Happy New Year to everyone! Can you believe another year has flown by? It’s time to reflect back and it always amazes me how much I’ve actually done over the course of a year.
It was only a year ago that I reported the formation of my travel consulting company and so much has happened since then. At the end of 2012, I became a member of the Signature Travel Network™, which includes over 6,000 travel professionals who share one objective: to serve the unique needs of discerning travelers. The network, established more than 50 years ago, generates sales in excess of $5 billion. This buying power is leveraged to deliver the best value to our clients with some of the best tour operators, cruise lines and hotels. Through this organization, I have access to booking just about anything you would need to help you plan your “Dream” vacation, whether it be an ocean or river cruise; an African Safari; a group tour with companies such as gAdventures, Backroads, Tauck, to name a few; or development of a customized, independent itinerary for your trip of a lifetime planned with the help of a destination specialist like me (incorporating my own travel knowledge from having visited 45 countries and 48 of the United States). This past year I’ve worked on trips with clients to Spain, Peru, Russia, Budapest, Greece, New York City (during Thanksgiving Week), Alaska, Africa, Thailand and China, to name just a few. I love helping others to realize their travel dreams!
So much for the commercial….
My year started out with a trip to Myanmar (my first small group tour). It was fun to share my love of that country with others.
Since I was already in that part of the world, I went on to Laos for an extra 10 days to explore a country I had not previously visited.
I traveled to Peru in May to enjoy Lima, Cuzco and Machu Picchu …
….went to Ireland for a travel bloggers conference…
…and to Las Vegas and Dallas for other conventions.
The highlight of my year was spending five weeks in Spain over the summer, exploring the Costa Brava region.
(Also see my posts about La Sagrada Familia and the Dali Triangle).
I’ve always wanted to live in another country for a period of time, so I was thrilled to have this opportunity, if only for a short five weeks. I hope to do other such trips in coming years. These journeys give me the opportunity to explore a region in more depth in order to be able to deliver unique travel options to my clients. In this case, I am planning a small group experience to Costa Brava for May, centered around the annual Girona Flower Festival.
My last two weeks of the year included exploring new places…Sri Lanka…
…and Varanasi, India…
…both of which were quite fascinating!
When I’m not traveling or planning dream vacations for others, I am still providing walking tours of New York and in the Spring will be adding a fantastic tour of Central Park as one of my standard tours.
For those of you who love to see photos, I have also posted a “Year in Photos 2013” [link coming soon]. Enjoy!
Now, on to 2014…and continuing to explore this big world in which we live! My first stop will be a short winter respite in Los Cabos, a new destination for me (it will be whale migration season while I am there.) As already mentioned, May will take me back to Girona for the annual Flower Festival (a small group experience is available for this trip).
I also have plans to revisit Peru in June with gAdventures Travel (anyone want to join me?—one of my clients has already signed up.) This trip will include areas I have not yet visited, including the Amazon, the Sacred Valley and Lake Titicaca.
I also plan to put together a small group experience to Myanmar for October for the Inle Lake Festival.
Who knows where else my travels may take me in 2014? One thing is for sure – this year I will start setting my sights on Rio for the 2016 Olympics!!
I look forward to helping many of you plan your travel dreams for 2014 and beyond!