Shinny Bickoff

Shinny Bickoff

Shinny is an ex-fashion industry executive, who woke up one day in the middle of the pandemic and resolved to follow her passion into Travel, realizing that life is too short to not pursue one’s dreams.  Working with international garment vendors during her years in fashion, Shinny had the opportunity to travel to many countries, visiting a wide range of destinations from major metropolitan cities to rural locations unfrequented by tourists.  She has witnessed first-hand, the transition of emerging countries into world powers, and both the positive and adverse impacts these transitions had on the local economy, the standard of living, the infrastructure, and the surrounding environment.  It was the realization of the unsustainability of our current way of living, traveling, and the depletion of our natural resources that catalyzed her pursuit in joining Kind Traveler. 

Shinny has always been an avid world traveler.  As a child, she visited her home country of Taiwan during the summer months, flying solo as an unaccompanied minor.  This experience established the foundation for her spirit of adventure and a fearlessness for solo-travel.  In college, Shinny backpacked through Europe and fell in love with the wonders of travel – and she never looked back.  Shinny has now been to over 40+ counties and always actively planning her next trip. 

When Shinny is not traveling, she is often experimenting with new recipes in her home in Hoboken, NJ just across the river from Manhattan.  She often takes advantage of her proximity to New York City, playing local tourist by visiting museums and trying new restaurants with her foodie sister.  Above all, Shinny loves spending time at the Jersey Shore with her husband and two young daughters.            


1. What’s your spirit animal?
A Giant Panda!  I am fun, playful and resilient – did you know that Giant Pandas recently made it off the endangered species list?  Plus, I also love to eat.  


2. Your favorite cause and charity and why?
The Sierra Club – my very first job was going door to door canvassing with the Sierra Club, and it was what started me on the path of environmental awareness and conservation. Their purpose still resonates with me today – to explore, enjoy and protect the wild places of the earth.  To practice and promote the responsible use of the earth’s ecosystems and resources.  To educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment.


3. Your favorite travel destination that you’ve been to?
There are so many amazing places, it’s tough to choose one favorite… but Chile holds a special place in my heart – it was our honeymoon destination, and it has so much to offer.  On our trip, we went sand boarding in the Atacama desert where the landscape is so moon-like that NASA selected it to be their training location.  We took a river cruise in the fjords to see the towering glaciers in Patagonia.  We took a bicycling winery tour in the Maipo Valley, complete with an overnight stay in a rustic-chic winery farm house.  We wandered the colorful bohemian hills in Valparaiso and discovered why so many artists and poets flocked to this magical city.  And we had some of our best meals in the Chilean capital of Santiago, where the culinary scene could keep a food blogger busy for years. 

4. Where do you dream of traveling to?
I love travelling, so if there is a destination on my list, I make it my priority to make that dream a reality.  Next on my list is Turkey, which I hope to get to sometime this year… with the current favorable exchange rate between the US dollar and the Turkish Lira, it’s a good time to go.  I’m excited to see the majestic mosques in Istanbul, visiting an authentic Hamman and maybe taking a cooking class on middle eastern cuisine. I’m looking forward to staying in a cave hotel in Cappadocia and feasting my eyes on the myriad of hot air balloons taking over the skies at dawn.  I can’t wait to luxuriate in the Turkish seaside town of Bodrum, taking in the vibrant cultural scene by day and joining in the party scene by night. 

5. What does it mean to #TravelKindly to you?
To me, it’s about bringing awareness and appreciation to the beauty all around us - in landscapes, cultures, and humanity.  To find and cultivate the connectivity between us all, to see where others come from, hear their story, learn from their history – and to facilitate for others to do the same.  Because even though self-discovery must come from within, our experiences will influence our views, our thoughts and our beliefs.  So it’s through awareness that we can establish an openness to view the world from a holistic perspective and to bring about the change that is so sorely needed in our world now.