Tarique Connelly 02:08

This expert on solo and adventure travel is ready to take on Philly and more!

Hometown: Philadelphia

Travel Specialty: Outside the Box

Tarique is a classically trained singer whose love for travel really began when he was working for a major hotel chain and airline. It allowed him to take more than 40 international trips in just 4 years! He now works as a door-to-door salesman for a cable company.

What excites you the most about travel?

I am always excited to meet new people. Don’t get me wrong, I love history, adventure, architecture, etc., but nothing has inspired and impacted my life more than the people I have met when I travel. Many times, it’s the locals. Other times, it’s a hostel mate or a seatmate on a plane. People are really drawn to me, as I am to them. I love to listen to their stories and live vicariously through them. I also really love sharing my knowledge, amazing dance moves and cool singing skills with others.

What do you like the least about travel?

The unpredictability. Things like your flight being delayed or canceled and your bag being lost are definitely not the most enjoyable aspects of traveling, but it does happen. During these times, I just challenge myself to stay positive and accept the fact that some things are out of my control.

What was your favorite travel adventure?

Traveling to Liberia to meet my grandfather and 40 aunts and uncles was definitely my favorite trip. The part I loved the most was connecting with the kids. I brought 1,000 pieces of candy so they would follow me everywhere. At night, we would literally dance and sing till the sun came up. I only spoke 3 words of the language when I arrived, but the kids taught me about 50 more. It was definitely a life-changing experience.

What do you like to do for fun?

I love TRAVELING, singing (choir and karaoke), dancing (line dancing, salsa classes and partying; I used to teach Zumba), visiting museums, reading, visiting nice restaurants, exercising, cooking, writing music, watching TV, listening to music, meditating, relaxing in the park, taking long walks and nature hikes, roller skating, riding my bike, bowling, running, volunteering, playing with my cat, and I love sports.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Reading trashy celebrity news and watching some reality shows. The irony is that most of the news is fake, and the reality shows are as real as a $3 bill, but they are very entertaining. Sometimes I ask myself, “Why are you wasting your life away on this filth?” However, they make me laugh and require little to no brainpower.

Why do you want to be the next Travel Channel Star?

I want to inspire others to travel and to live a holistically healthy life. I truly believe that this is my destiny and that every trip, every obstacle and every triumph I’ve experienced has brought me to this point. While traveling, I have learned that the richest people are not the ones with the most money; it’s the people who spend the majority of their days doing what they love. I love traveling more than anything in this world, and I would be incredibly honored to share that love with others and light that spark in someone else’s heart.