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My Life in Travel: Richard Aquino

What I love most about the travel industry is how it’s more connected than any other industry in which I’ve worked. That’s one of the reasons we hire sales people from the travel industry and not the insurance industry. Travel has to be in your DNA.

The strangest thing I’ve eaten while traveling would have to be phoenix talons when I was in Hong Kong. The name sounds very exotic, but they’re actually chicken feet; deliciously prepared, of course.

The most enticing souvenir I saw in my travels was a chess set in South Africa. Unfortunately, I didn’t have space in my luggage for it. That gives me a great reason to go back.

The best sunset I’ve ever seen was in Puerto Rico. The contrast of the brilliant sky and the silhouetted rolling hills makes sunsets on the small island of Culebra truly unforgettable and among my favorites.

I never travel without my travel insurance from Allianz Global Assistance.

The best part of my job is the people; I firmly believe there are more passionate people in this industry than any other. I’ve been in the travel industry for nearly 30 years, and I really enjoy helping our clients boost their bottom lines, while providing their customers with travel insurance from an industry leader.

Our company is very excited about the tools we’ve developed for our agent partners, including our award-winning selling tool, AgentMax, and our TravelSmart app for travelers. TravelSmart has some terrific features that make for a better customer experience at every point.

The first thing I do when I arrive in a new city is check out the best bars and eateries. I’m a foodie, and it’s a great way to experience the local culture.
My favorite traveling partners are my wife, Leigh Ann, and our children — Sofia, Reagan, and Finley.

The place I can’t get enough of is Queechy Lake, New York. It may not be well known, but if you’re looking for a place to unwind and take in nature, it’s perfect. And if you enjoy fishing, it’s a great place for that, too.

The most romantic place in the world is the Amalfi Coast. The scenery is breathtaking. And it’s the simple things — driving in a convertible along the coast road, taking a stroll while enjoying a gelato, or sipping a cappuccino in a terraced cafe — that make the Amalfi Coast so romantic.

The closest encounter I had with wildlife occurred when I was diving in Saint Martin and came across an angry barracuda. Fortunately, he went his way and I went mine.

I have many fond memories of going to Ocean City, Maryland, with my parents, brothers and sister when I was growing up. The first vacation memory I have was one of those trips — for Memorial Day — when I was about eight years old.

If I could teleport anywhere right now, it would be to Cape Town, South Africa. The global influences in Cape Town, combined with the availability of fresh local ingredients, make for a food lover’s paradise. Are you sensing a theme here?

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