What is your favorite destination?
Right now I’m all about Portugal, since I recently had a fabulous trip there with my husband. It’s a land of very diverse landscape, friendly and helpful people, and fabulous food and wine - all at an exceptional value.
What itinerary do you enjoy planning for clients?
I love planning Costa Rica for families! It’s an amazing destination for all ages, with an abundance of exotic wildlife and adventure, a wide variety of price points and great infrastructure. I also love planning trips to French and Spanish-speaking countries for clients, since I speak those languages.
What is the most interesting/exotic locale you’ve visited?
One of my favorite trips was when I went on safari in Botswana. We were lucky enough to be able to spend some time with some of the local !Kung people in the Kalahari desert, who showed us how they gather roots and collect precious water, as well as a traditional trance dance. Many of their traditional ways are disappearing, so I really treasure that experience.
What’s on your travel “wish list”?
Namibia, Bhutan, Patagonia, Antarctica, New Zealand.
What was the most memorable/best unplanned event that happened to you while traveling?
I lived in Switzerland with my family for a year. After the dairy cows spend all summer grazing in Alpine meadows, the farmers bring them down from the mountains on foot. It’s an event that takes place all over Switzerland called the Désalpe; some places have festivals around it and put in on the calendar, but in many cases, it’s really just for the farmers themselves, and they do it when they feel the time is right. They dress up in traditional outfits and festoon the cows with gorgeous crowns of flowers and herd them for miles down into the valleys below. When my mother visited, I took her to one of the most beautiful places in the world, the Lauterbrunnen Valley. Not knowing in advance it was going to happen, my mother and I just happened upon the Désalpe, which was wonderful in and of itself, but with a backdrop of Alps and waterfalls, it was like a scene out of Eden.
If I had an unlimited budget, I’d…
Travel round the world, of course! I would go to both old favorites and new places I’ve never been. I love a “perfect blend” of cities and nature, more rustic/authentic and luxury, sight-seeing/active and relaxation. My dream trip would include a safari, fantastic meals with stunning views, and a fully-staffed chartered luxury sailboat - but also plenty of opportunities for interaction with local people and cultures.
When traveling, what can’t you leave home without?
I’ve really become a big fan of my Kindle Paperwhite. It holds books (obviously), but I can also email relevant articles and documents to it, including my itinerary and a copy of my passport. I can borrow e-books from the library even while traveling.
What travel tips do you always like to share with your clients?
Find out what sights and museums tend to sell out or have long lines - and get tickets in advance! If that’s not possible, there are always tricks to minimize waiting. Schedule downtime as part of the day, preferably the late afternoon - this is especially important for families. A little time back in the hotel room goes a long way to extending sight-seeing energy and good moods. And, of course, be flexible! Even mishaps can yield unexpected wonderful experiences with the right attitude.
- Costa Rica
- Driving Trips
MY TOP 5 HOTELS
- Jack’s Camp, Makgadikgadi Pans, Botswana
- São Lourenço do Barrocal, Monsaraz, Portugal
- Hôtel de la Cité Carcassonne, France
- Belmond Hotel Monasterio, Cusco, Peru
- Flathead Lake Lodge, Montana