Co-Owner & Marketing Director aka Social Butterfly aka TravelingLashDoll
Hi, I'm Amanda Vallone and one of the co-owners of Roseborough Travel Agency. I love my job! I mean it; how many people do you know can really write they actually LOVE waking up in the morning to go to work? I DO! Ask everyone around me. I love what I do, and Monday's are my favorite day, too.
I have one really awesome kid we lovingly call Aurora the Explorer! She has been to Hawaii, New York, Africa, Alaska, and all over the Caribbean, all before she was four years old! And she is a really great traveler (thank god! I don’t know what I would do with a non-traveling child).
I have a great husband, George who often goes on many of the trips with me.
Together, we have the amazing opportunity to jet set across the globe with groups of our incredible Roseborough Explorers. We have brought groups through Vietnam and Cambodia, Hawaii, Spain, Alaska, China, South Africa, all over the USA, and yearly on our Thanksgiving Cruise—just to name a few. George has his own career as an engineer, but we have a huge debate over who is the better group leader. When he comes on trips with me I make him work, and it seems as though everyone really takes a liking to him.
I LOVE wine! I have a dangerous, passionate obsession with wine. I am not a true wine snob. I love it. Sauvignon Blanc and Malbec and Champagne or almost any type of bubbly are my favorites. But I'm not to the level of smelling a glass and talking about the dirt it was grown in. I am totally happy with a $10-20 bottle I can enjoy with friends over great conversation.
Every trip I go on is photo documented with the food and beverages of the trip. Interesting foods don’t scare me. Scorpions in Cambodia? Sure, why not. Putrefied Shark and Brennivin in Iceland? Bottoms up! Mopane Worm in Zimbabwe? Tastes like chicken.
I grew up in upstate New York outside of Buffalo in a small town called Dunkirk. My parents moved me to Deltona for my 4 years of high school and I moved away for college and grad school at Auburn University. War Damn Eagle! I went to Auburn for Fashion Design and I knew I always wanted to open my own business, so my graduate program was focused on the success and failure of entrepreneurs. I took tons of marketing and business courses.
I lived in Chennai and Alampoondi India in my last semester of grad school (have you read or watched the movie Life of Pi? Pondicherry is the closest well known area to my “home” in India).
After that, I lived in Pensacola Florida a few years – home to the most beautiful white sugar sand beaches one could ever ask for.
And in 2010 I moved back to Central Florida when we bought Roseborough Travel Agency. It was the best move of my life. I LOVE DeLand and am so proud to be a business owner in this amazing town! I am happy to set my roots and raise my daughter here.
Best Travel Experience: Africa, hands down. All parts of traveling to and through Africa are the best! I think because the wildlife is so incredible, it is surreal. The sunsets and sunrises are simply magical and yes, they have a wine region, and a quite amazing wine region at that. It's a place of amazing wildlife adventures, but we also participated in an extreme adventure while we were there. Some of our group trekked to the top of Victoria falls and jumped into the Devils Pool.
Dream Trips: I really want to go to the Galapagos (next trip), East Africa for the Great Migration (following Galapagos), Antarctica, Patagonia, Easter Island, Machu Picchu, Greece, Croatia, Poland, Russia, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Uganda, Myamar, Morocco, Egypt, Turkey, and Madagascar.
* Africa Specialist - I have been all over Southern Africa and Kenya, and planned many trips there: South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Namibia. I have done several trainings and seminars on the destination. I am also a KATS Kenya Certified Travel Professional in Safaris, Beaches, Tented Camps, and Adventure Sports.
* River Cruises - I have traveled on several river cruises and planned many more. Viking, AMA, Scenic, Emerald, Uniworld, American Queen, American Cruise Line… just to name a few. I can help a client figure out the difference between the cruise lines and cabins, and explain the differences of what is included with different lines. Not all river cruises are created equal. Additionally, each person should know a few things before they go. Do you know what rafting is? Are you mobile enough? What is appropriate dress?
What do you look for in traveling? Food, drink, and adventure!
Favorite Place in the World? Africa, Africa, Africa………… And HOME
Favorite place to get food? Mmmmm… That is a really difficult question for me. I love food everywhere. I would rather eat certain things in each part of the world. The beer, potatoes and sauerkraut in Prague... Spain has some pretty amazing sangria, patatas huevos and tapas... Hawaii has some of the best calamari I've ever had in my life, and I don't even like calamari... Crepes in France—OMG!!!! You get the picture. I like food and wine. Good food, fun food, funny food... I'll try it all in nearly any destination.
Favorite souvenir: My giraffe from South Africa.