Miss A Columnist

Melissa Curtin covers charity and style related events and loves to cover LA's best in beauty, fashion, and culture. She is an educator who recently returned to the classroom to motivate and inspire third graders at a private school in Pacific Palisades. In 2012, she launched an educational T-shirt line called Wear2learn. When she is not working out, hiking a canyon, or at the beach, she is writing. Her latest dream come true has been travel writing for Johnny Jet.

After teaching in the Maryland public school system for almost a decade, she left the conservative East Coast environment in Washington, DC for West Coast living. Eager for adventure, inner growth, and a new environment, she packed her car and took to the open road on her own landing in her new home - Hollywood, California. As a Connecticut Yankee at heart, she has now lived in Los Angeles for six years surrounded by the stars.

Melissa graduated from Gettysburg College with a double major in psychology and art history. Soon after, she earned a Master's Degree in education. Melissa traveled around the world on Semester at Sea, and earned a Fulbright Scholarship which enabled her to teach in England. A lust for travel and learning has fueled her globe trotting ever since. Some of her favorite destinations are Costa Rica, Thailand, Fiji, Morocco, Vietnam, Belgium, Italy, Sicily, Prague, Egypt, Australia, Greece, and Paris.

Los Angeles has won over her heart. She is constantly taking advantage of what LA LA Land has to offer - new boutiques and restaurants, finding great deals, discovering new hikes and beaches, music, and West Coast fashion.

Travel Expert Johnny Jet Hosts Hot Spots 2012 On The Travel Channel

Travel, my ultimate passion! Maybe it is what you learn on the journey. Maybe it is the interesting people you meet exploring. Maybe it is how you come back to your home with new eyes. Maybe it is the constant yearning to see and experience and be awakened.  Maybe it is the adventure in my bloodlines due to my parents taking me sailing every weekend when I was not even six months old, letting me roll back and forth in a basinet in the galley or nestled between the sail bags. I have been forever changed by my travel experiences and I’m sure you have too.

Photo credit: www.johnnyjet.com

One of my favorite go-to travel experts is someone I have followed for many years – John E. DiScala otherwise known as Johnny Jet.  Johnny’s older brother attorney Frank DiScala gave me a JohnnyJet hat in my driveway in Connecticut some time around 1998.  Since then, I have been reading Johnny Jet’s online website and following his adventures and travel tips.  Johnny Jet’s newly revamped travel website unveiled itself this past week just days after his first show “Hot Spots 2012” aired on The Travel Channel, followed by his proposal to his longtime girlfriend. What a way to start 2012!

Originally from Connecticut, Johnny lives in Manhatten Beach, CA when his feet are on the ground and he is not traipsing all over the world.  Not only does Johnny Jet’s newly revamped website give you a host of travel stories and suggestions, but you can also buy airline tickets on his website.  Johnny Jet is consistently featured in print and broadcast media (ABC, CNN, MSNBC, among others) as one of the foremost experts in world travel, guaranteeing his readers/listeners/viewers will save money by following his clever travel tips.  Recently, I used his site to help me prepare for a mini getaway to Catalina Island.

Johnny Jet is hosting his first special every Sunday on the Travel Channel.  Opening on January 1, you can continue to catch him every

Photo credit: www.johnnyjet.com

Sunday, but also check listings at www.travelchannel.com to catch the times of previous episodes.  During the one-hour special, Johnny Jet uncovers the hottest travel destinations for 2012 sharing insider tips that someone who only travels over 150,000 miles and visits more than 20 countries a year would know.  Johnny explores New Zealand, Belize, England, Canada, New York, and Necker Island (Sir Richard Branson’s private domain in the British Virgin Islands).  Johnny also visits 5-star hotels currently under construction, including The Conrad (New York), The Four Seasons (Toronto), Trump Tower (Toronto), and The Black Swan (New Zealand).  Johnny Jet also delights you with first looks at the new Harry Potter Studio in London, the Titanic Museum in Southampton, the 9/11 Museum in New York City, as well as Virgin Galactic’s Spaceport America—the very first commercial spaceport built exclusively for passenger use.

You may also enjoy following Johnny Jet’s daily escapades around the globe on Facebook.

Photo credit: www.johnnyjet.com

Here are some burning questions I asked Johnny Jet:

1) What are the top travel destinations you recommend for single people in their 30s or 40s?

Pretty much the whole world! It all depends on their budget and their interests. But New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, India, Brazil, Italy, France, and Spain jump out as must see places.

2) What are the top travel destinations you recommend for families?

For international travel, I would recommend New Zealand, Fiji, England, Canada, British Virgin Islands, Belize, Costa Rica.  Those places would be at the top of my list.

3) What are the top travel destinations you recommend for a honeymoon?

Bora Bora and Moorea, if you can afford it. If not, Cook Islands or Pangkor Laut Island in Malaysia. I also would suggest a Seabourn Cruise.

4) What surprised you the most when filming your show for The Travel Channel? Have you already visited the places you highlight on the show? Which place was your favorite and why?

I visited all of them but Queenstown, Necker Island, and the spaceport in New Mexico. My favorite was Necker Island because of it’s beauty but since I can’t afford it, my second favorite location would be Belize. It’s so amazing to see Mayan ruins and basically have the place to yourself.

5) What are some of your best tips on booking an affordable flight? What are your best travel tips?

Be flexible! Don’t travel peek days and hours. Also check alternate airports and partner airlines.

6) Since you have been pretty much everywhere on the globe, what is one location you hope to visit that you have not been in 2012? Why?

Egypt, the Great Wall, and Bali! I have thoroughly romanticized them since I was a child and it’s time I go visit them.

If you have not traveled, you have not lived.  Travel doesn’t have to mean getting on an airplane; it can mean exploring in your own state.  Safe travels!




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