How did you get into travel?
I grew up in the country near the Oregon coast, on a dead end road, with few neighbors. Books were my escape to exotic places. I really didn’t know what I wanted to do when I grew up, so I attended a business school for a travel and accounting course. My first job in a travel agency was in 1978, handwriting Pan Am tickets for their Hawaii tours. Next up was a full time position, selling air tickets (only 3 fares –remember Continental’s Chickenfeed fare?) all done via the phone, as there weren’t computers yet. Soon I was trusted to discuss Hawaii, Mexico, some cruises with clients. My first work trip was Amtrak to San Francisco, followed by a trip to Hawaii. I was hooked!
What’s your favorite trip/memories of travel?
I’ve been fortunate to have so many wonderful trips over the years, and there hasn’t been a destination that didn’t become my new favorite. Call me fickle! A travel consultant is ALWAYS on the job, so a favorite personal escape is Hawaii. It is exotic, only 5 hours away, and very welcoming. Memories? Galapagos and the crazy marine iguanas! Snorkeling in Fiji, Cook Islands, Tahiti, Great Barrier Reef, Hawaii, Turks and Caicos. Holding a young wombat and rubbing her tummy. Driving in Western Australia while a lizard races me (and wins). Watching cattle dogs work in New Zealand. A cooking class in Vietnam. Getting lost in Provence and missing our train to Paris. A walking tour in Regensburg while on a Xmas Markets cruise with my daughter. Visiting New Orleans post-Katrina. Attending a party on the heli-pad of the Celebrity Eclipse. Fur Rendezvous in Anchorage.
What’s still on your bucket list?
Norwegian fjords in the winter, Argentina, safari somewhere in Africa, Kangaroo Island, Arctic, Myanmar, Black Sea, Ireland, Molokai. And if time, return visits to Galapagos, Alaska, Australia, Scotland, Fiji, and Panama Canal.
What’s one tip you always tell your clients?
Be sure to take your brain and your common sense on every trip, along with an open mind for impromptu new adventures!