Welcome to the second installment of “Ten Questions with Ramblin’ Randy,” where you can ask me absolutely anything about traveling (or anything else), and get honest answers.
Have a question? Just ask, in the comment box below. Okay, let’s get started!
1) In what country have you seen the most beautiful woman? Kim Salazar Aills
Tough one. Maybe Venezuela. The broad mix of colors and backgrounds makes for some gorgeous people. Brasil of course, but it’s a misnomer that all Brasilian girls are supermodels…they’re not. Tucson, Arizona and the Sonoran desert I think is home to some of the most beautiful women on the planet. But the first place trophy for the world’s most gorgeous women would probably be awarded to the ladies working at the duty free shops at Tocumen Airport in Panama City, Panama. Bananas.
What would you do differently if you could start over again? Cynthia Lancaster
I would have started chronicling my travels from the beginning. It pains me that I didn’t keep better memoirs from some of my earlier travels. There are some countries I’ve visited where I’ve taken just one photo. I barely started writing about my travels over the past year. A shame. I saw so much and didn’t record it.
What country has treated you with the most respect and also which with disrespect, as an American? And how do they view about our political system? Lori Ruboyiones
Respect overall: Japan. But I don’t think it was because I was American, necessarily. I was amazed at how respectful the Japanese are. They definitely left a great impression on me.
Thankfully, I’ve yet to be disrespected because I’m American anywhere. Although I haven’t been to the Middle East yet…I’ve heard bad stories, but I’ll reserve my judgment until I see for myself.
As far as how others view our political system: sadly, I think they just believe everything the media says. It’s also tough to have in-depth political conversations with people who speak a different language. I definitely make it a point to stay out of politics when I travel.
Is there any country that is too dangerous for you to visit now? Scott Evans
I guess Syria. I’d even go to Iraq…there is actually a tour group that takes people to Kurdistan in Northern Iraq. Every country has its dangers, but I feel if you travel wisely, with a tour group in the sketchy areas, you’ll fair okay. Syria seems to be the only absolute no-go country for me these days. I’ve been to North Korea, Venezuela and am even heading to Libya in December; but don’t think I could muster up the courage for Syria.
Have you ever been to concerts while traveling to other countries? If yes, who did you see? Teresa Theriault
Since I work in the music business (and I work a lot), I do my best to “get away” from anything that resembles work when I’m on vacation. I do like visiting radio stations, but I stay far away from festivals, concerts, clubs, etc. No interest. I hate crowds. That being said, when I found out one my favorite Brasilian artists was performing at a small club in Salvador, Bahia, Brasil, I had to be there. I sat at a little table and drank alone like a loser, but it was worth it to see Celso Fonseca. To see one of my favorite artists, performing in Brasil, made it that much more memorable.
As busy as you are with running a radio station and your Slow Jams show…how do you find the time to travel? Jai Rio
I simply make it a priority. The same way a good father makes time for his kids’ sports, or a car enthusiast makes time for car shows, etc. Traveling is my passion; my love. When you really, really love something, it takes priority and you just find ways to make time for it. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t give props to the awesome team I have at my radio station. I work with super talented people who I have faith in and trust; makes it a lot easier to take vacation when I know that the radio station is in good hands.
Any strange food, you were curious to try but just couldn’t? Or that you regret trying? Dave Jacobson
I’m proud to say I don’t hold back. Dog soup in North Korea, termites in Trinidad and guinea pig in Peru…I rarely pass up the chance to eat like a local and bring back a cool story about the weird sh*t I ate here or there. Now, I won’t get near those fried spiders and bugs I see sold at stands in East Asian countries. Hells to the nooooo!
Have you ever been shocked at how expensive/inexpensive it was to take one of your trips? Trevor Morini
Totally. During my first trip to Brasil, the currency conversion rate was ridiculous! One US dollar equaled four Brasilian dollars (reais). I lived like a king! Big fancy dinners would cost me just a few dollars. I’d take out stacks of cash from the ATM–a ton of money in Brasil–but because of the conversion, it wouldn’t even make a dent in my account. I lived like a baller!
The US/Brasil conversion has since moved a lot closer together, so it’s not as good as it used to be.
I was just in Ecuador this summer where taxi fares cost just nickels, and a full lunch cost me just $2.70.
Which country would you most want to come back to explore again? Sadie Ashraf
Bolivia! La Paz was amazing, but I only had one night there before I was rushed out of town to visit Lake Titicaca. I hated having such minimal time there…I felt like I could have explored the city for a month without getting bored. Daily life in La Paz is fascinating!
If you had absolutely no limits, you can do it all, you can live and do whatever you wanted, where would you choose to live, and what would you choose to do? Emery Nicoletti
I actually did!!! Many years ago, I had the dream to move to Brasil; I mean a serious infatuation with living there. And I ended up actually doing it. I sold my car, rented out my house, quit my job, and kissed my mom goodbye. I moved to Brasil! Though I loved it, it was a learning lesson: there is no place like home. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else than the USA.
Full story coming soon…please subscribe to our newsletter on the right hand side for Ramblin’ Randy story and travel updates from me!
BONUS: How do you afford to travel so much–seems like you are in a different country every weekend? Are you loaded? Aaron Espinoza
Haha, hardly! I try not to waste my money at the bars or buying fancy clothes; instead I save and use my money for awesome life experiences, mainly traveling. I also have found a pretty interesting system of flying for free, or almost free. I’ve been able to get a hold of tickets that would normally cost $1,000 and up, for 20, 30, 40 bucks. Sometimes completely free. My friend Derek actually made a video that explains how to fly for free and you can WATCH IT HERE. If you’re interested in traveling, but don’t think you can afford it, this video could change your life.