Unmasking the Gators: Iceland, Kayaks, and Adventures

Mairead Baker, Jordan Benton, Cami Sincer and Jeff Cutaio of Business Affairs are world travelers. When they venture out of the states, they enjoy exploring a variety of foods, landscapes, and cultures. While Cami, Jeff, and Mairead share a love for exploration, they each have a unique approach to travel.

Jeff Cutaio, Application Developer Analyst for Business Affairs, recently ventured to Iceland! He has also travelled to the Bahamas, Mexico, and Australia. With such an extensive list of destinations, one might assume that Jeff’s favorite place would be somewhere abroad. However, Jeff says his favorite place to visit is right here in the states.

“Chicago was the very first place I ever travelled to as a kid, so it gets full credit for sparking my love for travel. My favorite Chicago destination is still the Navy Pier because I was obsessed with the Ferris Wheel when I was little,” writes Jeff Cutaio.

Jeff’s favorite part of travel is the cuisine. He says that “anything you ever eat in Chicago is wonderful because it’s just so diverse. But my slightly embarrassing favorite Chicago cuisine is actually a slice of Cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory (again, because childhood memories are super powerful).”

While travelling outside of the states, Jeff explained that the best food he had was in Australia. “Everything there is giant, and the food was no exception. The first thing I had as soon as I got off the plane was this humongous cheeseburger, and it’s by far the best burger I’ve ever had.”

Australia is the next travel destination for another Gator world traveler. Cami Stincer, Assistant Director for Athletics at the O’Connell Center, says she wants to go to the southern hemisphere for her next trip.

“I am trying to determine where I should go first. Right now, I am leaning towards Tasmania, Australia. I’d love to hike throughout the island, kayak along the coast, and hopefully see the wildlife unique to Tasmania,” Cami Stincer writes.

Cami likes to explore the natural scenery whenever she travels. She states that, “A vacation isn’t a vacation without time on the water. I plan most of my trips around finding the best places to kayak. I’ve kayaked through the middle of large cities like Dublin and Austin, but I love seeing remote areas.”

The number one travel destination for Cami Stincer is Croatia. According to her, “the one, small country (Croatia) really has everything – mountains, coastlines, waterfalls, and historic cities – all within proximity to each other.” She also explained how the coastlines were the most beautiful that she had ever seen in all her travels.

Mairead Baker, the Associate Director of Finance and Information Technology at TAPS (Transportation and Parking Services), also enjoys exploring the scenery and culture of places she visits. She explained that she likes to plan out her trips so she can see places of interest. “However, receiving information from locals can allow for opportunities that I might not have known about,” Mairead explains.

Croagh Patrick in Ireland is Mairead’s favorite place that she has traveled to. She states, “it is a pilgrimage to St. Patrick. The hike is only a half of a mile, but it is a steep climb with loose rocks and slippery ground. Standing on top of the mountain in the Irish mist with my family is one of my fonder memories.”

Although Cami, Jeff, and Mairead have all had different experiences while traveling, there is one thing they have in common. No, it is not Iceland. It is the fact that they are all looking forward to new adventures.