Three years ago, I started writing about my travels and pressed “publish” on this blog. I had no idea how my life would change from that action – the blog has helped me overcome sudden loss, connected me with new friends in London and around the world and has been my creative outlet during my job transition. Suddenly I was sharing stories, photos and tips outside my circle of family and friends and receiving feedback from strangers that I would get to know and start to call friends and fellow travelers. I remember the first time I received a “thank you” and how amazing it felt to play a small part in someone’s trip. Whether it was a restaurant recommendation, a secret sweet treat or a favorite hotel, someone tried it and liked it too. I remember when someone said “I booked my stay there next month” and worrying for a month whether or not they would like it. So after years of suggesting where to go, what to do and helping people plan their journeys, I’m now branching out into a new venture, Arden Road Travel. Vist my new website for more information.
I’ve created Arden Road Travel to help collaborate and curate travel experiences – if you can dream it, I can plan and now book it for you. I was asked recently “Do travel agents still exist?” and I laughed said, “We’ve evolved and are now your travel advisor, consultant, concierge and therapist all rolled into one”. I read somewhere that the average person spends time on over twenty websites doing research on where to go, when to go, what to do, how to budget for it and what to pack. For those who love the thrill of the chase and putting together the DIY puzzle of a trip, you don’t need me but for everyone else, I’m here to help. You hire experts to save you time, money and provide expertise for all parts of your life why shouldn’t you do so for travel?
My good friend decided to be my guinea pig as my first client after my Virtuoso training. When he tried to crowdsource his vacation (it’s what he does), his group settled on a week sitting on a beach in Cancun. We live in that world where you ask on Facebook or Twitter “where should I go”. I laughed when he asked “will I like it there”. Of course, his social media followers know the persona he puts out there but I’ve known him for over ten years and know that he can’t be still so a beach vacation is a horrible fit. I suggested a cruise on Norwegian from Miami in a studio (solo) cabin. A cruise allows him to enjoy all the food he wants, provides constant entertainment and has a gorgeous spa/gym to disconnect and relax in his own way. Knowing what he likes (speciality dining, tours, spa) and doesn’t like (unlimited drinks, internet) helped me craft a vacation for him on a ship that fit him. He’s been texting me all day with O-M-G with each new feature he found as he explored the ship, I love his spirit and he’s made me smile the whole time. What a great feeling!
Having spent over twenty years in the corporate, luxury travel space as well as personal travel to over forty countries, I am now rounding out my travel knowledge in the leisure space. Whether you want to find a hotel or rent an island, attend surf school or a yoga retreat, embark on a cruise (barge, river, yacht, or mass market), I can help you sort through all the choices in the quest to find the right fit.
I’m still working through all of the changes but am excited to open this door to the many possibilities out there to enjoy life as we discover the world together. I’ve decided to align myself with the Virtuoso network to have access to a plethora of vendors, added benefits and expertise around the world. Last week, I was speaking with local owners in Belize, Chile and Denver crafting experiences for clients and also meeting the Four Seasons reps to learn about thei properties (I really want to stay at the Four Seasons Orlando at Disney World!). It’s been fun having personal contact with folks who know and love their products, service and experiences. I’m not looking in a brochure and putting you on a bus with other people – I’m customizing a trip just for you and your family/friends/pet.
Thank you for your support, words of encouragement and patience with the site changes and posting schedule the past few months.