My first flight was to Germany before I could walk and when we moved to Alaska travel became a regular part of my life. In fact, up to age 10 we lived in Nome where the only access was by air, boat or dogsled. I’ll never forget the Anchorage airport with taxidermy greeting travelers from plexiglass displays, and more than one night spent sleeping there thanks to Alaskan weather. I can remember when meals were served on US flights in ANY cabin, fun times with great flight crews, and cockpit meet and greets with shiny wings for my collection. I remember arriving in the Lower 48 to family waiting for us as we disembarked with big smiles and open arms. Or visits from family that ended with me pressing my face to the window at the gate trying to see a last wave from the plane.
When I fell into (and in love with) the travel industry in 1996 it was completely serendipitous and perfect for a heart filled with wanderlust. I started as a courier for a Northern Virginia corporate travel agency and apprenticed my way up. Following a move to North Carolina I learned the ins and outs of booking leisure travel (the fun side of travel!) at a little agency on a barrier island. Then in January 2001, after moving back to the DC Metro region, Dreams and Destinations was born. That was another year of reflection and tremendous change for the world and for travel. Over the past 24 years I’ve seen a lot of changes and challenges. I think it is one thing that makes the travel industry, and travel in general, so interesting. Travel is resilient and the urge to explore never diminishes. Travel never stays the same and traveling offers the opportunity to continue to learn and grow. There are destinations I go to year after year and discover a new hidden gem every time. More often than not I add destinations to my “places to return to” list, and some destinations have even become like a second home. I’ve even met some of my closest friends through travel, including my husband. What has never changed though, no matter how many trips, no matter the destination; I still get the butterfly sort of excited just walking into an airport. The journey, paired with possibilities of journeys yet to come, get me every time. Airplanes are still fascinating and passport stamps never get old. With the exception of lost luggage I love it all. Is it always easy? No, not at all and now more than ever this is true. Is it worth it though? 100% yes, absolutely!
When did you start traveling and what do you love most about travel? Where is your favorite destination and what is the first place you’ll travel to as soon as you have the chance? I have more continents to explore and so much to share with my own children. No matter how travel changes through the years I know I’ll love it as much tomorrow as I did yesterday. And as soon as I’m able I’ll be on that first plane to the first wonderful place on my list. I might not even mind lost luggage this time!