Every one of our travel consultants shares one thing: a passion for exploring the world. Learn how our experts fell in love with travel…
Author: Lucia Novara
That first whiff of the sea. A fleeting memory. Summer vacations at a favorite grandmother’s place. A faded picture from an old, dusty photo album. There are so many little things that can inspire wanderlust.
At Enchanting Travels, we live and breathe travel. It’s a way of life for our passionate travel consultants, who are committed to curating unforgettable journeys for you. We spoke to some of our travel consultants about their love for travel and how it all began. From backpacking across Western Europe and making new friends in a strange city to crashing a scooter and savoring simit in Turkey, our travel consultants open up about their first and most memorable journeys.
I’ve fallen in love with travel repeatedly, in big ways and in small ways. Discovering new corners on my walks around my own neighborhood even, and then of course the bigger falls – when you get the chance to immerse yourself in a new city or country. I realized my most memorable moments are the small ones – watching people move around me, going about their daily routine. When my partner and I went to Turkey some years ago, we took a month, stayed in different neighborhoods. We did the things we would do at home, go to the market and cook, go to a movie, wander around aimlessly, find our favorite spot to eat or drink and frequent it often. We got to experience the warmth of Fethiye on the southern coast, where we crashed our scooter and we guilted the staff at some hotel to upgrade us to a suite with a hot tub so I could ease my puncture wound. Then onwards we went, hiking through some small villages, had dinner with a sweet family that owned the only market in town, then we hiked some more and camped out. The best memories are getting lost in the shuffle, being quiet and listening to everything. The kids playing in the streets, the setup and breakdown of the literally the largest market I’ve ever seen from our window, the older folks ordering their bread, the guy selling fish at his stand, etc. I mean, give me a simit and an old church turned mosque turned church turned mosque to walk around in and I’m a happy clam.
My love of travel moment happened the first time I backpacked solo in Europe. I landed at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam knowing no Dutch so I took a bus to the city centre and then walked 6km to the hostel (due to thinking it was somewhere else, again no Dutch!). When I finally arrived I was so nervous about what I would do by myself but I was greeted by the friendliest group of people, which turned out to be the hostel staff on break. I was given the grand tour of Amsterdam by the local workers and made amazing friendships. I continued around Europe but before my return home I had to pay my new friends one last visit. They woke me up at 3am on my last day to drive out to the beach in Zandvoort and watch the waves come in until the sunrise. Even though I wasn’t happy about the wake up call it’s a memory I’ll cherish forever!
I fell in love with travel when I was gifted a school trip to Greece for my high school graduation gift. Ever since then, I have planned my life around experiences near and far. My best travel experiences have been while traveling solo, when I can get outside of my comfort zone and connect with the deepest parts of myself. Being in nature is where I feel then most content and I tend to travel to places with a lot of wild, natural beauty. I also love that travel connects people – I’m still friends with most of the amazing people I’ve met on my travels over the years. My favorite travel experience was when I took a year long sabbatical to live, work and travel throughout New Zealand. Part of the year was spent road tripping in my Subaru Forester – every day was a new and exciting adventure! With covid, I have learned how to find awe and wonder in our backyard and I am grateful that I can drive to the mountains to hike, climb, ski, explore… I used to think I could only access my love for travel if I was traveling very far away, but what I have realized over the past two years is that I can still feel that overwhelming sense of love, joy, awe and wonder in the beautiful places we have close by in driving distance.
My love for travel started when I was 16 and my Dad took me to Mexico with him for a work trip. That started the itch… and then I studied abroad in Buenos Aires for a semester my junior year of college. My love for solo travel occurred right after getting to Costa Rica with a friend. He unexpectedly had to return home and we didn’t have a plan to begin with, so all of a sudden I was just winging it! This sounds bad but I am so glad he left or I may have never understood how freeing/challenging/amazing traveling by yourself in a foreign place is. I met so many wonderful people and for the first time, really had to go out of my comfort zone to talk to strangers or risk dying of boredom. This trip helped define me as a person and definitely sparked a love for exploring this world on my own.
My love for travel started when I got an opportunity to spend one semester in a university in Athens as an exchange student. As a 23 year old my mind was blown because the world had opened itself to me and I was elated to experience new food, new places and new cultures. It was all just so exciting! I remember celebrating one of my best birthdays with other exchange students and we must have danced to songs from 10 different languages. And then after the semester ended I backpacked across Western Europe staying in hostels, sleeping in trains to save money, eating only bread and Nutella for lunch, and it was all worth it. Since then there hasn’t been looking back and the thing that I love the most about traveling is meeting people from different cultures and learning about their stories.
Do you have a travel story you’d like to share with us? We’d love to hear from you.
And if you’ve been dreaming of sun-kissed beaches, far-flung villages atop mountains or an adventure like no other, reach out to our travel consultants. They are seasoned travelers themselves and will build a custom itinerary to help turn your dreams into reality.