Long before I started helping others plan their dream vacations, I was planning my own wild adventures. From the beaches of Florida, or the snow tops of the Rocky Mountains, have gotten to visit many great locations, but I find that each time I check one place off my list five more have taken its place. Thanks to my studies in history and humanities, I always research each place I visit in and out. So, in addition to thinking about how beautiful any destination may be, I am always focused on the deep-rooted past of any given place and find myself awed by how that has shaped where I am. There is nothing quite like standing somewhere, looking at the ground beneath your feet and thinking about the past lives and stories that have stood where you stand.
Most Recent Trip: My most recent trip was a cross-country road trip from Florida to Las Vegas and back. It was an amazing experience to see so much of the country and see how the landscape changes so gradually, and then all at once you notice it’s so different. I’ve never been able to accurately describe the gradual but dramatic shift of colors during the sunset in the painted dessert.
Where do you want to travel to next? I believe the phrase is “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” My dream trip would be to Japan. I’m fascinated by the culture and the beauty of the landscape, and I love the way that tradition mixes with modern technology.
What do you look for in travel? I’m almost always looking for food when I travel; I love to try out local specialties that I know I won’t be able to find anywhere else. I frequently find that food is a universal language. Everyone has some special dish that speaks to them or reminds them of warm and happy memories. When they share it with me it’s very much like they are sharing a part of themselves. When I’m not seeking out the best places to eat, I love to get lost in local history and culture when I’m on a trip. I feel like the only way to truly experience a place is to understand the people who live there.
Favorite place in the entire world? I feel like my favorite place changes frequently. But I think that I can say that my memories of visiting family in New England every fall have given me a soft spot for anywhere I can roam through a quiet forest or walk along a stormy gray beach.
Travel Planning Motto: Know where you’re going but be flexible about how you get there. I always like to have some point of reference of where I’m planning to end up and what the biggest attraction of the trip will be. But I find that if I plan too much, I may be disappointed or miss other opportunities that appear to me along the way. It is most often the unplanned experiences that make my trips memorable.
Favorite Place to Get Food: My own kitchen. If I can’t travel somewhere else physically, I love to travel through food from other places. My pantry is always stocked with new and interesting things for me to blend into my whatever I’m cooking. When I travel I love to collect recipes of meals people have made for me or cook books filled with regional specialties.
Favorite Souvenir: I love to collect postcards and small items to display with my pictures from trips. Many end up in shadow boxes or collages. It’s a fun way to remind myself of each trip.