Jann Habbick of Ottawa had always planned travel herself, but recently she got a referral to Virtuoso advisor Sheila Gallant Halloran. Habbick's family (and in-laws) wanted to go to St. Lucia, where they had never been before. Gallant Halloran sat down with Mrs. Habbick and went through her travel preferences, asking specific questions about the family's needs. The trip was planned within about a week.
"It wildly exceeded expectations," says Habbick.
"Working on that trip spoke a lot to the relationships in the overall Virtuoso network," says Gallant Halloran. "I was able to book it using Virtuoso partners Classic Vacations with Cap Maison, Sugar Beach, and Barefoot Holidays. Sometimes I joke to travelers that I am like a master chef; I can take the ingredients – in this case the Virtuoso hotels and tour companies – and make a perfect meal – in this case a great travel experience."
Because of how great the first trip was, Habbick continued using an advisor for future trips, including a poignant family-focused one.
Habbick's mother has German roots; she was very close to her grandparents, who left Germany for Canada generations ago. Habbick and her mother wanted to visit Geseke, a small town in Germany where the family has roots. The planning was challenging, though: it's (obviously) a foreign country and they don't speak the language or know anyone. Habbick worked with Gallant Halloran, who worked with a Virtuoso on-site (Alpha Travel Consultants) , and ... lo and behold ... the Mayor of Geseke showed up and toured the women around himself.
(Gallant Halloran blogged about setting up this trip
, as well.)
"It was an amazing experience," says Habbick.
In terms of the broader question of why
she travels, Habbick has a great answer. "Parts of western Canada and Canada as a whole are hundreds of years old," she says of where she lives. "You have the opportunity to get out and see parts of the world that are thousands of years old, where documents were written that shaped legislatures and democracies. It's humbling."
"It's a big world, and an amazing world, and I love the opportunity to get out and see it."
If you'd be interested in using a Virtuoso advisor (and maybe getting an European tour from a Mayor yourself), please click below.