Unlike many of my colleagues, I was not a born traveler. Other than the occasional road trip, my parents aversion to flying meant we didn't stray very far, but they did instill in me the passion that there are adequate ways to experience something or some place, and there are memorably superior ways...and life is too short for option A!
Fortunately for my wanderlust and Option B attitude, I married a seasoned world traveler (affectionately known as #poorkent) who made it his instant mission to get my passport stamped, so my very first flight (and trip out of the country) was for our honeymoon. This happened to coincide with a flight attendant strike resulting in all sorts of hiccups and travel delays, but as an apology for our troubles, we were upgraded to FIRST CLASS and presented two lovely glasses of champagne before takeoff!
And that is the day a luxury traveler - and in turn, a Luxury Travel Consultant- was born!
Since that first flight almost thirty years ago, I have been fortunate enough to explore and learn and experience and share in amazing destinations all around the globe. I make it my mission to dive in and "live like a local" and experience something off the beaten and typical path everywhere that I go.
Closer to home I've made a second home in Celebration, Florida where I can visit The Most Magical Place on Earth just about any time I like. After decades of honing my craft, you can bet I know all the ways to find luxury and VIP treatment and Do Disney Differently, both by land and sea, domestically and abroad.
Of course nothing tops the amazing experiences I've had in my own home of New Orleans, where I am a NOLA Destination and Destination Wedding Specialist, encouraging first-time or even frequent visitors to go Beyond Bourbon St. and find the luxury and unique experiences we so proudly offer.
My travels, and those I've planned for others, have all been out of the ordinary experiences and memory-filled adventures that resulted from many, many hours of meticulous planning. For years, my travel planning was limited to that of a passionate hobby, what I'd try to find time for when I wasn't teaching elementary school or managing an art gallery, two former stops on my career path. Then one day empty nesting presented itself, and along with it the opportunity to turn my passion into a full-time profession, and join and contribute to the industry which had brought me so much joy and growth over the years.
Now that is my story, but it doesn't necessarily fit the description of all of my clients. My years in the travel industry have allowed me to enjoy working with all ages and travel types. From solo travelers to multi-generational family groups, honeymooners to empty-nesters.
Very different travel styles and goals, but what do they all have in common? Quite simply, they want to travel better.
Better than they have previously, and better than their neighbors and friends sharing stories on social media. They want knowledge, and service, and VALUE - and they know that the latter isn't always accomplished by going with the bargain deal.
Essentially, they want an expert who will listen, ask questions, create, advise, steer, suggest, inspire, manage, and problem-solve...so they've all come to me!
Regardless of your travel style and goals, I'm here to help you take the road less traveled by, and like those mentioned above, to quite simply travel better!
Champagne! Despite all the pictures of me suggesting otherwise, I didn't discover my love (or tolerance) for bubbles until a couple years ago during a fabulous private tour in the Champagne region of France. Until that time, I avoided my now favorite beverage because it was a recipe for instant headache. I know, tragic! So let's just say I am now making up for lost time!
Shhh...can you keep a secret? It's ITALY!! But whatever you do, don't tell France, all of the UK, NYC, and especially New Orleans I said so! I fall in love easily, and truth be told, I've never met a destination I didn't like, but I do tend to leave my heart behind most in those places with an abundance of culture tied to history, mystery...and FOOD!
Quality over quantity every time! It's so tempting to jam-pack an adventure, but that just leaves you with a reel full of pretty Instagram pictures, not very authentic or meaningful memories. Slow down, even if it's your first time in a destination packed with bucket list "must dos", try to find a way to immerse and learn and experience, don't just watch from the sidelines. Travel changes you. Let it!
It's hard to pick favorites, but some of my most unforgettable travel memories include swimming with a jaguar in Honduras, sailing through the majestic Fjords of Norway, climbing an active volcano in Sicily, and flying a falcon in Scotland, but if I could pick only one, it would be a private cooking class in Tuscany with the sweetest family imaginable. My first (and only) pasta from scratch, and we dined at the family kitchen table once the kids came home from school. They ate up my attempt at translating Italian to English and we ate more than our weight in amazing Italian cuisine and culture. My kitchen is now Carrara marble and butcher block because of this oh so special experience!