Group Department Sales & Concierge Agent
I have had a long history of travel. I was diagnosed with wanderlust after a school trip to Spain.That was 1972. I am dating myself, yes but the prognosis would be – never a cure for me.In third grade geography class, I pointed to a photo and told my teacher, I will stand there some day. I was fixated on visiting Egypt. I loved everything about it. Fast forward,my dream came true in 1983- solo travel- three weeks up the Nile. I have always been an adventurer, and not too shy about getting to know the locals.
In some cases, their language spoke to my heart. The first words I heard in Italy was like the waters parting and I walked right in. The second I got home, I sought the closest native Italian I could find and asked if she would not mind teaching me Italian, conversational twice weekly.That is how it started. 8 years later I am still studying. There is a rhythm in that language that speaks to the deepest part of me.
Travel is for the 5 senses all coming together in that perfect storm of being. I use the word “storm” because there is nothing subtle about being in the right place at the right time. It’s visceral, reaches to the core and you know you have been changed forever because of that powerful but fleeting moment.
Many are on full speed ahead when they travel and I would like to give you a few pointers on what for those of you who prefer immersion over distance, can benefit from. I will use Italy as an example. Many come to me and I ask where do you want to go? They will list all the major cities from the top of the boot to the bottom…AND…they most often say,while we are there we might as well take in another country…we have always wanted to see France!I ask, how long do you have…10 days…my heart drops…
When this type of traveler comes back from their trip, they have to rely on photos to tell family and friends where they have been. Most of their time will have been spent moving from one location to another. Think…think of time and distance.Time on the road, in the car, on a train, in a plane…add it up. It is taking more of your vacation than you should allow. Stories? They might have one or two…Memories…they’ll fade fast because they did not reach deep enough.
My tip to you is, keep it simple…choose a region, forget skipping around from country to country. There is nothing like staying in one area for a several nights and spoking out on day adventures. You hear the locals, you see how morning unfolds, the sun, the chatter from birds or locals getting their shops to look proper for the day, the smells that waft past your windows from the local bakery. A soft breeze gifts your room with heavenly scents of sweet grass. You walk past a vineyard with vines pregnant with grapes and close enough to you to tease a few from the vine and into your mouth as your taste buds celebrate the sweet and sour liqueur from the fruit. All day long, this is Italy. You just have to stop, notice, see it, be in it and take it all in.
I try to keep client’s focus either from Florence into the valleys or Rome and south to Amalfi. Yes you can do Venice, Florence and Rome which most people want to do, but in this case, taking a tour, I would certainly extend it to stay in either your entry or your departure city for few extra days. Gift yourself with a slow pace so you can see what it is like to live like the locals.If you have less than at least two weeks, another wonderful way to get a taste of different regions is a river cruise. I have been on several and I can say without a doubt you will want to cruise this way over and over again.It is among the fastest growing segments of travel. There is a reason…immersion. You are getting into the heart of a country, on the shoreline of ancient villages and towns. You are treated to the local fare. You are on a slow speed, perfect for a “take it all in” kind of vacation. Unpack only once. Sail lazily down rivers graced by pure white swans, a ruin here, a castle there, locals waving to you as they go along their daily routines.There is nothing quite like it. In the dining room an explosion of gastronomical delights,artistically presented by some of the greatest chefs in Europe. Your entertainment right outside on the shoreline. This is truly a table with a view.
Whether you do want an escorted tour with some of our outstanding partners, or you the adventurer wish to design your own itinerary, or you are more likely to sail on some of Europe’s most beautiful rivers…give me a call. I will listen and we will create some magic together. Get a group together! Let’s start planning your next great adventure.
Specializing in Group Travel
I specialize in European travel. I have an art background, paint and sculpt and am interested in European Architecture. I can design itineraries that focus on this and also food and wine tours. River cruising is another specialty and I feel that this is the best possible way to see the heart of Europe. If you have a club that would like to promote a group for "any" type of focus, garden, photography, cooking give me a call and I'll create the itinerary unique to your tastes and a quote. It's that simple. Remember groups are 10 participants to as many as you wish.
My Areas of Expertise