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Featured Traveler: AFAR Ambassador Angie Orth

Following Angie Orth—either on AFAR or on her travel blog, Angie Away—takes you on some whirlwind adventures. The Jacksonville, Florida native isn’t afraid to trek through the Moroccan desert on a camel or go crab-spearing in Queensland. Though she’s fearless in her travels, she still tears up when she hears “When You Wish Upon a Star” before the fireworks show at Walt Disney World. Her open-minded attitude and penchant for new experiences make her an irresistible traveler to follow.

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See all of Angie’s Highlights.

Right now I’m in Anchorage, Alaska.

Though I would much prefer to be in Gansbaii, South Africa, diving with Great White Sharks.

Occupation: Freelance digital media & public relations consultant, copywriter, and travel blogger at Angie Away.

My next trip is to Nashville, where I’ll be speaking at the KEEN Digital Summit.

My last trip took me all over Tropical North Queensland in Australia.

First international trip—when and where? My first real international adventure was a spring break trip with my high school history teacher and classmates to London and Paris. Those first passport stamps ignited my wanderlust and I haven’t been the same since.

At the moment, my oversized leather bag from Marrakech is my most treasured travel souvenir. I bargained so hard for it!

Favorite hotel: Graycliff in The Bahamas, Cannizaro House in London, Kichwa Tembo in Kenya, or Nukubati in Fiji.

Favorite restaurant: Again, Graycliff in The Bahamas. Lobster cappuccino? It sounds crazy, but it’s to die for. And Katerina’s in Mykonos – their salmon risotto is unbelievable.

Public transportation, cab, or bike? Not a bike. Never, ever a bike. I’m an embarrassment on a bike. I’m pretty good about taking public transportation or walking a zillion miles though.

If you’re in Florida during the fall, don’t miss a Florida Gator football game in The Swamp. It’s like nothing you’ve seen before.

Taxi drivers are often the best way of connecting with locals. They’re usually the first people you meet upon arrival and they can be an absolute warehouse of valuable insider information.

What’s the one hometown place you miss most while traveling? As much as it pains me to say it, I miss chain restaurants. When I come home, I head for my old favorites—Carrabba’s, Cracker Barrel, or Outback. It’s not fancy, and it doesn’t have to be. It’s home!

Favorite travel book:  It’s much too tough to pick! I’ll say I love reading books with a connection to the places I’m visiting. Jane Austen is my favorite author to delve into while in England, and I really enjoyed reading Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises on my way to Pamplona for the Running of the Bulls.

Best memory of a trip with kids—either from your own childhood or with your own kids: Growing up in Florida, most of my childhood travel revolved around the Magic Kingdom and Epcot Center in Orlando. Since my little sister and I are 12 years apart, I was a cranky teenager and she was just a toddler. It was really precious to see her experience Disney for the first time, and the second, and the forty-second. We still go there at least once a year to frolic, and yes, we tear up as soon as “When You Wish Upon a Star” begins to play just before the fireworks.

Most out-of-character travel experience? Something that you would never have done at home: I like to think I’m the same person on the road as I am at home. There are just many more opportunities for new, exciting experiences elsewhere.

Biggest travel mistake? Crushing on fellas with sexy accents. I learned my lesson!

Favorite foreign tradition: I loved the kava ceremony and the meke in Fiji. So fun and unique to that country.

Travel has taught me about priorities. No matter where you go in the world, there are people just doing life. Some are struggling to feed their kids or keep a job. So whenever I feel like having a pity party about any circumstance, I try to reflect on all the people I’ve met around the world who really know what it’s like to suffer, persevere and work hard. Once I gain perspective and remember I’m in the one percent of people in the entire world able to complain about the lack of free WiFi in my five star hotel, I can get back to focusing on what’s really important.

Photo courtesy of Angie Orth