Get Lost — Sometimes it is best to discover new places on your own. One of my best recommendations is to detour along side streets instead of sticking to the main streets /touristy squares. The further away you walk from the touristy spots, the greater the local vibe. I personally find myself stepping into local grocery stores and I take my time combing through the aisles.

Aspart of my series about “How To Create A Travel Experience That Keeps People Coming Back For More”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Vanessa Gordon.

Vanessa Gordon is the CEO and Publisher of East End Taste Magazine, a digital sustainable travel and food publication based in the Hamptons in New York. Vanessa is also the Founder and Host of the Hamptons Interactive Brunch. She lives in Sag Harbor with her husband and two children.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

East End Taste began in the Hamptons on Long Island and expanded into international travel coverage in the autumn of 2018. It was at that time I realized as the head of a young media company that we needed to permanently expand outside of regional/East End of Long Island coverage. Prior to then, we had only expanded into the NYC/tristate/New England region. But there was a desire to learn about destinations around the world that had perhaps a similar aesthetic to the Hamptons.

With time, we naturally gravitated to regions across the world, from the Algarve to Cornwall, UK that provided a similar upscale escape like the Hamptons did. In short, the Hamptons only has so much to cover in a limited period. With regular international coverage, I knew there was so much more we could do and with that an even greater audience. Now, a significant percentage of our readership is in Ireland and in the UK. In essence, we now bring the world to the Hamptons, and the Hamptons to the world.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

One of the most interesting stories is when I began my temporary residence in the United Kingdom with my family. What started out as planning a week-long getaway with my family and to help me become more acquainted with the UK, turned into a six-week familiarization trip with southern England and the Wild Atlantic Way and southern coast of Ireland. I originally formed solid relationships with individuals in the travel and tourism industry while I was in Ireland for the first time in the summer of 2019 and while in London a couple of years prior. These individuals invited me back to visit new and up-and-coming hotel properties, new restaurants, and new tourism programs aimed at travelers from New York/specific demographics that matched East End Taste’s target audience and readership. For me, travel is always awe-inspiring, there is always something new to learn and be inspired by, and the people you meet along the way continue to shape and teach us knowledge that we would never learn by remaining in one place. If I could recommend anything to anyone, it would be to never stop traveling and never stop exploring. Keeping an open mind is all-the-more important now more than ever.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

It is a silly and simple as always having cash/access to cash on you no matter what. While traveling through the countryside of England just a few years ago in 2019, I assumed that payments were automatically streamlined with Apple Pay and or credit/debit cards. On one particular occasion, my daughter and I were traveling through Buckinghamshire, and I only had my credit card. Taxis only accepted cash; and we were no where near any public form of transportation or walking distance to our destination. Gratefully, we ended up catching a ride with a manger from a nearby restaurant. Then, coming back to the train station, a couple was kind to give us a ride back the train station. The couple was a close friend of one of the tour manager’s of Waddesdon Manor.

To this day, I cannot thank these individuals enough for their extended generosity. It was this small mistake that taught me to always have cash at hand and this is advice I regularly extend to close family and friends whether traveling with their families, friends, or solo.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

I would like to thank my parents and in-laws for always extending their time and assistance with watching my two children and or pets when I am away traveling. I would also like to thank my husband for his generosity and support with my/our travels together as a family. I would not be able to have expanded my business into the travel industry without their support.

Thank you for that. Let’s jump to the core of our discussion. Can you share with our readers about the innovations that you are bringing to the travel and hospitality industries?

The awareness and understanding of culinary, sustainable travel through unique, and perhaps often-missed or overlooked experiences at hotels/resorts and destinations both locally in the New York/tri-state area and worldwide. We bring forth and curate informative and insightful articles that teach our readers about sustainable experiences and practices from culinary trends and innovations to how to make the most positive impact on the local community in a certain destination.

Which “pain point” are you trying to address by introducing this innovation and how do you envision that this might disrupt the status quo?

In terms of disrupting the status quo — East End Taste wishes to inform and educate interested travelers of much of what is out there to discover in terms of sustainable culinary travel. Our readers are passionate about food and travel, but they still desire to learn how to deepen their love of food and travel with new, impactful experiences they may never knew existed. We wish to bring this knowledge to the forefront of their travel planning priorities.

