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Vicky Sosa has literally has a passport since before she could walk, and had always dreamed of traveling the world.  As a child she would flip through encyclopedias (yes, those things people used before that Google machine came along) and see photographs of destinations like Egypt, vowing that one day she would be there to see it for herself.

Now a world traveler, Vicky has fulfills her childhood dream of experiencing the world firsthand everyday. Though she doesn’t travel alone. Accompanying her on every journey is a unique companion, the world’s first traveling monkey!

Buddy the Traveling Monkey is a stuffed companion who pops up with Vicky around the globe, inspiring others, especially children, to develop a passion for the world just as Vicky did all those years ago.

What do you love the most about travelling?

Wow, where do I begin? I love the excitement of seeing something new or going somewhere that you’d always seen pictures of. I love learning about different cultures and seeing how differently people act in different societies.

People always say they learn better by doing versus reading or hearing. I think this especially applies to travel. You can read all about something in a book or online, but it’s a totally different thing to experience it yourself.

Balinese Dancing

People learn better by doing versus reading or hearing. Learning Balinese dance moves.

What inspired you to start travelling?

I’ve been dreaming of seeing the world since I was little. I would go through our encyclopaedias and see pictures of places like Egypt and tell myself that one day I would travel the world.

It also helped that I had family in Guatemala that I visited often, so the idea of having a passport and getting on a plane wasn’t a huge stretch for me. It’s crazy to me that most Americans don’t have a passport.

 Who is “Buddy the Traveling Monkey”?

Buddy is a stuffed monkey who has been with me for a couple of years now. I went to a Miami Dolphins football game and on my way out I stopped by the souvenir shop and saw him.

It was one of those moments where he was just too cute and something told me I couldn’t leave without him. He’s been my buddy ever since and has seen me through both good times and bad.

Traveling Monkey

Vicky and Buddy.

 Tell us about some of Buddy’s monkey business around the world to date.

Buddy’s first big trip was to Bali, and he had a lot of fun soaking in the sun on Kuta Beach. Though he has traveled extensively throughout the US too.

Most recently, he spent some time in Europe, and took some new buddies with him to inspire children to grow up wanting to discover and learn about the world in which we live, and inspire our youngest generation with a desire to travel the world.

 Why is Buddy the ultimate travel companion?

The most obvious answer is he loves to cuddle. He also doesn’t complain that his feet hurt when we’re out exploring for hours on end, and he doesn’t eat much!!

You have a segment on your blog called “Monkey Mondays” – share with us some interesting facts about monkeys around the world.

In Central and South America, during mosquito season, capuchin monkeys crush up millipedes and rub the remains over their bodies. This acts as a natural bug repellent.

In Southeast Asia, there are siamangs that drink water by dipping their fury hand into water or rubbing a hand on wet leaves and then slurping up the water from their fur.

Siamang Monkeys

Hanging with Siamangs in Zoo Miami

Which has been your favourite monkey encounter around the world to date?

Definitely our encounter with long-tailed macaques in Monkey Forest, Bali. I can look back and laugh at it now, but at the time I was pretty scared! I had stopped to take a picture of a monkey and next thing I knew, he had climbed up my leg and onto my shoulder and was trying to take my bag!!

His nails were digging into me though as I yelled for help, everyone around just stared not knowing what to do. I was finally able to shake him off to the point where he ran away.

I was pretty shaken up, but at least now I have a cool story to tell!

How do you afford to travel – are you rich?!

Hell no! I can afford to travel because I have priorities. I would rather spend a few hundred dollars on a plane ticket than on a fancy watch or designer jeans.

One thing which you don’t like about travelling?

The only thing I don’t like about traveling is that feeling you get when you’ve come home. It’s a sadness only those bitten by the travel bug know.

The only thing that makes it better is researching and figuring out where your next adventure will be.

Monkey in airport

Time to figure out where our next adventure will be! How about Chicago??

Biggest cultural shock you have experienced while travelling?

I hate to say it, but while I was in Buenos Aires, Argentina I had a few experiences where people were very rude.

I had always heard people say that Argentinians were snobby and thought very highly of themselves, and unfortunately my experience was the same. Of course though you don’t let something like that stop you from having a good time.

Funniest or most embarrassing travel moment?

I mentioned I was attacked by a monkey right??!

Buddy the Traveling Monkey

Monkey Business in New York.

Three things you can’t travel without (besides Buddy)?

  • My camera. I’m not the best photographer in the world, and I’m always trying to get better, but I will stop and take a picture of just about everything I can.
  • My itinerary. I like to have a list of the major things I’d like to do or see, so I usually make myself an itinerary with addresses, closing times, etc.
  • Gum. I like to have minty fresh breath.

 Which destinations are at the top of your bucket list?

Everywhere! But seriously, Iceland has always been at the top of my bucket list. The Pyramids of Giza, the Taj Mahal, and Greece are pretty high up there too.

Buddy the Traveling Monkey

Already ticked off the list – Mt. Rushmore!

