Why do you love being in the travel industry?
There is a real sense of accomplishment in creating special memories, new friendships, and successfully orchestrating each component to make the best travel experiences possible! In 25+ years, I have never had a boring day! I have a great sense of curiosity which fits perfectly in making sure the team of Accent On Travel has the newest technology, best services, reputable worldwide contacts, and latest destination information so our clients are those with ‘exceptional vacation memories’. Regardless of who’s lives I touch, I hope to make a positive difference!
Where do you hail from, what makes you proud to be from there, and how does that influence your travel profession? How does that influence your chose to make travel your profession?
Born and raised on the Eastern Shore (Delaware/Maryland) to 1st generation Italians small business owners and farmers in a very rural area. As a young child, I lived vicariously through my four older brother’s travel as they sent home postcards from various places in the US, the Americas, and as far as from ‘behind the iron curtain Russia & China’. Putting my walking shoes on at a very young age and disappearing to ‘photo an animal or tree’ raised parental concerns and I was asked to focus time not in the fields or helping with putting up food to music, art, dance, and on the three sets of encyclopedias we owned instead! I do recall ‘comparing’ details on a country in each set when my brothers travelled and wondering why the content was different and what was the ‘most accurate’? I believe that is where my travel profession started! Having travelled to Italy over 15 times, I am thankful to my grandparents for coming to the US and giving me such great opportunities! I know growing up a farm has given me a sense of the ‘big picture’ teaching patience, trust, a sense of wonder, and fair play which I use every day in my profession.
Specialities / Certifications in the Industry:
My experience has led me to design travel for the Accent On Travel group department where I can use our reputable on the ground operators and contracts with all the major cruise lines, speciality lines, and tour operators to create custom group travel options for local businesses, organizations, and friends/family looking for boutique travel experiences.
Because of my personal interests and background, it is easy for me to focus on wildlife viewing experiences, wine or food (agriculture/gardens as well) themed travel, soft adventure, cultural travel including as well as 1st class and luxury cruising.
I am certified with all luxury cruise lines and river cruise companies in addition to sailing on all major and many specialty/adventure cruise lines. Destination certifications include various adventure destinations such as Peru, Australia, Egypt, Thailand, FUNDI (Africa) as well as travel industry certifications through CLIA, ASTA, ICTA and more. My 25+ years in the industry as a travel and cruise designer, previous travel radio host, occasional travel writer, presenter, and group travel host has helped me gain insights into the vast options available for travellers and has given me the outlets to help others expand their horizons! I feel deep appreciation for the opportunities I have had and continue to provide others through my profession.
Favorite Travel Experiences & Why?
Being ‘at the roots’ for good food and/or wine regardless of where which can include taking a cooking class– typically Italy, France, Thailand but the list is really long! I also love to see animals in the wild which reminds me that we should be respectful and protective of who we share the planet with – favorites would include Galapagos, Tanzania, Churchill (Polar Bears). I love seeing ancient ruins - Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Peru, Thailand were just some of the favorites! I also love spas – Canyon Ranch on-board cruise ships, all over Europe and Asia, and especially before a travel industry conference! Lastly but the most fulfilling – traveling with my family - hiking in Petra & Machu Picchu, Wildlife viewing in Galapagos, touring in Ireland, England, Iceland, and Italy and playing ‘tourists’ in Costa Rica!