America, American, Europe, Interviews

Jose Elizondo

1. Where are you originally from (country and city)?


2. Do you currently live in the same place where you were born?


3. What do you do for living?

Two jobs: (1) Speech Recognition Technology engineer, and (2) composer of classical music for orchestra

4. What kind of traveler do you think you are?

Travel has become an integral part of my life. I’m very lucky that my job allows me to integrate this passion for travel into my professional life. I’m a “purposeful” traveler, in the sense that I try to learn a lot about the places I will visit in advance of getting there.

5. What is important for you while traveling and why are you traveling?

Learning about the history and culture of the places I visit is very important to me. Gaining a better understanding of the world is one of the reasons I travel. Making meaningful connections with locals is one of the most fulfilling aspects of travel.

6. What kind of travel advice would you give others?

Be aware, read and talk to knowledgeable locals. What I mean is this: there are some places where you can just show up, walk around and enjoy. There are some other places where a little bit of “preparation” will help you have extraordinary experiences. For example, many tourists visit the Colosseum in Rome and even sit on the benches of the park across from it, without understanding that right under them is one of the largest, most spectacular, influential and important sites you can visit in the city: the Domus Aurea of Nero.

7. What is your next mission/trip?

The sequence and nature of my travel experiences are defined organically. They depend on what projects I’m doing, where my teams are, where performances of my music are taking place, and other life circumstances. Considering I’m at the end of a major trip, I don’t know yet what my next experience will be in the coming months.

8. What is the best place you visited so far?

Without a doubt, Rome is the best place I have had the pleasure of visiting so far.

9. What is a place you want to visit in the future?

I would love to visit Antarctica.

10. What is your favorite place in your home country that you would recommend to others?

In Mexico, it’s difficult to pick a single place to recommend, given that we have so many places that are not only beautiful but full of architectural and archaeological wonders. But if I have to pick one place, that would be the state of Oaxaca.

11. (If answer to Q2 is “No”) What is your favorite place in your current country that you would recommend to others?

I would highly recommend to anyone visiting the United States to not focus only on the famous cities (NYC, LA, etc). Visit the National Parks. Those are the most wonderful places, in my opinion, in the US. In particular, I would recommend the parks in Utah.

12. Do you have any other tips or tricks based on your experience that you wish to share?

I understand travelers that have very limited time and have to spend one or two days per city and move on to the next one. I’ve been in that situation too. Sometimes that’s all you can do, particularly if you don’t think you’ll have an opportunity to see these places again. However, for those travelers that have more flexibility and can choose a different approach, I would recommend choosing an interesting city and spending a meaningful time in it. That way you won’t just have selfies and photos of a place, but you’ll give yourself a chance to experience how people live in that city, get a deeper understanding of the social, cultural, political and historical context, and actually meaningfully affect the way you think about that place.


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