Scenic Destinations Specialist
Grand Tetons National Park in Wyoming
I grew up in a small town in West Virginia in a valley surrounded by mountains. I remember so vividly the colors of fall, the beauty of fresh-fallen snow, and the simple joys of nature year-round. I didn’t have to go far to find peacefulness on country roads and in rocky streams and waterfalls. I guess that’s where my love for natural beauty started.
Fast forward to my life today. I have been an international exchange student, spending a year with a host family in Venezuela through AFS Intercultural Programs. I have been spent 12 years in the journalism field, writing and editing for both a newspaper and a national trade publication. I was a Spanish teacher for 12 years in my local school district, sharing my experiences in the hopes of inspiring young people. And I have worked to support and help volunteers and families build relationships with students from other countries through the same organization I traveled with years before. When I look back, it is clear to see that travel, intercultural education, and helping others has always been a part of who I am.
I am a fairly new empty-nester with my husband and two older daughters, all of whom are more than willing to participate in my travel adventures! Take, for example, in 2016, when we traveled to Grand Tetons National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for a week-long adventure out West. Because of that experience, my youngest and I also spent a week last August exploring Sedona, Ariz., the Grand Canyon, and several of the National Parks in Utah, before finishing up in Las Vegas. We even rode the Grand Canyon Railway!
My oldest daughter and I have traveled through Ireland and much of Europe together and even went on a Lindblad/National Geographic expedition cruise in Costa Rica in late 2019.
One of my favorite destinations, however, has always been Western Canada. My husband and I traveled to Vancouver, Banff, and Lake Louise on an anniversary trip in 2010 aboard the Rocky Mountaineer. I think that experience is what has attracted me so much to Alaska, which is also one of my specialties.
My ideal clients are those leisure travelers who share this same stage in life, looking to go and see, experience something new, and learn more about the places they visit. I love to help with bucket-list destinations that feature spectacular scenery!
In addition to seeing the natural beauty throughout the world, I want my clients to experience something unique and special when they go on a trip that I have planned for them. And I want them to come back home feeling like this vacation was everything they hoped it would be… and more.
I have always been the planner in the family! I strive to find those unique experiences that really make a vacation special. I work hard to get to know my clients because “special” can mean different things to different people. And I’m a firm believer that quality is in the details, and that is something I bring to each trip I plan. I walk through every step of every itinerary in my mind to ensure that my clients experience a smooth and stress-free vacation.
I am a strong believer that education is key to making that happen and, to that end, I have completed training to become a Certified Travel Associate (CTA) from The Travel Institute. I am also a Certified Accessible Travel Advocate with the goal of helping those with limited mobility and their companions discover and access scenic destinations. I stay current by attending trade shows, including the Travel Agent Forum in Las Vegas, CruiseWorld in Fort Lauderdale, and the EDGE Conference for Travel Leaders Network in Washington, D.C. I also have participated in a weekend training on Alaska and have attended some familiarization trips in Alaska (aboard Holland America), Ireland (through CIE Tours), and the eastern Caribbean (aboard Princess) as well as a Seminar at Sea aboard Royal Caribbean.
I partner with companies that I feel confident will deliver the experiences that align with my personal approach to travel.
It is my hope that you will give me the opportunity to show you what I can do! Whether it's a special vacation, a bucket-list destination, or a group getaway, I will provide that personal touch you can't find on the Internet. Areas of specialization include Alaska; Hawaii; Western U.S.; Canada; Ireland; European River Cruises, Land and Rail Tours; and Australia/New Zealand. I am also open to finding the best values on vacation packages and cruises in the Caribbean and other parts of the world.
My Areas of Expertise
Thanks for letting me help you with your cruise in New England. Loved your pictures and hope to make it up there for the Fall colors one day!
The best trip we have taken.
It means so much to me that you all had such an awesome vacation. It was a year in the making, and I would do it all again if given the chance! Thanks for letting me help you.
Make the best memories of your life!
It's always so much fun to find that next adventure for you! Thanks for entrusting your travel to me.
An Amazing British/Irish Vacation
Happy to help, Jan! But I couldn't have done it all without your guidance and support with the group as a whole. Love CIE Tours and what they offer in a guided, stress-free vacation in Ireland! Let me know when you're ready to plan that next group adventure.
The best trip of our lives!
I'm super happy that you had such a great time in Alaska... isn't it amazing?! Thanks for giving me the opportunity to help you with this bucket-list adventure.
A bucket list must-see!
I loved travelling out West and seeing this area! There are so many beautiful places right in our own backyard, and I'm so happy that you enjoyed your trip. Thanks for the kind words.
I had so much fun working with you on this multi-week vacation! Thanks for giving me the opportunity to help you.