Mystery Traveler Q&A: Tony Austin

Ever wondered if mystery travel is for you? Read on to hear about Tony’s mystery trip experience—and check out the first three installments in our Mystery Traveler Q&A series to find out about Ariana and Brett’s mystery long weekend, Cheryl’s mystery birthday trip, and Dave and Jaclyn’s mystery honeymoon.

For Memorial Day, Tony Austin was looking for a long weekend getaway. When he showed up to the Shreveport airport on Friday morning, he opened his travel packet and learned he was headed to…San Antonio, Texas!
Missions
MMT: How did you discover the option of mystery travel, and what made you decide to go for it?
Tony: I was searching the Internet for some type of different vacation. I found the MMT website and was drawn in. My favorite TV show is the Amazing Race, and this was probably as close to that as I would ever be able to get.

Was the destination a complete surprise?
Yes. I have always wanted to go to San Antonio, but every time I plan a trip, I end up going somewhere else, so this was a perfect choice for me.

What did you think when you opened the packet at the airport?
When I began to open the envelope, there were so many emotions: happy, nervous, scared, excited. My adrenaline was pumping. I had so many people waiting for me to post on RiverwalkFacebook where I was going.

What’s it like to pack for a trip and head to the airport without knowing where you’re going?
Actually, it was very nice. I knew I was going for a long weekend, and eating at an upscale restaurant was not at the top of my list, so when I got the email saying the temperature was going to be high 70s to mid-80s, I knew that meant shorts and T-shirts and walking shoes. So that made me very happy. Since I had no expectations of where I was going, it was easier to pack.

Tell me about your trip! What were your favorite memories?
When I got the email telling me the weather, it said possible thunderstorms. I got to San Antonio, though, and the weather was overcast but very nice. I took a couple tours and went to the zoo. Of course I went to the Alamo, but the one memory that will always stand out is I decided to have a nice steak dinner at one of the outside cafés on the Riverwalk. I was enjoying my meal when out of the blue came this loud clap of thunder, and the rain came down in buckets within a matter of seconds. There was no place to “run into,” so I just sat there in the pouring rain enjoying my meal. LOL. Those are the types of memories I cherish, and I think that is what MMT is all about: rolling with the punches and having fun no matter what. My motto is “it is what it is.”

What do you like most about mystery travel?
I am a Zoophotographer and have a tendency to gravitate to the same places over and over because I know where the good shots are. This got me out of my comfort zone and gave me a chance to photograph things I had not seen before. I love adventure, and not having a clue where you are going is probably one of the greatest adventures you can do these days.

Why should other travelers try a mystery trip?
This is not just about the travel, but all the fun you will have leading up to the trip. For a month before I left, my family and coworkers would keep guessing where I was going, and every day we would talk about ‘what if you go here’ or ‘what if you go there.’ We had so much fun talking and guessing. The day of my departure I had to post a video of where I was going so everyone would know. For anyone reading this and debating about taking a mystery trip, all I can say is DO IT…you will not be disappointed.

Interested in a mystery trip? Just fill out a questionnaire to get the process started!

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