Melody Pittman is one half of the mother-daughter blog team at Wherever I May Roam. She, along with her daughter, write about luxury travel, culture, and food with a side of smart spending. Melody is a member of NATJA, TBIN, and TMOM group where she writes as Southern TravelingMom. Melody specializes in cruising, Nashville, Disney, theme parks, music festivals, and unique experiences, but finds she likes exploring and sharing “small town USA” places that are in your backyard that you didn’t even know existed. She can find the utmost pleasure in any trip—no matter how big or small.
1.)Where was the first place that you traveled that made you think WOW—travel is amazing (think history book come to life or …..)
You will laugh but I can remember watching The Price is Right as a small child and just ooing and aahing over the trips they would give away. I was way too familiar with Puerta Vallarta, Rome, Lake Tahoe, and Monte Carlo. That was what first caught my eye. My first trip that really amazed me was when I was 18, driving a friend and I to New York City for the first in many trips that we would take for the weekend. I loved how many things there were to see and do and the cool people I would meet with each trip.
2.)If you had unlimited resources, where would you go and what would you do?
I would love to spend some time in Africa being up close and personal with the big five (especially hippos…they are my fave!) and working with children. I love animals and kids so anywhere that has to do with either or the two is a perfect destination for me! On a more selfish note, one of my lifelong dreams is to do the World Cruise for the 100+ days.
I grew up with a family campsite and boats at Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia, so boating has always been a passion. Unfortunately, I was in a boating accident in West Virginia and a jet-ski mishap in Aruba so I became gravely afraid of being on the water, cruises exempt. Through the years I have slowly reintroduced myself to boating but it still takes a lot out of me to even attempt it. We were doing a small boat ride across the Caribbean in Chiriqui Grande (Panama) recently to check out an indigenous village that I wanted to take toys and snacks to, and I thought I might have a heart attack because of the rough waters. I made it though!
4.)What apps do you use regularly that make your life easier?
Twitter, IG, Facebook, Pinterest- just the basic social apps. Other than Disney, my house alarm, and Uber apps, I can live without all the rest.
5.)What place do you wish more people have seen?
My home state of West Virginia. What a beautiful state to explore. It is a paradise for nature lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, gardeners, history buffs, and mountain gals like me.
6.)Best advice you have been given and by whom?
This advice wasn’t necessarily given to me, but it is my mantra. Thanks Abe Lincoln for saying that “Most people are as happy as they make up their minds to be.” I choose to be happy 365/ 24/7 and it is contagious!!
7.)When were you surprised by the kindness of strangers on a trip?
Many times I have been surprised by the generosity of strangers, in fact, even this week. My husband and I were on our first RV trip over in Venice, Florida. Since we had no transportation, other than Uber, I thought I would ask a local to help me choose between the top spots to visit so I wouldn’t be on a wild goose chase. The RV park manager was the one that I posed my question to and she insisted that we just take her personal vehicle. I was shocked when she offered but could tell that she was truly that generous and wanted us to explore her city…so we did. How nice was that? I strive to be a decent human being like that as well.
8.)What inspired you to travel for extended periods of time or live in a new country?
My husband and I sold our businesses in the USA and have built long-term rental houses in Boquete, Panama. He stays there much more than I do (I’m traveling for a living plus I reside in Florida!) but living abroad has its perks. We were intrigued by the tax incentives for expats to do business there and fell in love with the place itself. We have made the best friends of our lives due to our decision to live there part-time.
9.)I travel because….
I want to see the world! I have traveled since I first got my drivers license and don’t plan to slow down until I physically cannot manage it anymore. Life is short and the world is full of amazing things to see, do, explore, taste, touch, small. I want to do it all! I’m a Jeopardy freak or nerd, depends on how you see it, and my travel experiences make me all the more valuable of a Jeopardy contestant. 😉 Trivia is awesome.
10.) My favorite travel or business book is…
A simple book: 1,000 Places to See Before You Die by Patricia Schultz. Luckily I don’t have a formal publication of UNESCO sites or I would be as obsessed with it!
11.) How about hotels? What’s your favorite or one you’d recommend?
I’ve been a proud card toting Marriott cardholder since 1987 when I was 18 years old. At that time, I would get a relatives family discount so that was the chain of choice. When they merged with Ritz Carlton, I did a happy dance because my two favorites became the same company. Though I still love Marriott’s brands and all of their hotel lines, I also love staying at more unique properties these days including bed and breakfasts or inns. I’ve traveled to several themed hotels/inns over the past year which are most interesting. The top hotels that I have loved the most were Hotel Arts in Barcelona, Four Seasons in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Jenny Lake Lodge, also in Jackson Hole, and the Inn at Spanish Bay in Pebble Beach, California.
Lastly, can you please recommend a resource for up-and-coming travel writers; this could be a course you know, a book, conference etc.
I love attending TMS (Travel Media Showcase). I have made lifelong friends and received many trips as a result of the connections made there.
Melody resides in Vero Beach, Florida and Boquete, Panama. She is the mother to two wonderful daughters, has a sensational son-in-law, and has been married to her long-time love, Eddie, for 25 years. Melody is passionate about animals, volunteering, cooking and entertaining, and sending mail to friends and family to make them feel special. She is blessed to be doing what she loves, combining all her passions together: writing, social media, photography, eating, socializing, making new friends, and staying on top of technology trends.
Stay up-to-date on his travels through:
Our next Travel Influencer interview will be up in a week, follow the series here.