I know that most of you, like me, are starting to feel like hibernating bears. For them, winter is the time that food is scarce, it is cold, so why not take a nice long nap? The bear wakes up because his internal clock, reset to zero when he dozed off, tells him it is the right time. I am relying on the data to tell me when it is time to come out, but I do see that we are all starting stir, stretching our limbs and taking those first tentative steps after a long rest. I have the same sensation of euphoria of when I see the first crocus in my garden bloom, signaling a new awakening and the start of a new season.
For travel, it is a new season, one completely different from what we knew before, but one that can be just as enriching and exciting. Some of you, I am sure, have the feeling that you just have to change your four walls and some of you will be searching for more. Some of you are mourning the loss of summer vacations that you have been planning and dreaming of for the past year, and some of you are trying to figure out what to do with your kids now that summer camp has been canceled. We have lots of ideas!
I am so heartened by the options that are going to be available to us. I have been spending a LOT of time boning up on my US destination knowledge, and I know that what will emerge first might not be what you were imagining, but there are so many great options. The great American road trip will be back, and resorts close to home will be a welcome escape. I love this photo from two years ago at Nemacolin, just a few short hours from my home – the sunset over the golf course was just sublime. Acres upon acres of fresh open space with loads of lodging options.
Please reach out if you are interested – I can help you navigate the different options and plan a divine getaway. When you book with The Travel Fairy, a proud affiliate of McCabe World Travel, you receive Virtuoso added values, such as resort credits and complimentary breakfast. A win-win all around!
This photo was taken in the summer of 2009, during one of our epic European road trips on a vaporetto in Venice. I loved that we were traveling like the locals, and I delighted in the fact that my kids shared my sense of adventure. It also marked a big turning point in my life. My youngest, Harry, had just turned five, and a lot of changes were coming. As a family, we were really hitting our groove, our kids, ages 5 - 11 at the time, were blossoming into adorable, responsible mini-adults, with fascinating personalities of their own that required less minute to minute attention. The downside to that was that I knew that my life as a full time stay-at-home mom was coming to an end in just a few short months.
When we returned home, I started to brainstorm about my next chapter in life, and that was when my fifth baby was born - The Travel Fairy. I had escaped the challenges in the industry presented by 9/11 and the great recession, and I have enjoyed every day of nurturing my client relationships, exploring the world and building a thriving business. The past few months have challenged the world, and tourism is facing another critical reboot.
I am not quite ready to say "thank you Corona", but I am grateful for the gift of time it has given me. We have all slowed down, and having dinner as a family for nine straight weeks has been a dream, knowing that three of them may be off to college in the fall, and it is unlikely to happen again on a regular basis.
I have also taken the time to examine my business, strengthen my industry relationships, and focus on how to best serve my clients as we all dip our toes back into the world. As the world begins to open up and we prepare to travel again, I would like to ask you to complete a super quick survey. I am a better advisor because of you and the feedback that you have always provided to me, and this time is no different. Please click on the link below to share your input -
It is hard to believe that 2018 has come and gone, but the past few weeks have given me time to reflect on the past year and my plans for the next. This year was full of welcome change, and my affiliation with McCabe World Travel has really enabled me to up my game. The amazing team and industry connections have been invaluable, and I love being able to share everything I have learned with my wonderful family of clients.
2018 Travel Fairy Travels
Again this year, I was blessed with being able to travel to new destinations to enjoy new experiences with family, friends and colleagues.
My highlight this year was my first trip to Africa - a two week adventure that took me to South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. As you can imagine, I can't wait to get back, and I have loved working with some of you to craft the perfect safari.
In February, I took my husband to the Andaz Mayakoba to celebrate his 50th birthday. We got to explore all of the resorts in this beautiful complex as well as spend some time in downtown Playa del Carmen.
In May, Daniel and I spent five days in Belize with an amazing side trip to Tikal. The snorkeling was out of this world, and we experienced some of the adventure offerings, including ziplining and river tubing. Tikal is one of the biggest Mayan cities to be discovered in Central America, and even with a full day, we only covered the highlights.
