Episode 4: Introducing Your Hosts, The Sunshine Travelers

Today we thought it would be good take step back and introduce ourselves as the host of this podcast.  Learn about how we started with our travel adventures, where it has taken us, and what is next as we truly embrace our passion for travel.  Pack your bag and journey back to the beginning as you learn more about us as your hosts.

In this episode we both share how and where we traveled growing up, why we are called the Sunshine Travelers, and how and when we started traveling to more destinations around the world, and what's next for us on their travel adventures. 

So to get to know us a little more, Tune in NOW!

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** I incorrectly referred to San Jose, Costa Rica as San Juan, I guess I had planning for San Juan, Puerto Rico on my brain when we recorded this episode.  I apologize for any confusion.

Music Credit

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 Episode Transcript (continued on Episode Page):

I’m Scott and I’m Melissa and we are the Sunshine Travelers.  Our passion is travel and sharing our experiences with those who enjoy it as much as we do, want to learn more about travel, or even those that just want to live vicariously through our travel stories. No matter where you fall along that journey, get ready to hear about our first hand experiences as we visit some of the most amazing places on earth.

Today we thought it would be good take step back and introduce ourselves as the host of this podcast.  Learn about how we started with our travel adventures, where it has taken us, and what is next as we truly embrace our passion for travel.  Pack your bag and journey back to the beginning as you learn more about us as your hosts.

It seems kind of strange to do an introduction several episodes in on a podcast.  I guess we were just eager to get started and had some great content we wanted to lead off with.

Yeah, this is something we have been discussing for a long time and we were gearing up for our big bucket list trip to the Galapagos.  We had originally wanted to record some of that content while on our trip, but it just didn't work out the way we had planned.  

But here we are and there is no better time than the present to do a little introduction.  We are Scott and Melissa Barronton and we live in the Sunshine State of Florida.  We've lived here for almost a year now but spent most of the rest of our lives near Atlanta, GA.  Anyone who knows travel has made a trip or two through Hartsfield Jackson airport.  The busiest airport in the world.  That is exactly where my travel journeys began.  Growing up my mom worked for the airlines and we could hop on a plane and go almost anywhere in the world.  At the spur of the moment, we'd pack a bag, head to the airport and then decide where we wanted to go.  We had one limitation - what flights were available.  If we had the wrong clothes, no big deal, we'd take care of that when we got there.  I wouldn't say travel was a passion for me back then.  It took me to some really cool places and left me yearning for others.  As a child we attempted several times to go to Hawaii.  My parents and brother had been before and I heard all of the stories.  Unfortunately for me, everytime we tried to we would always get bumped in California.  Melissa thought that I was crazy because I didn't like Disneyland when we first got married.  For me it was a consolation prize for not getting to go to Hawaii.  

I know, totally a first world problem.  Fast forward to today and we both really enjoy Disney, and you will hear a lot about that as we travel there frequently with our children and grandchildren.

How about you Melissa?

Another reason that we are the Sunshine Travelers though is that we have a joke that it is always sunny or at least not raining when we travel to a destination, even if we do want it to rain or be a little cooler, like in London for example.

Growing up my parents were teachers and so we spent a good amount of time in the summers going on camping trips. We would go both to familiar places as well as on new adventures. One place we went to a lot was the Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville or various Georgia State parks.  We would also go to beaches in Florida and North and South Carolina like the Outer Banks and would have adventures riding car ferries to get there. As we got older we would take longer road trips - such as several weeks going up the coast from Georgia to Maine stopping at lots of sights along the way. I had never been out of the country though until after we got married. 

Also my first international trip was with you to Germany to visit friends of your family that began as a student exchange with your brother. 

And thirty something years later I still try and visit our friends when in or near Frankfurt.

 In our daily lives, I have been working remotely for global companies for about 8-9 years now.  I have employees all over the world and so it is quite common for me to travel internationally as part of my work.  About five years ago our youngest son was old enough that he could stay home or with family members that lived just down the street and Melissa started traveling with me.  At first mostly in the US, but then eventually on overseas travel as well.  While I was working during the day, she would take small trips exploring out by bus, train or Uber taking in all of the sights that each location had to offer

One of the first trips I got to tag along on was to Costa Rica. On this first trip with you we stayed in San Juan and I was able to see a few museums there - such as the Jade museum but I also went to a spa one day. You had never done anything in Costa Rica except go to the office and to dinner so thankfully when local people take you, they will usually go somewhere with a view or to a nice local restaurant. 

