“Reading departure signs in some big airport, reminds me of the places I’ve been…”
That great line belongs to Jimmy Buffet, but with the travel I get to do with my income…it’s very relatable.
Sometimes, on rainy days, I thumb through the pages in my passport—my own reminder of the places I’ve seen—and I smile. I am so blessed. I love travel. It nourishes me, and I travel often. Almost all of it is owed to being a travel consultant.
The passport stamps of the past two years tell the story as well as I can. France, Italy, Malaysia, Thailand, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Portugal, Spain. There are more, but I won’t belabor the point. Two trips were personal vacations, but all the rest had me leading photography or video expeditions, guiding travelers to decadent indulgences on food and drink tours, or walking through museums, galleries, and studios on an art and design tour. Earning a living pursuing guilty pleasures with my fellow travelers is a dream come true.
Every destination, every tour, every group…they all create unique memories. In Munich, we ate and sang like lifelong friends late into the night at a classic beer hall. In Lisbon, travelers discovered fresh sardines are a far different (and immeasurably better) dish than what awaits inside a roll-top tin from a grocery store shelf.
Memories are why most people travel. A new experience creates a memory that warms the heart and soothes the wandering spirit for years to come. The memories are why I’m a travel consultant; not just mine, but the travelers’ memories too. Playing a part in crafting experiences that will resonate with those who entrust me with their holiday is a priceless reward.
In northern Thailand, I saw two women reduced to tears as they bathed and bonded with the elephant they had adopted for the day. In the Tuscan hills outside Florence, an entire group was reduced to child-like giggles when everyone at a cooking class ended up covered in flour (healthy pours of Chianti may have helped). Somehow though, we managed to turn out delicious pizzas and calzones, and the gelato we had set to chill at the beginning of class was enjoyed as a starry night extinguished a late sunset of oranges and pinks.
The sum of memories are too numerous to recount. Knowing there is always an upcoming flight …heading off with another group who will fast become friends…and making new memories…keeps me going back for more.
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