Dreaming of traveling again

It has been a tough year. There is no doubt about that. But, as a travel advisor, it also has been a time to slow down, do some training, reflect, and, ultimately, dream about the future. And in my future, I plan to keep traveling! I want to see naturally beautiful places and experience unique adventures. I am SO READY to make a Scenic Connection!

Connecting to natural beauty has always been important to me. And it all started in the small town of Keyser, West Virginia. I grew up in a valley surrounded by mountains. I remember so vividly the colors of fall, the beauty of fresh-fallen snow, and the simple joys of nature year-round. I didn’t have to go far to find peacefulness on country roads and in rocky streams and waterfalls.

Fast forward to my life today. I have been an international exchange student, spending a year with a host family in Venezuela through AFS Intercultural Programs. I have spent 12 years in the journalism field, writing and editing for both a newspaper and a national trade publication. I was a Spanish teacher for 12 years in my local school district, sharing my experiences in the hopes of inspiring young people. And I have worked to support and help volunteers and families build relationships with students from other countries through the same organization I traveled with years before. When I look back, it is clear to see that travel, intercultural education, and helping others has always been a part of who I am.

I want my clients to see the natural beauty throughout the world and learn more about the destinations they visit. I want my clients to experience something unique and special when they go on a trip that I have planned for them. And I want them to come back home feeling like this vacation was everything they hoped it would be and more.

Throughout this time, I always dreamed of becoming a travel writer or a travel advisor, but the timing wasn’t right for my family. Now I am a new empty-nester with my husband and two older daughters, all of whom are more than willing to participate in my travel adventures! I love to go and see, experience new things, and share them with others. Whether it is the beauty of my home state of West Virginia, the time I spent in Venezuela, or the trips I’ve taken with my family throughout the years, these experiences have laid the foundation of how I approach my travel business.

I have always been the planner in the family! I strive to find those unique experiences that really make a vacation special. I work hard to get to know my clients because “special” can mean different things to different people. And I am a firm believer that quality is in the details, and that is something I bring to each trip I plan. I walk through every step of every itinerary in my mind to ensure that my clients experience a smooth and stress-free vacation.

I am a strong believer that education is key to making that happen and, to that end, I have completed training to become a Certified Travel Associate (CTA) from The Travel Institute. I am also a Certified Accessible Travel Advocate with the goal of helping those with limited mobility and their companions discover and access scenic destinations. And I partner with companies that I feel confident will deliver the experiences that align with my personal approach to travel.

And about that dream of being a travel writer… I am doing that, too! More on that later.

Over the next three months, I am going to start dreaming about future possibilities and share my travel bucket list with you. It may take years to get to these places, but at least I have some direction. And, of course, I am always open to changing course if something else catches my eye!

I would love to hear your comments and suggestions along the way! So, be sure and follow me here as well as on Facebook and Instagram. And, if anything piques your interest, check out my website or contact me and I will be happy to tell you all about it!

For now — and before I unveil my top choices — what is on your travel bucket list when you are ready to get out and explore?!