Jetsetting Job: Andrew Skwarek

By Leslie Moore

Jetsetting Job: Andrew Skwarek

Andrew Skwarek, From Sasee Intern to Travel Writer

Tell us a little about yourself?

I was born and raised in Pleasantville, New York, and caught the incurable travel bug when I started planning family vacations up and down the East Coast at eight years old. I attended The College at Brockport in Western New York and majored in Journalism with the intent of working in the travel industry. I landed my first internship with Strand Media Group in 2008. Fast forward six years and I now live in New York City and work at (a TripAdvisor company) as a Senior Producer.

What’s the best trip you’ve ever taken?

In August 2010, I traveled to Australia for work and learned to scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef – it was one of the most remarkable experiences of my life! For three days, I stayed on a 16-cabin boat and made nine dives, getting up close and personal with gigantic clams, loggerhead sea turtles, barracuda, whitetip reef sharks, clownfish and more. And, as if that wasn’t memorable enough, I received a free upgrade to Business Class on V Australia for my 13-hour return flight from Brisbane to Los Angeles.

Do you ever get tired of traveling?

Never! Don’t get me wrong, traveling can be exhausting, and I’ve definitely had my fair share of planes, trains and automobiles, but I like to have a trip planned at all times (even if it’s just a weekend getaway from New York City visiting friends from college). It’s funny, the first time I went on a plane was when I was 18, and the first time I left the country with a passport in hand was when I was 22, so even though I’ve logged a lot of air time in the past five years, I’m really just getting started.

What is the best thing about working for a travel company?

The best thing about working at a travel company (besides getting to jetset for my job every once in a while) is establishing a close network of friends who are as passionate about the industry as I am. For example, last fall a friend of mine got wind of a mistake airfare sale on a foreign travel website that was selling round-trip tickets from New York City to Milan on United Airlines for just $150 over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, so we immediately e-mailed other friends and booked tickets.

Milan was a blast (and this was my first time to Italy). One night, we made the mistake of not reserving a table at a popular restaurant, so we ended up wandering the streets of the city trying to find a spot that wasn’t booked. We finally stumbled upon this place called Curò, and decided to just eat there. The food was just OK, but later in the evening, the low-key Italian atmosphere transformed into an all-out party. Servers were distributing free bottles of limoncello and before you knew it the entire restaurant was dancing on tables (including myself!). Apparently my dancing was a big hit with the locals – I had people coming up to me asking to take a picture with them; other diners told my friends that I was an “icon.” It was hilarious and so fun! It’s experiences like these that make traveling so incredibly addicting.

What are your 4th of July traditions?

Every year, my sister throws a big bash at her house in Pearl River, N.Y. The town’s fireworks are launched on a field right in front of her house – it’s so close that sometimes the embers rain down on us. It’s a great time filled with lots of food and beer (what better way to celebrate America’s birthday?).

About this writer

  • Leslie Moore Leslie Moore is the editor for Strand Media Group. A 25 year resident of Pawleys Island, she is blessed with a life filled with the love of family and friends and satisfying work to do every day.

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