So The next time we went a few days early and rented a car and spent the weekend close to San Juan seeing the volcano at the National Park and staying in an Eco resort. We were then able to hire a driver to take me from the hotel to experience a zip line, because that’s not something you would enjoy and then he took me to a coffee plantation. 

I also got to go to Las Vegas for the first time tagging along on a work trip even though you had been several times before. 

So since you were working and when you had been before you didn’t really get to experience the area, I think this is really where I started figuring out how to research an area and what to do there using Pinterest to find blog posts, Trip Advisor and google maps to save locations etc. 

I think the most fun for me was going early with you or staying over a weekend (at our own expense of course) and take you places in the location especially when you had been there several times. 

We need to back up a little though because before this we took our kids on trips when they were younger for long weekends or vacations and we tried to take one trip as a couple per year  just us and bigger ones on special anniversaries. 

Scott, do you want to talk about some of these trips?

  •  At first we starting just tent camping and we would go for weekends locally or once we camped along the Blue Ridge Parkway from Roanoke Va to Ashville NC
  •  We talked a little about this in Episode 1, creating a travel bucket list
  •  Later we bought a pull behind camper and took a weeklong trip to Kentucky - seeing the corvette museum and up to Louisville to the Louisville slugger museum and the Kentucky Derby
  •  Mixed in we took our kids to Disney a few times as well
  •  As they got older, we decided that we wanted to go on some bigger trips and were able to take them to Hawaii as our kids got older and we were able, we started to plan some bigger trips with them in the summer such as Hawaii and then back to Europe when our daughter graduated from high school. 

One thing that we are passionate about is married couples taking trips together without their kids, once a year.  and it doesn’t have to be far but just to reconnect and recharge and spend time together.  We have always been fortunate that our kids stayed with family but if you know someone and are able to help watch their kids to allow them to do this, I would highly encourage it. 

  •  for our 5th anniversary we did a long weekend in Charleston,SC
  •  for our 10th anniversary - a cruise to the Bahamas (our 1st)
  •  For our 15th anniversary - we went to Mexico for the 1st time.  We stayed at an all inclusive, which was very nice but I think we were eager to see more of the area and ended up booking a day tour for jet skiing and snorkeling and shopping and dining in Old Town Cancun
  •  For our 20th anniversary we were able to take a trip to St John.  This is a place we really loved and are anxious to be able to return here this year
  •  IN between these bigger years we would go away for a weekend to the mountains in the fall or sometimes even just more of a local staycation where we just got away from the everyday
  •  and this brings us to the big trip that we were able to take which coincided with our 25th anniversary - a trip of a lifetime really…

Which was…

  •  our trip to Europe between jobs
  •  We are going to do a whole episode on this soon but we spent 6 weeks traveling in Europe
  •  We planned this trip in Aprilish time frame for a June 10th departure
  •  the first 12 days was a Mediterranean cruise on Holland America 
  •  then Italy from Rome to the Amalfi Coast
  •  5 of the Greek Cyclades Islands
  •  Athens - which is where we were for our anniversary
  •  we finished the trip in the UK for a friend’s wedding and then in Bath and the Cotswolds before returning home

…. more in another episode

so now our travels are a mix of business (with pleasure) and then just pleasure trips like the Galapagos (which we talked about in detail in Episode 2) and an upcoming trip to Puerto Rico and St John. 

Right now we are:

  •  Planning for Safari next year
  •  Our goal is still to Visit a new country every year
  •  but We don’t plan things way far in advance so if other opportunities come up, we want to be able to jump on them

Melissa: yes because our bucket list is long so when an opportunity arrises, it is likely that it is on the list 

So now you know a little more about us as your hosts on this journey.   

We hope you enjoyed this episode and will find some inspiration for your next trip or perhaps this is something that you want to add to your bucket list.  Most importantly, subscribe to our podcast, leave us a review, and share it with your friends to help them catch the travel bug, especially anyone who is traveling to Equador and the Galapagos. You never know, they may become your greatest travel companion.