How I Travel: Susie Floros

Susie Floros: Shredding Across the Globe

Susie Floros has what’s likely to be one of the planet’s most enviable jobs: managing the Women’s Team for Burton Snowboards. One of the many perks of her post is getting to travel around the world for contests, photo & film shoots and business meetings on the company credit card. Through these trips and her personally funded adventures in the surf and snow she has gleaned an incredible amount of travel insight, which she generously agreed to share with us this week. Her thoughts speak to the joys of travel while also revealing the contrast so often present in the lives of vagabonds: a deep appreciation for the comforts of home.

More than just an advocate for women’s snowboarding, Susie is a passionate citizen of the world who exudes positivity. She can be found online at the Burton Snowboards website and you can see more of her travel photography on her Flickr Page. Also be sure to follow her tweets at Twitter/susiefloros.

Lastly, Susie and many of her friends support the inspiring efforts of professional snowboarder Kevin Pearce as he recovers from a head injury sustained while training for the Olympics. Show Kevin you’re rooting for him by becoming one of his well-wishers too!


My parents drove everywhere.

Being an only child had its perks. I’d sprawl out across the backseat and go wherever the road brought us. We’d drive from Rhinebeck, New York down the east coast to the Jersey Shore, North Carolina or Florida for family vacations. My parents love camping, so we’d camp a lot too. They’ve been my biggest influences and inspiration. They recently retired, sold their home & belongings and hit the open road!

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Blotto, Kelly and Natasza are 3 travelers I admire.

Blotto (Burton’s principal photographer) is one of the most meticulous people I know which translates into an incredibly efficient, productive and on-point traveler. Kelly Clark [World Champion snowboarder] impresses me with her travel skills too. Super organized, always on time and runs a tight scene. Natasza Zurek [Canadian snowboarding star] is minimalist style. Nat only brings what’s necessary for each trip and is incredibly decisive.

I snowboard as much as possible on trips.

There’s a lot of standing around at contests, but I always try to take laps and get my shred on when time allows. This season I got some of the best powder days of the season at Park City during the Grand Prix. There were two night comps back to back and the US Olympic Team was being decided there. In a rare turn of events the riders were resting & preparing for the contest all day while the team management crew got to ride powder!

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Having a relationship has been a challenge for me with this lifestyle…

I need to figure out that missing puzzle piece. Ideally I will find a guy who loves snowboarding, surfing, music, nature, healthy living, family, friends and travel as much as I do!

Japan is one of my favorite places.

It is such an incredibly different culture from what I’m used to and I love being submerged in its eccentricity. The snow in Niseko is the best I have ridden and the energy in Tokyo and Shibuya is off the hook. I feel like I’m on a different planet when I visit Japan. One of the best things about working for Burton has been traveling to Japan. I enjoy getting to hang with the Japanese riders too. Kazu, Yuki & Rana are all-time.

Lost In Translation is a beautiful film that really captures the essence of Japan. . .

and the emotion one can feel while traveling so far from home.

I know that my carbon footprint is a big one due to all of my travel.

So when I’m at home I hope that by living consciously and with intention I can minimalize some of that. Living in Vermont has heightened my awareness and desire to live as green as possible. When I’m home I eat local and organic foods, supporting local business and farmers. I recently moved into Burlington from Bolton, which will significantly cut down on driving. I now ride my bike to work and almost everywhere else I need to go in town.

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We stay in all types of accommodations on the road.

From nice mountain houses, to condos, hotels, apartments, you name it. Sometimes I get a nice, comfortable room all to myself, sometimes I sleep on the couch so a rider can get a bed. My 1st choice always is to stay in a nice clean house, with a modern kitchen, a fridge stocked with healthy food, wireless, wine and good company.

My friend and co-worker Liam Griffin taught me the trick to jetlag.

You have to accept the time zone you’re in when you land and not even think about the time change… Coffee helps too.

“Wherever you go, there you are.”

So true! This quote speaks to the value of staying true to yourself and having integrity no matter where you are in the world. If you’re not comfortable “here” you’re not going to comfortable “there” and vice versa.

Mountains, oceans and cities are the draw for my travel.

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The most humbling travel experience I had was learned after a vacation to Bali.

