Timothy Mattox’s ongoing love affair with radio and television since his youth and a desire to see the world manifested itself in the form of U.S. Navy bell bottoms and the Department of Defense. As a Defense Information-trained broadcast journalist and photographer, he has gone from the Far East Network in Tokyo, through the jungles of Central America, across Southern Europe to a posting as the Chief of Radio and Television Sports for the American Forces Network.
He also wrote, voiced and produced the AFRTS music series, ‘The Straight, Natural Blues’ portions of which now reside in the Library of Congress. He has written blues biographical features and taken photographs that have been published in multiple national and international magazines. Retiring from the Department of Defense in 2012, Tim still writes about blues for magazines, newspapers and online and enjoys woodworking and gardening.
1. What are your top 5 best places to travel – WHY do they make your list?
Central Japan – Onsens (hot springs and multiple course meals and therapeutic rejuvenation) mountains, scenic beauty. Seasonal… colorful.
Hawaii – Ho hum just another shitty day in paradise!
New Orleans – Food and music and art. Cemeteries.
Paris – Walking and city transportation easy. Museums and historical and cultural overloads.
Italy – Lived here 3 years. Walkable, cultural, friendly people and the FOOD! Gastronomical excellence.
2. What is your favorite food in each country that you visit? WHY?
Japan – Katsu-don – fresh sashimi
Italy – Pasta and pizza
New Orleans – Gumbo and redfish
Paris – Street crepes and omelets and red wine.
Why? Self explanatory
3. What is it that you enjoy the most when you visit a new destination?
Exploring the culture and sight-seeing. Taking photographs. Connection to local humans.
4. What are your best tips when preparing to travel?
Pack light and versatile clothing. Don’t be ugly American. Respect cultures. Learn polite, respectful words in their language.
5. What are your best practices re: currency? Do you suggest wearing a money belt?
Carry only small amounts of cash, no flashy jewelry, watches. Comfortable walking shoes.
6. How do you get by with the language barrier?
Try to study up. Apps available for translation. Smile a lot.
7. What countries would you avoid – and WHY?
The obvious… Syria. No. Korea, war torn or high violence areas… the hotel will warn you about these.
8. What airline do you like the most – with so many to choose from, how and why did you reach THIS decision?
JAL and Singapore airlines. Hot towels and service is tremendous even in the cattle car seating.
9. Favorite film
Casablanca, Waking Ned Devine
10. Favorite travel guide
WestwaysSEE T.E. MATTOX’S POSTS HERE