Fall Colours in all their Glory

On this Tour I discovered that growing up in Canada, we definitely took fall colors for granted. In September, my 54 British guests were caught off guard by their splendor. #ohtheplaceswesaw #nomooseinsight #whalesgalore

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OH! The Places We Will See

There comes a time when one just has to put DOWN the notes, put ON her trekking shoes, and GO. LEAP off the cliff, FACE the challenge, TACKLE the unknown: since I already did this once this year, it should be a breeze.

As grateful as I am to have had an abundance of time to prepare for my Reve Americain, anticipation is now working against me. What if … ?  Should I … ? Did I …? Can I?

“Of all the hardships a person had to face, none was more punishing than the simple act of waiting”, said Khaled Hosseini in A Thousand Splendid Suns.

Certainly, there is no hardship in traveling for a living. This girl is happy traveling. And while worrying in advance and preparing for any eventuality has served me well in the past, I usually realize, once I’m on the other side, that everything went much better than I expected.

So here’s to a wonderful two weeks with new friends, sights like we’ve never seen before, and laissons les bons temps rouler!

Mireille

ITMI-Certified Travel Director. Wife & Mom. World Traveler. Photographer. Writer.

Daunting? For sure. Exciting? Absolutely.

Several weeks ago, an inconspicuous ad seeking french-speaking tour guides for Texas-based tours became the catalyst for an unexpected, delightful journey.

Travel has always been part of my DNA. As a young teen, I traveled to Western Canada on a student exchange trip that transformed me. After working at our local airport while in school, I determined that travel would have to play a major role in my professional career.  Thanks to a little luck and the vision of two Panasonic (slightly ahead of their time) visionaries, I fell into the opportunity of a lifetime, traveling the world with young professionals I still call my friends, developing a new product that exceeded all our expectations.

When my husband and I decided to have children, our soaring careers took a back seat to the joys of raising our family. When I returned to the workplace, I was honored to be invited to bring my professional skills to my children’s schools where I thoroughly enjoyed working with students, parents, faculty and staff.

Back to this ad. It was just a small caption: not even sure how I saw it. And I thought: I would love to do this. I would be honored to share my love of travel with others. Maybe it will lead to other worldly opportunities. How can I leverage my prior experience in travel?

The answers to these questions not only led to ITMI but to twenty-five multi-faceted individuals, all outstanding in their fields, all wanting to re-invent themselves while leveraging their love of travel. Here we were: some young, others a little less so, exhilarated by the opportunity, men and women, ambassadors of the world, being challenged, stretching well beyond our comfort zones. And we did it. We earned our nautilus, with flying colors.

Fast forward to today, as I prepare to introduce a group of European guests to the wonders of the American West. “Turn them on, and turn them loose“, I can hear our instructors say.

Daunting? For sure. Exciting? Absolutely.

Mireille

ITMI-Certified Travel Director. Wife & Mom. World Traveler. Photographer. Writer.

Photo on left: Our first tour of San Francisco included incredible views of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Right: Our trip down US 1 led us to Hearst Castle, not a castle at all but regal nonetheless.

 

Never Too Late for a New Adventure

I just returned from a comprehensive, exciting certification program at the International Tour Management Institute. Honestly, I did not know that professionalism of this caliber still existed. To everyone at ITMI: thank you! I look forward to taking the road, leading adventures, and making you proud!

Now, we are in planning mode for the travel season: I look forward to keeping you posted on what happens next for this girl happy traveling!

Mireille

ITMI-Certified Tour Director. Wife and Mom. World Traveler. Photographer. Writer.