The summer was spent on a multi-generational family trip to Israel to celebrate my son and his cousin's b'nai mitzvah. A year and a half of planning went into this 25 person trip with lots of moving parts, and everything went off without a hitch. I loved having all of the grandparents with us in front of the wall just after sunrise to celebrate. We hiked Masada, dug for pottery, visited with the troops, made homemade chocolate on a kibbutz, hit the beach in Tel Aviv, swam in the Dead Sea, visited Petra, Jordan for a day and ended with three days of bliss at the beautiful Beresheet in the Negev Desert.
In October, I was fortunate to travel with Abercrombie & Kent to Africa. I visited Johannesburg, Victoria Falls from both sides and four Sanctuary safari lodges in Botswana and Zambia. To say that I was blown away by the wildlife is an understatement. You can't imagine what it is to be on safari until you have done it. Being among the animals, big and small, and in such quantities is amazing, and retreating to the beautiful lodges with stellar service and delicious food is all a part of the adventure
The year ended with a family cruise on the Celebrity Summit in the Caribbean. I was able to visit some of the areas that were hard hit by the hurricanes in 2017, and it was great to see the islands recovering. I was also able to visit the Park Hyatt on St. Kitts, which is a great luxury option in the islands.
It is hard to believe that 2017 has come and gone, but the past few weeks have given me time to reflect on the past year and my plans for the next. The Travel Fairy has had a banner year professionally, and I am thrilled to share what I have learned this year, and what is in store for the next.
2017 Travel Fairy Travels
This year I felt like I was truly on top of the world with all of my travels.
I kicked it off with a professional development trip to Chicago to attend Virtuoso on Tour. I was thrilled that my agency decided to affiliate with the world’s best travel consortium, and I took advantage of this two-day conference to meet with several hundred suppliers representing, hotels, cruise lines and tour operators from around the world.
In March, I had the pleasure of spending four nights at the Club Med in Ixtapa with my daughter Emma. I loved being surrounded by mountains on a beautiful beach with a never ending list of things to do - and we did it all from snorkeling to kayaking to the trapeze.
In the spring, I escorted my first large group of 70 people to Punta Cana for spring break. I took advantage of this opportunity to stay in two different resorts and tour 12 others. My family loved the two-bedroom master suite at the Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real, and I had a great day hosted by Casa de Campo, where I could really experience everything that the resort has to offer.
The summer was spent exploring the Southeast, culminating in a trip to drop off my daughter for her freshman year at the University of South Carolina. We spent time in South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia, and the highlight of these little excursions was a wonderful stay at the Keswick Inn in Charlottesville, Virginia. The grounds are beautiful, and it didn’t take much to imagine that we were in Tuscany and not just a couple hours from home.
With one child out of the house, the next one driving, and the next two thoroughly independent, I made the decision to embark on some serious travel myself. It began in September with a trip to Cabo for an educational conference where I was able to network with fellow agents and suppliers. I also arranged visits to many of the hotels in the Virtuoso portfolio and stayed at the beautiful Esperanza. In addition, I had the opportunity to do a bunch of ship inspections, including the Oceania Insignia in Boston, the Disney Magic in New York, and the Norwegian Epic and the Holland America ms Koningsdam in Florida.
In October, I embarked on a ten-day adventure through Croatia and Montenegro. It was definitely a bucket list trip, and I can’t wait to share these two destinations with you. I visited the cities of Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik and Kotor and the islands of Hvar and Korcula, where I discovered the charm of each location. The boutique hotels, exceptional food and wine culture and centuries of history make it an amazing destination with something for everyone.
The end of the year was spent on Marco Island, Florida with family. I had never been to the west coast of Florida, and it was beautiful! The fine white sand, calm and clear water of the gulf, and the amazing shells are among the many reasons to visit.
Wishing all of you health and happiness and loads of travel in the New Year!