Adventure Girl Interview with Stefanie Michaels
The Adventure Girl Interview
The Travel Tart: Hi Stefanie, thanks for your time, I’m sure you are busier than a one armed brick layer in Beirut at the moment, so thanks for sparing a few minutes to chat. You probably have one of the most enviable jobs in the planet and seem to be travelling all over the place. From what I can tell, it looks like you have made your passion a business. For us mere travel mortals, how did you get started in this journey? Any tips?
Adventure Girl: When I was 3 months old, my parents took me to Chicago. Most babies cry on the plane, I giggled and cooed the whole way. They said then, they knew I’d have some sort of career that had to do with planes and travel, because I loved flying so much! Since that day, I was always flying somewhere. I studied journalism and film, thinking I wanted to continue my stint in the entertainment business, but wasn’t all that fulfilled auditioning for parts, and not getting the gigs. What I can say, is studying gave me some basic skills on how to write—simple things like “what is attribution?” and being in class also opened some opportunities to intern for some magazines. Interning and learn from the ground up, gives you a leg up. My advice or “tip”… get into a journalism class or business class, or history class– learn the craft you’re most interested in pursuing, and that will take you miles, literally. Plus, you’ll be taken more seriously as an entrepreneur. And, patience, learn to love it. I’ve been working on my brand for more than 15 years. Nothing happens easily, nor overnight.
The Travel Tart: I’ve done a little bit of in front of the camera work previously, which is not something I’m really used to. Put it this way, there were a lot of outtakes because of my stuff ups! What’s been your most humourous outtake in front of the camera on your travels? One that you’re comfortable with of course!
Adventure Girl: Not my best moment for sure… I was in the Bahamas shooting an opening on the beach in front of onlookers, for an online show I was working on. It took me 52 takes to nail, “Hi, I’m Adventure Girl, and welcome to this week’s adventure in the Bahamas, Paradise Island, just off of the blah de blah, blah dee blah-blah…”. After messing up over and over, I then got the giggles, because after a while, and at take 20 or so, I realized how lame I was, and so it went on from there. Then I started crying around take 40, because I was so frustrated that I couldn’t get it the lines out, and then finally take 52, it happened, I walked and talked it out and we got the take. I look back now, and it was just one of those things I had to go through—insecurity, and not being fully prepared, thinking it was an easy couple of lines I’d get out in one take. Maybe a bit of funny for me in the end, not so funny for the crew that had been sweating it out in the hot sun waiting to get the job done! I now, over-prepare for a shooting day, and it’s never happened again.
The Travel Tart: I’ve done some crazy stuff in my travels like riding down the world’s most dangerous road, gorge swinging and taking a minibus taxi ride in Africa. What would be the travel experience that has given you the highest ‘crap your pants’ rating ever (out of 10)?
Adventure Girl: It’s funny, because I’ve never experienced that. My husband says it’s because I have this “no sense of fear” thing, and that I have a weird death wish. I don’t look at it that way, I get this sense of excitement when pushing boundaries, it’s more of a “life wish”. I will say that swimming with sharks in Bora Bora, with a black tip shark circling me was pretty cool. I was as intrigued with him, as he was with me!
The Travel Tart: One of my goals is to score the most expensive travel junket ever – having a beer with Richard Branson on Virgin Galactic some day. I’m still waiting for the phone call or email! But you recently experienced zero gravity with Buzz Aldrin. How did you find that experience, especially with a man who is forever etched into space travel history?
Adventure Girl: Haha! I know! I’m with you on that one, and on the flight list. Now, I just need to find the sponsor to kick in the monies it’s going to take to pay for that seat on Virgin Galactic before it happens. Sir Richard, *wink* will you sponsor me? I did do Zero Gravity with Buzz. He’s amazing. We tossed M&M’s into each other’s mouths and tossed around water balloons in zero gravity. One of my top life moments hands down. We bonded on that flight and made history then, too—having done the most parabolas on a Zero G flight. Honored to have been a part of it all, and really, it just cemented my “want” to head to space. I’m a total space nerd, and a member of the 62-mile club. I’ve gone so far as to have written several letters to NASA when they would open up opportunities to work with them. Just a little obsessed, I know.
The Travel Tart: You’re known as a massive user of Twitter. What’s been the funniest thing that has happened via your Twitter account, either from yourself or one of your followers?
Adventure Girl: Gosh, there are so many moments. Each day, I laugh, cry, am inspired, humbled, educated, and most importantly, connected to the most amazing people around the globe. There’s not just one thing I could possibly choose from!
The Travel Tart: For me, food is always linked to travel. I love trying out the different varieties out there, even if they sound unusual or are even not that palatable! Some examples I’ve tried include tea with egg in Indonesia, guinea pig in Peru and Bunny Chow (a half loaf of bread stuffed with curry) in South Africa. How about you? What’s something that you’ve tried that’s been a bit out there, or even terrible that hasn’t left you on the toilet for a week?
Adventure Girl: Haha! Well, I’m a pescatarian (I only eat fish), but when I lived in Asia for a while, I got a little more adventurous with bugs. I really liked these crickets that were sprinkled with cayenne pepper. I didn’t make a habit of eating them, I would just always take a dare if challenged, and they really were tasty!
The Travel Tart: Finally, I ask all my interviewees about where was the the time and place where you thought, hell yeah I love this travel thing?
Adventure Girl: From what I understand, that plane ride at 3 months old.
The Travel Tart: Thanks so much for the chat and enjoy your travels!
Adventure Girl: Thanks Anthony for being the travel tart and for sharing travel to the world!