Travel Idol: Samantha Brown

Recently, we had the opportunity to visit the Travel & Adventure Show in downtown Philadelphia, PA.  The highlight of the Show was its keynote speaker, the one and only Samantha Brown.  From Great Vacation Homes and Passport to Europe to her many Disney Parks specials, over the past fifteen years we’ve grown up with Samantha’s infectious personality as she’s taken us around the globe with The Travel Channel.

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First, you must know, Samantha Brown is just as fabulous in person as she has appeared in every one of her shows! Samantha looks to be frozen in time as she appears to not have aged even one day since the premier of her very first episode of Great Vacation Homes.   Her skin, much like her bubbly personality, radiates, and her welcoming smile warms the room.

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We grew up with Samantha’s many Disney Parks specials, as well as her in-resort video tours, so it was no surprise when she was asked when her next Disney Parks special will be.  Samantha explained that at this time she has not been asked to do any new work for the Walt Disney Company, but she did explain that she would welcome the opportunity now that she has two three year old twins of her own.  We certainly hope Samantha and Disney partner again soon!

After Samantha’s amazing keynote on the many lessons she has learned over her years as a world traveler, we had a chance to learn more about Sam.

In her fifteen years of traveling, Samantha has only ever had one bad situation arise while traveling.  In hindsight, she elaborated, she wishes she had trusted her gut about that particular situation from the beginning.  Her tips for staying safe while traveling:

  • Trust your gut.
  • Don’t wear a lot of jewelry.
  • Stick to an earth tone palate for your wardrobe choice.  Samantha pointed out that as Americans, we tend to dress very loudly in bright colors (very true – Janine loves her Lilly Pulitzer).  Dressing in this way makes us stand out from the rest, and we can remedy this by packing a more muted and simple wardrobe.
  • If Samantha could retire anywhere in the world and money was not an option, she would choose London as her dream retirement city.  However, after explaining that a lot of Central America has introduced more enticing programs to accommodate seniors with attractive health care options, Samantha explained in more detail that in a practical world she would most likely retire in Panama if she could.  Samantha also suggested Panama and Central America when a number of audience members asked where they should retire.
  • Samantha explained that one of the biggest misconceptions about her is that she has been everywhere when in fact there are a lot of places she has yet to go.  One place left on Samantha’s bucket list, which we were surprised she has not checked off yet, is a trip to Finland to see the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights).  She did share, however, that she was recently in Abu Dhabi for the filming of her newest Travel Channel Show, “50/50.”  If you haven’t had the chance to watch an episode of “50/50” on The Travel Channel, we highly recommend adding it to your DVR.

After the show, we had the chance to meet and chat briefly with Samantha Brown.  This was in all honestly a true honor.  Naturally, we had to ask Samantha how she has continued to stay in such great shape through all of these years of traveling.  After being on the road, away from home, and around all of the mouthwatering cuisine from each of the destinations Samantha’s visited in the 220-230 days a year for ten years straight, we know we would have a hard time staying healthy – needless to say, we were impressed!

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When it comes to eating, Samantha responded that she generally eats very healthy with soups, salads and of course the occasional cheeseburger.  She did share her trick is to always pack a jar of peanut butter in her suitcase in order to keep her hunger cravings in check while she is on the road.  Samantha also shared that during the peak of her filming with the Travel Channel, the producers allowed her to arrive one day early to a destination (where she had the entire day completely to herself to explore her new home), and she would take this time to scope out the area surrounding her accommodations for the best food options.

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For exercise, Samantha stressed the importance of taking a walk through the local neighborhood or on the beaches of your new destination.  She explained that walking is not only a great way to burn calories while your away from home, but she also pointed out that this is a great way to make a connection with and learn more about a new culture.  Samantha shared that she also does take advantage of the luxurious fitness centers offered in American hotels.  However, European hotels rarely offer access to such wonderful fitness centers.  When she travels abroad, Samantha works on her cardio with a jump rope which she packs in her suitcase, and this is one tip we will be following on all future trips!

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It was truly a pleasure to hear one of our travel idols, Samantha Brown, share her many lessons learned at The Travel & Adventure Show in Philadelphia, and it was a dream come true to meet her in person… and yes, she really is just as fabulous in real life!

For more information about The Travel & Adventure Show, please visit our full review: Travel the World in a Day

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