I am a prime example of how travel can change the course of a person’s life. Over 22 years ago, I took a leave of absence from an accounting position and traveled for a few months. I had always been a wanderer and explorer and upon my return home, I decided to change my career path and the rest is history.
My favourite question to ask anyone is, “What are the top five places you would like to visit in the world and what would you like to do there?” Learning what a person wants to do is equally important as knowing where a person wants to go and I am always intrigued by the answers. Outside of anything ocean and boat related (I love being in and on the water!), I have a personal passion for textiles and motorbikes. Experiencing a culture through its’ textile tradition and hands-on workshops is a great way to have in depth conversations that otherwise would not happen. Exploring anywhere while riding a motorbike is an exhilarating experience and I am unable to contain my excitement when I think of all the roads that are calling to be discovered – no matter where they are! When planning your next trip, think about the activities and hobbies that you enjoy and make them a part of your itinerary.
I’ve had some amazing experiences while travelling: snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef, hiking the Great Wall of China, riding on a mule through the Valley of the Kings in Egypt, soaking in the Blue Lagoon in Iceland, standing in awe of Gaudi’s magnificent architectural wonders in Barcelona, smelling the “aroma” of the famous Fez tanneries in Morocco and talking with Garifuna people in the Cayos Cochinos in Honduras to name a few. I’m passionate about exploring the world we live in and I want to share it with others. The more we travel and learn about other cultures, the more we will understand the similarities and differences that make us all unique.
I have had the privilege of assisting 350+ groups make their travel ideas, goals and dreams come to life. A large portion of these groups have been student music, language and educational tours. I thoroughly enjoy being involved in making a positive impact on the lives of young people and the people that they come in contact with. It is so important for young people to engage with and learn from others in different cultures. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said, “Music is the universal language of Mankind” and it is very true. I recently travelled with a community band to Morocco and it was amazing to see people who cannot communicate via words share a special time together because of their mutual love of music. (It was hilarious that a certain donkey in a village enjoyed the sound of a tenor saxophone and wanted to bray along with the tenor saxophone!)
Do you want to travel on your own or with a group? Would you like to incorporate your hobbies into your next trip? Are you a motorcyclist that wants to explore the world on two wheels? Or are you a teacher or a music director for a community group that is looking for a unique experience for your students or musicians? I have a vast amount of knowledge from my personal travel experiences, experiences my wonderful clients have shared with me, and from my colleagues. Whatever your desired destination or activities, let me assist you!
I love to share my travel knowledge and I would love to talk to your group.
It has been almost two weeks since I am home from our magical trip to Ecuador. My head is still dancing with all the memories that I brought back.
I wanted to write this letter to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the incredible trip we had to Ecuador. I have travelled a fair bit and have always enjoyed my travels. In fact, many of my friends are envious of my destinations. I have never before used a travel agent because everything seemed simple enough to do through online sites and TripAdvisor. However, after this trip to Ecuador with you, I realize just how much I have been missing when I rely on my own means. Yvette, your expertise, your attention to detail and your desire to create a unique travel experience for all of us, brought a whole new awareness as to how a country should be experienced. I could never have duplicated our Ecuador trip on my own! Never! No matter how much time I had to plan nor how much money I had to spend.
Thank you for fretting over all the details! Thank you for listening to our many ideas and conversations and then finding a way for them to become a part of our adventure. Thanks to you, we had opportunities to horse back ride, visit the End of the World swing, zipline across a canyon, trek up to a volcanic lake, spend extra time at markets so we could seek out that perfectly weaved tapestry, go to a local grocery store and stock up on some favourite Ecuadorian pleasures, bring home local spices so we could try to duplicate some of our best loved recipes, visit both a rose and an orchid farm and a cocoa plantation, and, we even had a cooking night tailored exactly to our likes where we got the highly coveted recipe to the delicious traditional Ecuadorian potato soup! In addition to all these amazing experiences, our most treasured moments were those we spent with the talented and humble artisans that we visited on our journey from the top of Ecuador to the bottom. We watched many weavers weave; we learned how to spin wool; we helped dye cotton using gathered plants from the field; we sat beside beautiful and loving women who shared their passion for embroidery with us. Perhaps our most dear of all experiences was the fact that we ate in the homes of these artists. We sat beside them and shared lovingly prepared meals. Even though language was a challenge, we all understood each other perfectly! The admiration and respect that I felt for these artists was immense and moving. Many of these destinations were remote and couldn’t easily be accessed without your determination and attention. Oh yes, and we never took the easiest tourist route. If there was a more scenic and memorable route, that was the one we were on. The 37 kilometres we travelled on the cobbled road up the Avenune of the Volcanoes was nothing short of spectacular! And we mustn’t forget that you made sure we had the most energetic, knowledgeable, gregarious and caring guide ever- Diego, who welcomed us and took great pleasure in sharing his passion and pride for Ecuador. Thank you for choosing him with such great care!
Who gets to experience a country like this? One of my friends remarked to me upon hearing about my adventures and following me on Facebook, "It was more like a National Geographic adventure than it was a vacation!" Oh yes it was!!
Thank you Yvette for being spontaneous and able to change plans to suit the mood of the day. Thank you for caring enough that each one of us got to experience and fall in love with Ecuador. I look forward to many more travel adventures with you. Morocco and India 2019-here I come!
Thank you so, so much Yvette. Sending you blessings from a very grateful heart!Darlene Williams
Yvette, thank-you again for such a lovely trip. We cannot believe how rich and varied our experiences were, you are a master planner! Under your guidance Ecuador became a place that will stay in our hearts and minds.Ronda C