Samantha’s career as a television travel host happened by accident. A producer spotted her work in a commercial and recommended her to the Travel Channel in 1999 to audition for a new show being developed called “Great Vacation Homes”.
The audition almost did not happen. Samantha missed her first audition in Jacksonville, Florida after she failed to make a connecting flight. Thankfully, it was rescheduled again for a week later. Her initial flight the second time was also delayed, and Samantha had just five minutes to make her connecting flight. She sprinted to the gate and arrived 10 minutes after the final boarding call.
A sympathetic attendant encouraged Samantha to try to board the plane, so she continued her run on the tarmac toward the small, 50-seater jet located about 100 feet away. A dispatcher interrupted her sprint, telling her it was too late to board.
Breaking down and through tears she told the dispatcher she had been waiting on tables for eight years hoping for a dream job like this. He relented, and told her only the flight’s pilot could overrule his decision. As the dispatcher boarded the plane and explained the situation to the cockpit, Samantha ran the 100 feet and positioned herself under the nose of the plane. She looked up at the captain, opened her arms pleadingly and shouted “PLEASE!!!!” He let her on the plane, she got the job.
Over the last 20+ years, Samantha has traveled around the world visiting over 250 cities in 62 countries and 40 of the United States creating over 160 hours of programming (and counting). After all of that traveling she reluctantly accepts her title as a travel expert, preferring jokingly the more humble title of Travel Goddess.
- Keynote Information
Wednesday, March 13, 2024
Location: Center Stage