For up-and-coming travel writers, Beth recommends: “TBEX is where I was able to meet a lot of people in person and put an internet friend name to face, however I haven’t been in a few years, so I’m not sure what it’s like now. I find that conferences are great for networking and inspiration.”
1.)Where was the first place that you traveled that made you think WOW—travel is amazing (think history book come to life or …..)
I traveled a lot around the US as a kid with my family, but I don’t think it was until college when I participated in the Georgia Tech (my alma mater) Oxford study abroad program that in sunk in how truly incredible travel could be. GT structured the program so we spent two weeks pre-trip studying art history/architecture and music and then traveled throughout Europe for four weeks continuing our art history, architecture and music courses through museums, concerts and tours. Then we study at Oxford University for six weeks (at Worcester College) and had classes four days a week (they offered a variety of course) and could travel over the long weekend. It was amazing!
2.)If you had unlimited resources, where would you go and what would you do?
Nowadays, I like having a base, so if I had unlimited resources, I’d have a home in London, the US and along the Amalfi Coast in Italy. 😉 I would love to be able to travel around to countries and do week-long stages with chefs around the world, perfecting my pastry skills and developing new desserts based on my travel cuisine inspiration. I would also include at least a month of full-time volunteer work in a developing county.
3.)What were you afraid to do and how did you find the courage to overcome it?
If we’re talking big picture afraid – changing careers and going back to school while living abroad. I went ahead with it because I didn’t want to regret not taking the chance. Also, in the grand scheme, my pastry school tuition was pricey, but not extreme for an investment in yourself. Plus, I have a very supportive family and that helped a ton!
On a smaller scale, I freaked out during night scuba diving. I just practiced deep breathing and held on to our dive master until we descended and I got comfortable. I think I might be slightly afraid of the dark. Haha! I was also terrified of bungee jumping in Queenstown, but I didn’t look down and tried to have the prettiest swan dive for photo purposes.
4.)What apps do you use regularly that make your life easier?
I know this sounds simple, but just scheduling everything in Calendar makes my life easier. I also use Notes a lot, both to remember things, ideas for blog posts and taking notes while on walking tours (I LOVE taking notes on walking tours! Ha!). For driving/traffic alerts Stateside and directions when traveling, I like Citymapper and Waze.
5.)What place do you wish more people have seen?
This is a tough one. I visited Punta Gallinas at the northern tip of Colombia (it’s actually the northern most point in South America) and it was amazing and so undiscovered. When I was there in 2013, I believe the tourism number was around 2500 annually or so, but don’t quote me on that. It’s where the desert meets the ocean and the geographic contrasts are really unique and beautiful.
Alternatively, I’d say Africa. I’ve only visited Tanzania and South Africa, but I would love to go back and I would really love to go back and experience a variety of countries within the continent with my parents. The landscape, the animals, the people. It’s incredible!
6.)Best advice you have been given and by whom?
Okay, this sounds super silly, but I think that Mark Twain quote: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Just making sure you believe in yourself and your dreams and go after what you want out of life. I had no idea that a year of travel would lead to a career as a pastry chef, just as I don’t know where this change will lead me. Despite struggles throughout the journey, when I look back, it’s pretty incredible.
7.)When were you surprised by the kindness of strangers on a trip?
I left my ATM card in the machine at a bus station in Chile. In the machine, account open (granted there wasn’t much in there, but still), the works. I went to buy my bus ticket and as I was walking through I heard a security guard saying “Elizabeth Meyer” towards me. I go by Beth, so it was a bit odd hearing Elizabeth, until I saw him with my ATM card. The man who found it was standing next to him and I gave them both big hugs.
8.)What inspired you to travel for extended periods of time or live in a new country?
In 2010, was traveling to Houston for work a lot, and happened upon The Lost Girls in the airport bookstore. I loved their story and six months later, during a two week trip to Panama, my best friend and I started planning our RTW trip. The thought of traveling on a long-term trip had never crossed my mind before I read their story, and I was hooked after that on the idea. Living in London for a few years, was something that happened slowly. As cheesy as it sounds, I fell in love with the city and it was the perfect time to take a leap and go to pastry school and follow my long standing passion for baking.
9.)I travel because….
I love discovering new places around the world and experiencing a variety of countries and cultures. Meeting new people, trying out new languages (not that I’m particularly good at any) and new cuisine. I think I love it for the stories. That’s the part of travel that lives with you forever. In your stories and photos. 🙂
Beth is a trained pastry chef, food stylist, food & travel writer and former event planner. She was born and raised in Atlanta and will always be a Georgia Peach at heart. In 2005, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in event marketing where she worked on both the client and agency side for eight years.
In 2012, she put all of her stuff in storage and set off to explore the world for a year with her best friend. After a round-the-world adventure spanning eighteen countries and four continents, Beth landed in London, for what was supposed to be two-month visit. Two months turned into nearly three years.
In April of 2016, she repatriated back to the States and back to the City of Angels. Following a women’s chef conference, Beth began working with Chef Sherry Yard at her new LA restaurant, The Tuck Room Tavern. She now works in event catering, food styling, pastry pop-ups and has her own #BakingWithBeth recipe series.
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Our next Travel Influencer interview will be up in a week, follow the series here.