each place unique.

Making my own "pulled" coffee in Chennai, India
Making my own “pulled” coffee in Chennai, India

Horses: Growing up, I owned a beautiful Arabian gelding, and I still love to ride any chance I get. Whether it’s sailing over jumps, galloping along the beach, helping out on a friend’s cattle ranch, or just meandering down a wooded trail, my favorite way to see the world is from the back of a horse.

Horseback riding in Florida
Horseback riding in Florida

Animals: Over the years, my love for horses has expanded to all sorts of other animals, particularly the large ones. During my travels I’ve trekked across the desert on camels, ridden bareback on elephants, and cuddled with full-grown tigers. If you’re looking for ways to incorporate animal adventures into your travels (or you’re just an animal fanatic like me), you’ve definitely come to the right blog.

Elephant mahout training camp in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Elephant mahout training camp in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Architecture: As much as I love nature, I can flip a switch and become a city girl in an instant. Whether it’s modern skyscrapers in China or ancient ruins in Italy, I love exploring city streets to admire and photograph the architecture. There are few things as humbling as standing beneath (or on) a structure that’s existed for centuries or even millennia!

Hiking on the Great Wall of China
Hiking the Great Wall of China

Why I Write

There are so many incredible destinations in this world, and the reality is that there’s just not enough time to see them all. It makes me happy to share what it’s like to be in a place that some of my readers may not personally get to see.

I can honestly say that every country I’ve visited and every person I’ve met along the way has helped me to see that there’s more than one way of doing things. It’s not necessarily right or wrong or better or worse than the way we do things at home; it’s simply different. And that diversity is what makes our planet so endlessly fascinating.

Whether you’re planning a getaway of your own or you simply want to do a little “armchair traveling,” I’m glad you found me. It’s my hope that reading my experiences will inspire you to step out of your own comfort zone and book that plane ticket you’ve been thinking about.

It doesn’t matter where you go. What matters is that you have amazing new experiences, new friends, and a whole new perspective waiting for you at your destination!

So…what are YOU waiting for?

Receiving a henna tattoo from children in a rural village in Rajasthan, India