Where did you go on your first trip and how old were you?
I don’t know if it was my first trip and I don’t recall the details of the experience because I was so young, around the age of two. I remember snippets of the road trip that my family took across country. I remember the very big backseat and that my sisters and I left crayons in the back window and they melted in the hot desert sun. The pictures are hilarious (it was the seventies and the clothes alone…)
What was the “Aha” moment that led you into the travel industry?
I don’t know when “it” actually hit me, but I remember thinking that I wanted to own an agency. Shortly after I registered my business I was offered an analyst position at a major airline. I was able to get an in-depth knowledge of the travel industry and I had many wonderful opportunities to travel and see the world. This heightened my interest and my desire to continue working in the industry.
What is your most vivid travel memory?
I can’t narrow it down to just one! Climbing the stairs on the Great Wall, driving the Autobahn, planning a very last minute birthday trip to London in two hours, finally visiting the Greek Isles (Uh-mazing). If I had to pick one experience so far, it just may be my cross-country trip as an adult. My sister and I traveled with our teenage sons in a too small car over 3,000 miles (think “The Guilt Trip” with Barbara Streisand and Seth Rogen). Let’s just say that due to some situations that were probably straight out of a National Lampoon movie we did not sleep or shower for three days. Good times. Smelly times, but good. If you want to test the bonds of any relationship take a good long road trip and amp up the unexpected.
What was your favorite trip you took last year and why?
Greek Isles and Turkey! Greece had been on my bucket list for a long time. I finally had the opportunity to visit and it did not disappoint. The beauty, the history and being able to visit places that I study in the bible had a profound impact on my faith. I feel as though I only scratched the surface and am looking forward to another visit.
Where would you like to go that you have yet to visit?
There are too many places to list. There is so much to see and do. Sometimes I feel like there is not enough time. Probably Croatia and New Zealand.
Do you always buy a souvenir the first time you visit a destination?
No and that is one thing that I have regretted. I should have done a better job of purchasing meaningful mementos of my travel. My nephew likes to purchase a book and/or bible from each country in the country’s language. I love books and think I will do that going forward. I don’t like to shop but unique fashions from the various countries visited would have been nice too.
The funniest souvenir is probably a huge pack of chopsticks that I purchased at the 100 yen store in Japan.
Do you collect magnets from the destinations you’ve visited?
No, I am not a magnet collector. I may buy one if I really like it. I always take memories and pictures. Oh and rocks from the beach. I love collecting beautiful rocks from my journeys (and they are free).
What do you do to pass the time on the plane ride to your destination?
I try to get caught up on work and I love to take advantage of the uninterrupted time to read. Lately, the in-flight entertainment contraption has caught my attention and I may watch a movie. I’m not a big movie person but on a long flight I can be a captive audience, especially for a profound foreign movie or a goofy comedy. I know, opposite ends of the spectrum.
Who is your favorite travel companion?
I love traveling with my family, my parents, sisters, my son, my niece and nephews. I enjoy seeing the world open up to young people. I used to travel with my Dad and son together quite a bit. My Dad has “MacGyver” tendencies and he always comes up with innovative ideas. He actually invented the first GoPro years before it was a thing. On family vacations to Mackinac Island (northern Michigan), my Dad set up a contraption to attach his video camera to the bike handles so he could record us as we rode bikes around the island. This was the 1980s and the camera was ginormous.
If you were a destination what would you be?
I’d aspire to be a beautiful beach, azure water, mountains and about 83 degrees year-round.
What can’t you travel without?
A good book, my camera, a hat and a few of my own hair and bath amenities.
City or countryside?
The strangest food you have eaten or (not eaten) on a trip?
Something in China and cuttlefish in the Mediterranean (I didn’t expect it to look like a huge octopus).
Littering and spitting.
My travel pet peeve is when people spend good money to travel to visit another country and expect to be treated special because they are American. Or they disrespect the culture or get upset because they don’t like the food. One purpose of travel is to experience something new, to go beyond your comfort level and learn about other people and cultures.
Fun travel fact
I have time traveled. I visited a small island in the South Pacific. I crossed the International Date Line twice in one day so I crossed into the next day and back into the present day.
Questions adapted from Recommend magazine.