Linda Aksomitis: I Always Look for the Story behind the Destination

Written by SV
15. 11. 2017 · 7 min read

"While many people get frustrated with airport days or car travel, to me they’re part of the journey. I love airport days – they’re the only time I don’t have to worry about doing anything other than showing up on time. And road trips? Well, I’ve loved the open road since my early days as a traveling saleslady."

Interview with traveler Linda Aksomitis by trip and holiday planner Sygic Travel. Check out her blog Guide2travel.ca or follow her on Twitter @guide2travel.

How would you describe yourself in 5 sentences?
When I was fifteen I decided I wanted to do everything in life at least once - and that’s what I’ve been doing ever since. I’ve worked at 45+ different things for pay and earned a Masters degree in adult education with a major in English, specialization as a school librarian, and technical major in serger sewing. So, as you can see, I’m somebody who is always looking for a challenge and new experiences. I always say I like to work smarter, not harder, so all of my pursuits need to come together and cross over.

What was the moment you decided to become a traveler?
I’ve wanted to travel as long as I can remember – to discover new places and see new things. When I was 30, I landed a job as a traveling saleslady and sewing machine representative. My husband and I took up snowmobile racing about the same time, and I’ve been traveling ever since.

What is your greatest personal accomplishment?
That’s a tough one! Earning my degrees is likely the thing that took most determination, since it took 16 years of night classes and distance classes to earn my undergrad degree, and another seven to earn my masters.

What do you love the most about traveling?
I love to experience new places and cultures, as well as expand my horizons. A lot of my writing comes together under my tagline, history with a twist of adventure, so I always look for the story behind the destination. Through travel I also find new challenges like snowmobiling across the mountains from Tok, Alaska, to Dawson City, Yukon, at -40 degrees, to crossing Mont Sainte-Anne on a via Ferrata mountaineering course over the canyon just a year ago.

What is it you don’t like about traveling?
To be honest, there’s nothing I don’t like about traveling. While many people get frustrated with airport days or car travel, to me they’re part of the journey. I love airport days – they’re the only time I don’t have to worry about doing anything other than showing up on time. And road trips? Well, I’ve loved the open road since my early days as a traveling saleslady.

What is the most common misconception about being a full time traveler?
The most common misconception is that a full time traveler is always on vacation! Travel, if you’re going to write about it, is hard work with hours that go far beyond meeting hosts and experiencing destinations. Even when you’re in the middle of an experience, you’re documenting it with photos and if possible, notes. Mind you, sometimes your hands are already full, whether you’re on horseback or behind a set of handlebars!

What is the most challenging part of full time travel or nomadic life?
My life really isn’t nomadic or full time – rather, my challenge is in balancing my lifestyle so that I have the perks of a traveling lifestyle and advantages of being an active community and extended family member. So, throughout the year I try to keep the traveling under a week a month, which seems to provide the balance I need.

What is the best way to experience a foreign culture?
I like to have good local guides when I’m in a foreign culture. When I think about all that I can share with people who visit my area that they wouldn’t discover on their own, I know that I want that kind of opportunity when I’m somewhere new. So, I like to have guides and meet with local people everywhere I go.

What are the five things you can’t travel without?
Gosh, interesting question. I must have my passport, U.S. cash, laptop, my smartphone, and good quality running shoes.

Which destinations are at the top of your bucket list right now?
Internationally, Australia and New Zealand, although I’d love to go back to Europe and add the countries of Russia, Lithuania, and Austria. In the U.S., additional exploration of the East Coast states and their historic spots. And in Canada, more road trips on highways I haven’t explored yet.

If you had an unlimited travel budget for 24 hours, what would your itinerary look like?
I’d go country hopping in Europe and spend the next night at the biggest castle I could find!

If you should decide today, which country would you pick for retirement?
I’d have to say that I’d retire here in Canada because I value my community and family connections, but travel monthly as well.

What is the most overrated country or location you’ve been to?
I guess I’d have to say that Sweden didn’t really measure up to my expectations. I found it expensive and not particularly welcoming as a visitor.

What is the most underestimated country or location you’ve been to?
On the same trip that Sweden was a disappointment, I found Poland to be an amazing place to visit for the exact opposite reasons. It was such a friendly country with so much to offer visitors, no matter what budget they had for a European vacation.

Thank you Linda!
Simona from Sygic Travel

Sygic Travel has been helping people plan travel itineraries since 2011. Millions of people all over the world use their web planner as well as their iOS and Android apps.