As you know, COVID19 changed the world as we know it. Can you share a few examples of how travel and hospitality companies will be adjusting over the next five years to the new ways that consumers will prefer to travel?

Long-form domestic travel getaways will be encouraged. I always believed it is important to know our backyard inside and out before we can truly appreciate the world further around us.

Travel will perhaps focus on multiple layers of itineraries in set countries or regions. Instead of just flying halfway around the world to visit one city, travelers will spend more time exploring the countryside and surrounding regions.

You are a “travel insider”. How would you describe your “perfect vacation experience”?

The perfect vacation is an experience I can simply not stop talking about. When I arrive home, I will invoke awe and curiosity about the destination I visited. My goal is to inspire others to instantly want to travel to where I have just returned — perhaps it is a place that they never considered going to. A specific example is when I retell my adventures on my first safari through Kenya — from the only safari who spotted a family of lion cubs relaxing under a bush to the uniquely diverse and plentiful cuisine found throughout the country. Nothing makes me happier than when travel seekers exclaim, “tell me more!”

Travel is not always about escaping, but about connecting. Have you made efforts to cultivate a more wellness driven experience? We’d love to hear about it.

We are always in search of newly opened boutique hotels in both popular destinations across the world and in regions that are yet to be discovered. For instance, travelers from the United States to X may not be as familiar with X, and travelers from X may not be as familiar with X as regional tourists are.

In addition, our editorial calendar follows such notable dates as “World Oceans Day” and “National Yoga Month” where we highlight notable sustainable initiatives at hotels in trending regions. Our coverage also details sustainable initiatives from local chefs and activities for the whole family to take part in. We especially highlight activities for children who are the most impressionable.

Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. Based on your experience and success, what are the five most important things one should know in order to create a travel experience that keeps bringing people back for more? Please share a story or an example for each.

  1. Get Lost — Sometimes it is best to discover new places on your own. One of my best recommendations is to detour along side streets instead of sticking to the main streets /touristy squares. The further away you walk from the touristy spots, the greater the local vibe. I personally find myself stepping into local grocery stores and I take my time combing through the aisles.
  2. Ask Local Shop Owners for Recommendations — When you step inside a local grocery store or shop, ask for their personal recommendations and don’t be afraid to ask about specific stores or spots you have written down. These locals will give you their honest opinion and will offer their own recommendations, allowing you to discover even more the destination has to offer.
  3. Step inside a music shop — Music is the gateway to the local culture. There is no better way to experience this than to visit a local music shop where you may see instruments being crafted. It is also a great way to learn about local concerts and meet local musicians.
  4. Visit the farmer’s markets — Get to know where the local’s shop every Saturday or Sunday, for example. Learn about new types of produce, discover local specialty food brands, and could meet and support locals in the region you are visiting one-on-one.
  5. Partake in a local educational class — whether that be a local cooking class, fitness program, or language course, learn a new skill or build upon one you already know with a different perspective.

Can you share with our readers how you have used your success to bring goodness to the world?

It is our pleasure to continue to create meaningful and impactful articles about culinary sustainable travel on a weekly basis. Our readers have been very intrigued based upon their feedback and comments via social media. We like to mix up our content with informative articles and fun, on-trend events from Miami and New York to London and Dubai.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Our movement would be to create a more mainstream method for becoming educated about sustainable culinary initiatives around the world, and how we could best implement these practices at home. We want to make responsible travel more seamless and approachable.

How can our readers follow you on social media? (personal)

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

Thank you!


  • Savio P. Clemente

    TEDx Speaker, Media Journalist, Board Certified Wellness Coach, Best-Selling Author & Cancer Survivor

    Savio P. Clemente, TEDx speaker and Stage 3 cancer survivor, infuses transformative insights into every article. His journey battling cancer fuels a mission to empower survivors and industry leaders towards living a truly healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyle. As a Board-Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), Savio guides readers to embrace self-discovery and rewrite narratives by loving their inner stranger, as outlined in his acclaimed TEDx talk: "7 Minutes to Wellness: How to Love Your Inner Stranger." Through his best-selling book and impactful work as a media journalist — covering inspirational stories of resilience and exploring wellness trends — Savio has collaborated with notable celebrities and TV personalities, bringing his insights to diverse audiences and touching countless lives. His philosophy, "to know thyself is to heal thyself," resonates in every piece.