Amelia Old is an award-winning former international talent agent. She is the owner of Passports from the Heart where she shares her love for travel and philanthropy. She hopes to encourage individuals and families to not only travel, but to immerse themselves in the cultures of the places they are visiting and to open their arms to the communities by making a lasting impact while there.
1.)Where was the first place that you traveled that made you think WOW—travel is amazing (think history book come to life or …..) ?
A few years ago I made a solo trip to London. This wasn’t my first visit to London but it was the first time I was on an International trip alone. I remember looking up at Tower Bridge, which was built in the 1800s, and feeling as though I stepped into a history book. It was magical. It reminded me that this path I am taking with travel is a necessary part of my journey.
2.) If you had unlimited resources, where would you go and what would you do?
Like many, I want to go to Iceland and sleep under the Northern Lights. But what I REALLY want to do is go deep into villages in places like Africa, the Amazon, etc and really connect and learn from the various tribes and cultures. I also would like to see how we can better serve those in certain communities that may need our help. I really want to tell stories of people from around the world.
3.) What were you afraid to do and how did you find the courage to overcome it?
I remember a time I was afraid to not only travel alone but I wouldn’t even sit in a restaurant alone. This came from a small town upbringing and just being fearful of judgement and just the fact of being alone. I actually welcome that now. When I was in my 20s, I took a job traveling the Midwest and Western states. With 100% work travel-you quickly learn how to be on your own! I now love exploring alone while traveling.
4.) What apps do you use regularly that make your life easier? All of the social apps…Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. I also love using the Voice Record Pro app because it allows me to record a tour, interview, etc which I refer back to when working on new content for my site and social platforms. I also use Lyft often when traveling.
5.) What place do you wish more people have seen?
Africa. I’ve only had one week there and only experienced Zambia and Zimbabwe but those memories will be with me forever. The sunsets in Africa are incredible.
6.) Best advice you have been given and by whom?
A friend of mine shared this quote with me once. “I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything; but still I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.” With the work I do with travel and philanthropy I feel this is so important. No matter what-we can all do something!
Last year I took a two week trip to Greece. The people there were incredibly kind! Each village we visited, we were welcomed with open arms. Not just because we were press but because they were so happy to welcome us and to share their love of community with us.
8.) What inspired you to travel for extended periods of time or live in a new country?
Each new trip inspires me to take another. I still have one child at home so it’s not possible to move to another country at the time. I do see my husband, who is a UK citizen, and I relocating when we are older.
9.) I travel because…
I have this huge desire to go and see as much as I can. It’s as though I can’t get enough. I want to learn about other cultures and give back to the communities I am visiting.
10.) My favorite travel or business book is…
It’s not necessarily a book but I love my subscription to National Geographic. The stories and photos from around the world are fascinating to me.
11.) How about hotels? What’s your favorite or one you’d recommend? I am a Hilton Honors member and my husband is Diamond status. The majority of the time we use our points when traveling. Other than that-I really love the Inn at Spanish Bay in Pebble Beach and Sea Island Resort in Georgia. Both are stunning!
Lastly, can you please recommend a resource for up-and-coming travel writers; this could be a course you know, a book, conference etc.
My first travel conference was the World Travel Market and it was incredible. It’s as though you are taking an around the world trip in just a matter of days. Make sure you plan your days out prior to attending. It’s a massive event!
Amila Old serves as Champion for the United Nations Foundation Campaign [email protected] and is a Congressional District Leader with the ONE campaign. Amelia is currently a member of the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association, Travel Bloggers Influencer Network, International Travel Writers Alliance, North American Travel Journalists Association, and the Impact Travel Alliance Media Network.
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