By Nicole Brewer
Hello globetrotters and happy April! I’m happy to bring to your our April Globe-Trotter of the Month Tony Kypreos, who is currently based in Philly. He has not only traveled the world, but is a fusion of different cultures himself and knows the importance of travel. He has the luxury to travel for both work and pleasure. We’re happy to have him as a new addition to the iluv2globetrot travel community. Check out our interview below with Tony and get to know him better. Happy globetrotting GTs!
Can you tell the I Luv 2 Globe Trot community a little about yourself (where are you from, what do you do, where are you currently based, hobbies etc).
Hi Globe Trot community! Thanks a lot for including me in the group. I was happy to find the group and I am excited to be a member. My name is Tony Kypreos and I am from Philadelphia, PA, United States. That is the city I was born and also where I currently live now. I currently work for my own business called Axion Financial Group. Our firm is a niche investment advisory firm working with high net worth clients and their families.
I was exposed to traveling at an early age as my parents are from Europe (my father from Greece, my mother from England). Due to that, many summers were spent in both nations visiting family, as well as other countries nearby (mostly Europe as a child before 18 years old). That is one reason why I love travel and will always love it. It has been in my blood since a young age.
My biggest and most loved hobby is traveling and all the great learning opportunities that come with it (meeting and making friends from other countries, learning and trying to improve my foreign language skills, cooking and eating a diverse culinary mix, listening to and finding international music, learning about the history of nations and exploring the diverse educational opportunities that result from traveling around the world).
Outside of travel a few things I like to do are: to play tennis, to play golf, do charity work in my community and watch European league soccer.
How many countries have you traveled to?
I have visited 35 nations as of March 2015 throughout my life. My definition of visited means spending time outside of the airport (I could add many more countries if only the airport counted! haha).
I have traveled to Europe, North Africa, South Asia, and South America.
I have never been to Far East Asia or South East Asia.
I have spent extended periods of time in a handful of nations including my home nation USA, such as England, Spain, Greece, Chile and Bulgaria and many countries that I have visited I have been lucky to visit more than once.
What is your dream destination and why? (Think bucket list destinations).
One place that I would be very interested to visit is Rwanda. I am really interested in the economic growth story of that nation and I would be very interested to have the chance to one day to visit Rwanda if the opportunity presents itself.
What made you decide to live an expat lifestyle abroad?
While I have lived abroad for extended periods before (for example I was in Madrid, Spain and Santiago, Chile for my post graduate degree in the years 2008-2010), I currently do not live outside of my home nation. However due to the nature of my work, I do have the fortunate opportunity to travel for both business/pleasure which makes me extremely happy as I love to travel and the chance to blend business opportunity/my personal passion of travel is a great blessing.
What are some challenges you have faced trotting the globe?
One of my biggest globetrotting challenges (and joys) is found attempting to navigate the sometimes complex cities of the world via their local transportation systems! I will never forget the experiences of taking a rickshaw in the center of Mumbai or riding a 15 hour overnight ferry boat in Greece or taking a 25 hour bus from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Santiago Chile.
In my opinion, one of the best ways to experience a place is through the local transportation systems! I would highly recommend it.
Where was your most recent travel destination you trotted to?
I recently traveled to Cyprus for an international investment conference in February of 2015 which I was invited to for my work.
Cyprus is a beautiful country with excellent food, history and culture and I would highly recommend it if you get a chance! I was very impressed with the country.
Which, if any, foreign languages do you speak?
I speak English as it is my native language. I speak a moderate Greek and Spanish and would like to start another conversational language at some point also.
My biggest regret as a globetrotter was waiting too long to take foreign language learning seriously (I started learning my first foreign language at 23 years old), but my experience can also show as an example that it is never too late to learn a foreign language and follow your dreams if you are willing to work for them!)
What do you have planned for yourself next? (Any projects you’d like to promote, etc). Would you ever consider the expat lifestyle to assist with your globe-trotting?
My major “project” is my investment advisory firm that I started in 2010. www.axionfinancial.com I founded the firm to offer a unique investment advisory service to a select limited group of high net worth clients. My goal for the firm is to offer a unique service that was not being offered by the large wealth management firms such as the large banks and brokerage firms. The firm has been growing due to referrals in our community and my goal is to continue to grow our firm over the next five years.
I would consider temporary periods of living abroad and at the very least continuing to travel the world for business/pleasure throughout the rest of my life. I also dream to pass down to my future children the passion of travel and looking at the world from a global multi- dimensional perspective.
What are some words of wisdom you would like to give to future inspiring globe-trotters and expats?
I have a few things that I would like to say to fellow or aspiring globe trotters/expats.
1) In today’s globalized and digitally connected world there are endless opportunities to work/study/travel outside of your home country. I would highly recommend it as I fully believe that in today’s international economy nothing is more valuable than having an international outlook and perspective, which can only be gained by first hand “authentic”
2) I think it is extremely important when you travel to travel in a way that gives you the more “local experience.” It is important to go outside of the “mainstream tourist” areas and really try to experience a local flavor of the place in which you are living/studying/traveling in. Every travel experience should be a chance to gain some immersion into a new culture/language/outlook. Every international experience either short or long term should be one of learning and moving “outside of your comforts and typical daily experiences”. In my experience, the more you do this, the more value you can really extract from every international travel experience.