What travel stories do you have?
Global travel blog that features travel stories on living, traveling and growing up in cities, villages and towns around the world!
Today we are speaking with, Stephen Stepaniuk, an entrepreneur and well-known travel blogger famed for his writings on topics ranging from world culture to travel, food and the performance arts. Born in Connecticut, Stephen graduated from Boston’s Northeastern University with a degree in his favorite subject, English. The New England native now runs a local consultancy focused on travel and leisure. Although most of his travel stories are posted on his travel blog, some of his literature has appeared in syndicated travel journals and catalogs.
Through the course of his work, Stephen has been to several states in the US, including Florida, New York and Hawaii. He has also visited a number of European capitals in search of captivating stories, including Paris, Rome and Venice. Owing to his long sojourn in Europe, Stephen speaks German, Polish and French.
Travel blogging and consulting offer Stephen a perfect work life balance. When he is not on work assignments, he enjoys reading, listening to music and jogging along Boston’s public parks.
Hello Stephen, could you please introduce yourself?
I wear three hats; that of travel blogger, travel consultant and entrepreneur. I have my own travel consultancy firm based in Boston, Massachusetts. Part of my work involves helping the average person realize their travel dreams. The market is huge and unexplored.
What are your areas of focus?
My travel blogging is tied to food, culture, art and entertainment. Culture is important to me because it defines our beliefs, interests and heritage. My pieces about food mostly center on restaurant reviews and foodie havens in the US and the world.
How did you develop an interest in travel writing?
My passion for travel writing began when I traveled to Germany on a high school exchange program. It is also here that I developed an interest in learning German, Polish and French.
What challenges have you encountered while traveling around the world and writing?
My most intense encounters include falling prey to scammers and missing reservations and flights. I once had an incident with scammers in a foreign land, but luckily nothing too terrible happened. I wrote an article about this experience and posted it on my blog.
Which are the most striking places you have visited?
I remember visiting Sanibel Island and the Naples Zoo at the Caribbean Gardens in Florida. The splendid Sanibel Barrier Island near Fort Myers hosts some 6,000 people, historical villages and a wildlife refuge. While on a trip to Rome, I also visited the imposing Terme di Caracalla and learnt about its important role in fostering body care and sports during the ancient times.
What are some of your all-time favorite travel stories?
The stories that stand out for me include my Hawaii Adventure and the Florence foodie paradise. My visit to the Valley Isle of Maui was simply magical. Away from the resorts and private rentals, the island has swathes of beaches and out-of-the-world, dry barren lands. Florence is a foodie’s haven and a popular destination for romantics. In my story, I listed the top eateries and savory dishes that I sampled, such as arancini rice balls and the beefy, osso buco alla Milanese.
You also operate a travel coaching service that teaches people how to enrich their lives through travel.
My travel coaching service focuses on helping the average person realize the life-long dream of international holiday travel. During my training sessions, I provide useful advice and tips on important issues like personal safety, visa, budgeting and travel blogging. Coaching sessions are available online through Skype.
Tell us a bit about your business and how you help others achieve their dreams.
I usually start my lessons with a questionnaire to establish the traveler’s needs. At the end of the coaching session, travelers will gain vital information to help make them more savvy and independent. Overall, the training aims to turn sightseeing trips into life-changing adventures.
Any words of advice for up-and-coming writers or would-be travelers?
For budding writers, bring back live stories from your travels. These could be tales as simple as visiting the Louvre Museum in Paris, sailing the Potomac River or shopping at the organic food and vegetable stores in one of San Francisco’s farmer’s market.
What are your top three travel tips?
When traveling to a new destination, I suggest learning common phrases in the native language and creating a checklist for the trip. Also, book your flights early to enjoy discount.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Besides learning commonly spoken phrases, being able to speak to the locals can save you money, help you through different challenges and make your travel experience more delightful. You can ask them everything from where to find the best coffee shops to the ideal spot to catch a sunset and so on.