Meet the Scouts
We asked eight of the experts in our article, "2007 Scouting Report," how their jobs changed the way they traveled. Read on for their answers--and all the travel tips they picked up along the way.
Geoff Watts, co-owner and green-coffee buyer, Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea
Immensely—now when I travel I have friends and acquaintances in each country who can show me the great hidden spots and give me unfiltered knowledge about the current scene. Eating home-cooked meals and spending time with locals almost exclusively is a different experience than I used to get when I'd travel simply for pleasure. And, of course, now that I get out to remote areas in the countryside to visit farms, I end up spending a lot of my time in places that do not get many visitors. I find my work travel gives me the chance to really engage with and understand local cultures in a way I wouldn't if I were just passing through. And since I visit each country several times per year, there is a lot of continuity.
Scouting Report: Yirgalem, Ethiopia
Mo Frechette, founder, Zingerman's Mail Order
Most of my travel involves eating. It sounds fun, but it's actually pretty rough sometimes. I don't get to eat what I want when I want it or in the quantities I'd like. I have to treat my stomach like an athlete would. It can be an ornery organ.
Scouting Report: Jura Region, France
Walter Lowry, founder and buyer, TableArt
A majority of my travel is now international, to both Europe and Asia. As a result, I am on more long-haul flights, and I tend to log more than 100,000 miles a year. When I was an attorney, I traveled frequently, but rarely did I log this kind of annual mileage.
Scouting Report: Wroclaw, Poland
Henry Madden, co-owner, Dehouche and Anteater Travel
I never got fed up with traveling. When I was in banking, I was alternating weekly between Singapore and Zurich for two months, which meant one weekend on the ski slope and the next in Bali. I thought the novelty would wear off, but it hasn't. I like traveling for traveling's sake.
Scouting Report: Caraíva, Brazil
Claus Sendlinger, president and CEO, Design Hotels
I have been doing my job for 20 years. When I got on a plane the first time, it was because of a business trip.
Scouting Report: Puerto Ángel, Mexico
Bruce Haxton, operations director, I-to-i
To be honest, not much. I still get excited every time I go somewhere, even if I have been there many times before—and I still have the urge to go out exploring every minute of the day!
Scouting Report: Sangkhla Buri, Thailand
Anne Wood, program director, Mountain Sobek Travel
Certainly, the frequency of my work travel has made me a more efficient traveler. I have become used to navigating through airports, exchanging currency, getting adjusted to new time zones, and making sense of new ways of doing things. Every little thing used to excite me, from the look of the street signs, to the big iconic sites I'd always wanted to see. Some of those things still do give me a buzz, but now I notice smaller things, like what flavor of yogurt is common in Spain (you just can't get fig yogurt over here in California) and what you might find in a vending machine is Germany. Also, because of my frequent trips, comfort has become more important to me. So many hours on a plane have taught me to plan for the flight almost more than for the trip. I have also gone to great lengths to be sure I am reachable to those back home, especially my daughter. When I travel for work, it's for work, not to get away, so I bring my phone.
Scouting Report: Baranja Region, Croatia
Pancho Doll, author, Day Trips with a Splash
On average, each of my books requires six months of ground survey, which means traveling on state highways, county routes, and forest roads. I'm self-contained in a compact pickup truck and visit two or three places daily. It's extended travel, engineered with digital maps, GPS, current forecasts, water gauges, and climate trends. The experience is 24 weeks of driving dirt roads and sleeping in the woods.
Scouting Report: Estacada, United States