Preconceived notions.

What do you think of when you think of Ethiopia? What about Croatia? How about Jordan or Jerusalem? What crosses your mind when you think about El Salvador or Colombia? Chances are a flash of images or events cross your mind that were fed to you via a variety of media channels.Having never been to any of these destinations, your tendency may be to immediately write them off as  viable travel destinations based solely on the information you’ve received via news channels or social media.
I was talking with someone the other day and she said, “ I have some friends who are traveling to Croatia right now. I never thought to travel there. I mean, I think of war and struggle when I hear Croatia but these people are LOVING it there. They don’t even want to return home. I have send their pictures and it looks amazing! I want to go to Croatia now.”Like many people, she had an idea in her head about how Croatia is ; she was proven wrong by people who took a leap and traveled there themselves an…

The benefits of a local guide.

Travel is such a funny thing.

There are so many different types of travelers that getting to know my clients is the FIRST and MOST important thing I can do when their planning vacations.

When my clients begin to plan their vacations with me, it's critical to know what kind of traveler they are. Some travelers prefer to get to their destination and explore on their own and others prefer to have a guide. Many clients do copious amounts of research on their upcoming trip and decide that they will navigate their trip on their own based on their own research. There is no right or wrong in how people choose to experience their travels but when it comes to traveling to a new destination and exploring, I often encourage people to choose to travel with a local guide.

Self-guided travel is amazing and creates moments of spontaneous adventure but it can also be exhausting and challenging. While I was in Japan, on a guided trip with G Adventures, I kept running into the same two women from E…

Locked out.

I woke up this morning with this "feeling" of needing to write something and for whatever reason, the thought of locking oneself out of ones home or car popped into my head.

I sat on this thought for a minute and thought about what happens in those moments where  we lock ourselves out of our home or car. For most of us, I think it'd be safe to say that there's a sense of panic that sets in when we find ourselves locked out. Our ability to think straight or see beyond the present moment of distress flies out the window and all we can think about is "I'm locked out. I can't get in. I want in. I NEED to get in."  We look in the windows of our home or our car and all of a sudden see it from a different angle. We see it now as something that we ought to take closer care of and have a deeper appreciation for because looking at it from the outside doesn't feel nearly as good as nestling ourselves inside our secure walls, painted with our personal taste…

The poetic side of travel.

Maybe it's just me, but traveling brings out the romance in me. I'm not talking about roses and chocolates and long walks on the beach type of romance but instead  the type of romance that comes with an infatuation with everything around me. I'm talking about seeing the world with rose colored glasses. I'm talking about living poetry. By definition, romance fits describing travel perfectly:

ro·mance rōˈmans,ˈrōˌmans/ noun 1. a feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love.
"in search of romance"

The Sprouted Seed.

I often sing the song of how travel has the power to really transform lives and how it can free us in ways we never knew possible. I can sing this song because I have lived the song. I have experienced first hand how travel has opened up my eyes, mind, heart and soul to a new way of seeing and appreciating the world I live in. I preach the truth I know for myself and know that if it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone, they just have to believe it.

There are those folks out there who imagine this to be true but for whatever reason, be it fear, finances, you name it, the step to seeing and believing for themselves doesn't get taken.  There are also those folks who have taken the leap of faith into traveling, despite a great deal of fear and have come back a newer, more invigorated version of themselves.

Last night I ran into an old friend who had just come back from the Dominican Republic; her skin was sun kissed and there was a definite sparkle in her eyes. I know the look wel…

Why specialize?

I recently got a phone call from a prospective client wondering if I planned travel to Europe. She had been looking at my website and based off of the content in my website, she was under the impression that I only did tropical vacations. Truth be told, the majority of the travels I plan are to warmer climates and most of my clients travel to Latin America and the Caribbean but . . .

In my conversation with the woman, I was clear to let her know that YES, I do plan European vacations and YES I do specialize in Latin America, I can do it all.  The fact that I specialize in one part of the world does not mean that I do not plan travels to other places, it simply means that Latin America and the Caribbean are near and dear to my heart and I know these places well, so I "specialize" in travel to these destinations.

I started my business because I love travel in all forms as well as to all parts of the world. The world is a big place and we can't specialize in everything. T…

Tell Me What You Want.

The devil is in the details so . . .  Tell me what you want!

When we travel, whether we like to have expectations or not, we have them. Somewhere deep in our psyche, we have imagined how our destination, hotel and experiences will be. We fantasize about how we will feel when we finally arrive but sometimes, what we arrive at isn't remotely close to what we were expecting. As a travel agent, there is NOTHING worse than having unhappy clients, so I do everything in my power to prepare the clients for their trip by asking a lot of questions. Sometimes, because I am human and am prone to errors just like everyone else,  I have made oversights in travel planning and let me tell you, it sucks ~ not just for the traveler but for me, the travel agent.

Just like in any line of work, we master our craft as we go along, and working in the travel industry is no exception to that rule. That being said, here are some questions that I want you the traveler to consider when planning your vacatio…