What’s my story?

Hello everyone! I’m Scott, the other half of the team here at Not Your Average American. Over the last five years or so, I’ve been watching along with all of you as the blog has evolved from just talking about Ecuador to a full up travel consulting business. I’m ready now to take the big leap from watching the growth to helping make our vision of improving tourism’s impact on local communities a reality. Let me tell you a little about myself.

A Son of Pioneers

I come from a long line of pioneers, people who always wanted to see what was over the next hilltop. My extended family followed the expansion of the United States west and my parents were no exception, moving from Oregon to California in the 1950s. I am a great example of the family wanderlust. From my earliest days, I remember wanting to explore the world. National Geographic magazine, Tom Swift, Jack London, and others were my portal to all the world could offer outside my dry, brown section of California. So I worked hard, graduated from the University of California, Berkeley and accepted a commission in the US Air Force as a Second Lieutenant. I was ready to see the world.

Scott had never been camping before college. What a great place to start.
Scott Drake commissioned as a 2nd Lt in 1990.

A long, strange, wonderful trip

And see it I have. I’ve worked all over the world with American Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines. The family and I have moved 16 times, lived in six US states and four countries on three continents. Not to mention the other 26 countries I’ve worked in over the years. It’s been a long, strange, wonderful trip. I can’t say I’ve enjoyed everywhere I’ve gone, but it’s been a great experience. On the sixth of July 2018, I wore my Air Force uniform for the last time.

Scott was responsible for all Air Force people working in non-Air Force jobs in the entire country.
My first opportunity to work directly with partner country military. Great learning experience.
Did you know the USAF leases ships? Neither did Scott until he was responsible for them.

What’d I learn?

Over the years, I learned a lot about how to work with people and get things done. My “3Bs of personal safetyis a good example of the things I’ve learned that can be applied no matter the location. I also learned that one size definitely does not fit all when moving from place to place or from culture to culture. Behavior, clothes, and driving style (especially) can be completely different from place to place. I’ve learned that you have to adapt to be successful. Most of the time in my career, this was pretty easy as I wasn’t the first person working in a location. But when I was the first one to arrive, finding a local, be it a driver, expeditor, or local military commander, to show me the ropes was the first thing on the agenda. You can read as much about a place as you like, but nothing works as well as personal advice.  

Adaptation is important, especially when a surprise guest shows up for dinner!
First time in a mangrove marsh with sharks and rays instead of catfish.

That’s where we come in

That’s what Not Your Average American and our associated guides can do for you in Ecuador. We have all walked the ground, haggled in the market, and danced in the local festivals. We will work with you to make sure you know what to expect and that your trip is tailored to meet your goals. Let’s go!

Where's this road going? Let's find out!