I traveled there last minute in 2007 to meet up with my friend Christy Chaloux. The whole intention of this trip was to surf as much as possible every day, eat healthy, rest and recharge before the snow season started. It was an awesome experience until ironically I got the sickest I have ever been in my life on the way home. I was curled up in a ball in the Tokyo Narita airport and could barely move, and couldn’t keep any food down.

Long story short, soon after I returned home I was admitted to Fletcher Allen Hospital in Burlington the day before Thanksgiving. I spent that Thanksgiving in the hospital and a couple weeks after being released I caught pneumonia, followed by an odd series of health issues. The doctors thought I had Ciguatera Fish Poisoning but I was never fully diagnosed. I was beat down from the end of 2007 until about summer of 2008. I was still traveling for work that season and trying to do the best job possible, but health issues definitely took a lot of energy out of me. I had to have jaw surgery and my wisdom teeth out that spring too.

In the end, going through this was a huge lesson learned. I should have been more prepared and got the proper shots before my travels. I also learned that I didn’t need to travel far on a vacation to relax when I travel so much for work. This lesson has been life changing and has made me appreciate health & home time in Vermont even more.

I lived without it for a long time…But there’s no way I’d leave home without my iPhone.

It’s the most useful travel tool I own.

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No matter where I go it’s always nice to come home, wherever that home may be!

Downtime getting grounded again, relaxation & rejuvenation are key to being ready for the next adventure.

I love trying different foods when I travel.

I used to be vegan, but now consider myself a conscious meat eater. I eat local as much as possible and adhere to my own ethics and guidelines regarding food choices on the road. Fruit, veggies and water are key. I love learning about cultures through their unique foods and ways of preparing and sharing meals.

Traveling for snowboarding, I do not travel light.

That said, I still try to travel as light as possible and am constantly evolving and trying to refine what I bring. I usually travel with a Burton Wheelie Gig board bag, Burton Wheelie Cargo bag and a Burton Zoom Pack.

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The first place I eat when I get home is American Flatbread or Daily Planet in Burlington.

Both are amazing. Nothing like fresh Vermont food and a local brew to welcome you home.

Music is an essential part of travel & life.

I try to see shows on the road whenever I can and always have my computer, iPod and iPhone with me & stocked with my favorite tunes for flights, car rides, etc…

The best experience I had seeing a show on the road was Björk in Tokyo.

I was lucky enough to be on her guest list and invited to the after party. The whole experience was surreal. She’s one of my all-time favorite artists and has a kindred travel spirit. I think she’s amazing and her voice is one of the most beautiful and powerful I’ve ever heard. This lyric from Björk’s song “Hunter” says it all: “If travel is searching/ and home what’s been found/ I’m not stopping/ I’m going hunting/ I’m the hunter/ I’ll bring back the goods/ but I don’t know when.”

Traveling with the Burton crew has been amazing.

We do not travel like a soccer team or any other organized sports team. Our promo tour is somewhat of an exception. For the most part everyone travels from their respective homes around the world and we meet up in amazing mountain regions for photo shoots, contests and meetings. It’s an awesome gig that I am super thankful for. I love traveling this way.

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Travel is in my veins.

I crave new experiences and seeing the world. I hope to make an impact preserving the environment in the future too. The more of the world I see, the more aware I become. This last year has been extremely eye opening from the downturn of the economy to all the earthquakes, tsunamis, the volcano eruption in Iceland, the documentary “The Cove” bringing to light the unethical fishing industry in Taiji, Japan and now the tragic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Being able to travel is a privilege—–now is the time for everyone to do their part to preserve this world we are lucky enough to live in.

“How I Travel” is a new BootsnAll series publishing every Tuesday in an effort to look at the unique and diverse travel habits of some of the world’s most well known and proficient road warriors. Got ideas for who we should talk to? Drop us a note.

You’ll find links to all the “How I Travel” articles on the How I Travel archive page, you can become a fan of “How I Travel” on Facebook, and you can follow the @howitravel profile on Twitter to get updates as soon as new features in this series are published.

all photographs provided by Susie Floros, Dave Thomas, Chris Wellhausen, and Cory McDonald and may not be used without permission

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