Tam Warner Minton has loved to travel since she was a little girl and her family went to Ft Lauderdale and her beloved ocean every summer. She traveled frequently with her husband, and as their kids grew up they came along for the ride.
When Tam became an empty nester, she began traveling more adventurously, and solo, as well as writing about her journeys -- and thus Travels with Tam was born! Her posts include many photographs, so if you love travel photography, food, wildlife and underwater photographs, you have come to the right place.
Tam shares stories about traveling, food, luxury hotels, adventure trips, scuba diving, and citizen science. She wants to inspire others to get out and see the world, to expand their knowledge and enlarge their perspective. You can travel and "do good" for yourself, others and our planet at the same time!
Tam Warner Minton was kind enough to answer a few of our travel questions below.
TA: How many years have you been traveling and what got you hooked?
Tam: I've been traveling all of my life. Our family trips to Florida started when I was a toddler, and every summer I spent 2 or 3 weeks on the beach, and in the ocean. I have always enjoyed traveling, dining out, and exploring! My curiosity is endless and never quenched.
TA: Do you specialize in a particular type of travel?
Tam: I'm happy to go anywhere and experience everything! I do have a passion for scuba diving and I love to participate in science expeditions. I have traveled with Dr. Andrea Marshall, the Queen of Mantas, on her Ray of Hope Expeditions, REEF trips, All About Africa, and Marine Megafauna travel. I love helping further knowledge about our ocean.
TA: What is the best vacation you've ever taken?
Tam: There is a huge competition for this question, but an incredible experience I had was visiting Antarctica with Lindblad Expeditions/National Geographic.
What are some of your favorite travel blogs and communities?
Tam: Adventures of Empty Nesters, Travel with Sara, and Wherever I May Roam Blog are among my favorites, but there are many others! I do love Women Passionate about Travel, a group on Facebook. I wrote a blog about fantastic, badass women travelers: 14 of the Most Badass Adventurers on Instagram are Midlife Women.
What would be your #1 recommendation for a place to travel in 2019?
Tam: I want to go to Alaska and the Arctic! As our planet warms, these iconic locations suffer terribly, and I want to see it (and try to save it) before it is gone. Train, plane, or ship, I really want to experience our northern realm. I would love to see the Northern Lights.
TA: Do you have any good airport or flight hacks for people traveling by plane?
Tam: Save your points and travel Business or First on long distance flights! You will feel better!
TA: Is there something you think most travelers worry too much about?
Tam: Traveling solo. I love to go solo because the experience of being alone, making your own decisions, solving your own issues, doing what YOU want to do, and meeting people from all over the world is exhilarating. I can honestly say I have friends on every continent, counting the penguins in Antarctica!
TA: What was the most romantic place you ever visited with a partner?
Tam: Austria. I know most people would say Paris, and of course Paris is wonderful, but the most romantic trip Randy and I shared was our first trip to Europe. Innsbruck, Munich, Garmisch-Partenkirchen... these were locations so beautiful we would sit in the square, drinking wine, and marveling at our good fortune in being together in such incredible locales.
What are the best places to travel solo and why?
Tam: Anywhere and everywhere. Traveling solo amplifies the various benefits of travel. I am not talking about traveling to an all-inclusive resort where one doesn't leave the hotel grounds -- that is a vacation, but it is not real travel. Real travel experience is involving yourself in the customs and flow of what is going on around you. Eating in local restaurants, talking to locals, seeing the manner in which tasks are completed broadens life experience.
I saw a study on a website the other day called, "When in Rome learn why the Romans do what they do". The study indicated that people who travel and have multicultural experiences facilitate their creativity. A traveler must open their mind to new perspectives and ways of doing things. When a person travels, there is so much new information that has to be taken in and processed... new sights, new flavors, new sounds, and new customs. It provides the opportunity to use your brain, your ears, and your eyes because the normal "auto pilot" of daily life is off.
Being in an unfamiliar environment requires complete attention to one's surroundings. Imagine yourself, making your own decisions, doing what you want to do when you want to do it, and solving any problems that come up (and they always do). Solo travel takes you completely out of your comfort zone. Your comfort zone does not offer you the opportunity to stretch yourself, to grow, and to learn.
TA: What's something that other tourists do when traveling that drives you crazy and why?
Tam: When traveling to another culture, I find it horrifying when I hear people say, "In America...". People who don't try to "when in Rome, do it Rome's way" miss out on one of the most important facets of travel! Experiencing another culture is a wonderful learning experience.
Which underrated destination deserves to be more famous?
Tam: Now why would I tell you that? I love underrated destinations and want to keep them that way!