I grew up a child of travel. My parents were divorced when I was a young. As my sister and I grew older, we commuted from one coast to another to see our Dad. Since he was a pilot, we flew stand-by. In those days, we were rarely bumped, but we did learn how to change planes and ask directions to get where we needed to be. Navigating an airport became common practice. As a young adult coming out of high school I wanted to be a travel agent. I enjoyed the thought of travel and sending people to places all over the world. After college, I went through travel school and my dream became a reality.
I quit my travel job to raise our two sons, but we continued to travel and I was frequently called on by friends and family to help with travel arrangements. As a family, we did not do much of the typical family vacations. We did go to Disney, once. We also ventured to Hawaii, but where we have the most lasting memories, is when we engaged in learning, culture and experiences of our destination.
We homeschooled the boys, so we were able to study the ancient cultures of our world. When we actually traveled to Rome, the boys were able to bring their learning to a place and make the connection come to life. By participating in wine tasting, our oldest felt a connection with the vineyard that we stayed at. Taking a gondola ride in Venice, brought literature to life.
In Scotland and England, hiking the moors or seeing historic castles were experiences that helped to shape our view of the world. Eating in local pubs and chatting with the locals helped to engrave different cultures into our minds. Our college age sons are seeking international professions and consider themselves, not citizens of the United States, but of the world. We all still have a lot to learn about our world and the people and cultures who live on it, but by choosing our travel destinations with care and not by the “entertainment value”, we will continue to educate ourselves in the cultures and experiences that destinations have to offer and learn how to be a global citizen.
My mission, as a travel advisor, is to help you to gain that experience in your destinations. Don’t just take a vacation, experience the cultures and activities that make a destination unique. Visit an elephant sanctuary in Thailand. Snorkel or dive the Great Barrier Reef. Talk to the local artisans that make the porcelain in Germany. Learn by doing and live for a short time like a local to experience the culture that surrounds you. Don’t try to see and do it all in one trip. Focus on education, culture and experiences. I’d be happy to help.