Most practical piece of advice for those planning travel?

Do your research. Don’t just look at one website for flights or one blog for advice. Really look around and get as much information as you can about where you want to go.

Why should people travel?

Because it helps you to grow and show empathy towards others. I believe that people who travel have a more open mind and are less judgemental because they see that things are done differently all over the world.

Instead of saying something is “weird” you end up saying “huh, that’s different.”

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Vicky Sosa has literally has a passport since before she could walk, and has always dreamed of traveling the world.

Her first real chance to travel came after she joined the US military; stationed in Europe for three years she was able to visit a number of countries from her post. So far she has been to over 20 countries across five continents, though is nowhere near finished.

Her blog, Buddy the Traveling Monkey, is aimed at showing people that travel is possible, even with ongoing responsibilities like work and school. Her main aim is to inspire more of the world to travel, especially kids!

Follow Vicky and Buddy on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

    28 Comments

  1. What a great interview! I follow Buddy on Facebook and always enjoy keeping up with his adventures, but it was cool to learn some more about him (and Vicky). And I suddenly want a set of encyclopedias also! They were so much fun to flip through!! Lol

    • Glad you enjoyed it Cory! Encyclopedias really are so much fun to flip through – I remember doing that as a child as well. Sadly a stack of Encyclopedias seems to be missing from each house-hold nowadays with the web!

  2. Nice! I love Vicky’s blog and her mission to inspire children to travel. She’s just an all-around fun person and this interview proves it!

    • She absolutely is! And it’s so great that there are travelers out there with the aim to inspire a new generation!

  3. This is such a cute story! I love that she started a series to tell fun facts about monkeys, such a creative way to tie it all together. I travel with an inflatable dinosaur, too! It’s fun taking photos with him in funny situations around the world. :)

    • So cool that you also travel with a companion – inflatable dinosaur sounds fun! Especially because he would be able to join you for water adventures as well! You could get such cute photos in places like the Galapagos!

  4. LOL! Love your mascot. It is so great to see that you are living your dream. Boy you sure figured out what you wanted to do at a very tender age. What an inspiration. I am sure buddy is having as much fun also.

    • I always say wanderlust is one of the hopeful symptoms of life – and if we can inspire it in kids, then all the better for it! So inspired by Vikcy also – she’s a truly great gal!

  5. i love reading about what Vicky and Buddy are up to next. I feel inspired to travel when I see how many places you’ve been able to see and what you’ve done. I keep thinking to myself one day I’ll post my pics from my travels. Thanks you two!

    • So glad you’re inspired Vicki!! Let us know when you do get your pics and stories up, would love to hear about your travels :)

  6. Great interview! I’m currently in Guatemala and am wondering if that natural mosquito repellent works here, or only in South America?! Good idea to have a stuffed mascot to inspire kids to have a passion for travel.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Cheers!

    • Glad you enjoyed it Dariece! Not sure about the natural mosquito repellent – though I guess there’s only one way to find out!!

  7. Great interview. I love that monkey, he is adorable!

    • Glad you enjoyed it Christine – that he is!!

  8. Yep! Great interview! Yep Iceland is on my list of places as well. That monkey looks a lot nicer than some of the ones I’ve come across in SE Asia!

    • I’ve heard about the monkeys in SE Asia being particularly violent and who enjoy dabbling in heavy theft lol. I ran into a few in South America as well who gave it a go at stealing our camera equipment – never trust a monkey lol

  9. Buddy looks a lot more friendly like the monkeys that ganged up on me in South Africa – at a resort yet. You are not alone in your monkey attack! Great interview.

    • Sounds like monkeys are ganging up on people all over the world!! I had a monkey attack of my own in South America when Amazonian Squirrel Monkeys tried to steal our GoPro. I’m telling you, they’re going to take over the world lol!

  10. Such a lovely entertaining post! Vicky’s adorable and Buddy looks like the perfect companion for a night out partying ahahah. Might just have to get myself a stuffed traveling friend as well :P

    • Glad you enjoyed it Joao! We should all start a new travel trend – I love my stuffed friends :D!

  11. Great interview!Vicky – I hope you make it to Greece… You will love it!

    • Glad you enjoyed it Dave! Happy travels!

  12. Vicky has a great idea about inspiring children to travel! She’s very creative, such as Monkey Mondays. Great interview! (:

    • Glad you enjoyed it Stacey – absolutely, such a great way to approach inspiring kids to travel!

  13. I really enjoyed reading about Vicky’s companion and her goal to inspire kids to travel. Buddy the Traveling Monkey was a brilliant idea for sure as well as a great way to stand out in the travel blogosphere. High five on a great interview, Meg.

    • Thanks Linda – so glad you enjoyed the interview! It’s always fun for me to chat to different travelers and hear about how they’re changing the world, so I love to then share their stories with everyone else as well :)

      Happy travels!

    • You’re most very welcome! Thanks for a great interview!

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