Maybe one of the best parts on this job is knowing you are creating memories for people!! Now with social media, you even get to "feel and see" the experiences your clients are having based off their posts. My love of travel has allowed me to do this for a long time now. I have traveled throughout Europe, South Pacific, South America, Caribbean as well. There is NO other job I would ever want to have!
THE GOOD STUFF
What’s your go-to travel app?
My go-to travel app would certainly have to be My Pocket Travel app! It is the only thing I use when I travel, whether I'm taking a quick trip up the coast or doing a safari in Africa. To be able to store ALL things on one little app and also have guides, things to do, restaurant suggestions all at your finger tip is invaluable. You never have to take a piece of paper with you again!
What are your three favorite travel essentials?
One word...CUBES, CUBES, CUBES! Packing cubes make your life SO much easier. The amount of clothes you can fit in one cube by rolling things is amazing. It makes it SO much easier to never leave anything behind when you are on a busy trip changing hotels often. Even if you are simply in Hawaii for a week — you have something to put those dirty clothes in. If you haven't tried it...DO IT NOW!
What was your favorite solo travel experience?
My trip to India! Being on my own and experiencing a culture I truly had NO knowledge of and maybe even a bit of no acceptance of, truly changed me from the inside out. Being alone allowed me to throw myself into everything new. From learning about Hinduism (yes, I thought it was a religion only to learn form the trip it truly is a way of life), to experiencing the mosques on holy days, it was such an enlightening experience. If you can let yourself "go," the experience is amazing! I even cried like a baby when I saw the Taj Mahal!
What travel experience did you have that outdid your expectations and completely surprised you?
First thing that comes to mind by far is Africa. It is the people who have SO little, yet are all very happy. It is the high school children you see kicking rocks back and forth and laughing instead of stuck on their phones. I had NO idea the animals truly get that close up to you and the education about them, the landscape, and the people is just insurmountable. More than any other place I have been. I left there with this saying: Today I leave Africa, but Africa will never leave me. It is a profound statement and incredibly true for me.
What is your favorite travel destination? What is the thing that no one should miss when they visit?
Once again it has to be Africa! South Africa is such a great place to start for your first trip there. You get the culture, wine-tasting, and safari all in the same country. Capetown is my favorite city and a super good, not-to-be-missed restaurant there is the Harbour House right on the wharf and a cocktail at the Silo Hotel is a must!
What destination could you write an ultimate travel guide for, and what is something off the beaten path that most people wouldn't think to visit or do there that you'd recommend?
I could probably write a great travel guide for European River Cruises having escorted 14 groups on them previously. I always tell ocean cruisers not only do they see a lot, but you also have time to "feel" where you are as well since you have the time for a local beer or wine, or even if it is just time to shop. Cities in Europe were built around the rivers so easy to dock city center. To me it is the "lazy man's" way of doing a tour since you don't have to unpack so many times! There isn't a river in Europe I haven't done a few times.
If you could have one meal again from a past travel experience, what would it be and why?
This is a no brainer. It would be grilled lobster on Motu Mahana on a Paul Gauguin cruise! It is the setting, the ocean, the food...ranks right up there as a personal favorite!
What was one of your favorite tours that you have ever planned for a client?
It would probably be a most recent trip to Australia. I took them from Sydney to Melbourne to Kangaroo Island to the Outback and back to Sydney! Dealing with this level of travel and knowing what they will receive is amazing.
What is one of the most memorable experiences you have planned for a client?
It might be a high school graduation to Italy. They allowed me to just be their guide and do what I thought. Traveling with high school kids though, I do take into consideration that sometimes things over in Europe can be an information overload so I tried to break up the days with pizza making, lemoncello making, etc.