~Elaine Srnka, Editorial Director & Vice President, Content
Thanks to a long career in the travel industry, I’m incredibly fortunate to have experienced more than my fair share of pinch-me moments. A white-linen lunch on the Great Wall of China. Wine tasting on a brilliantly sunny day in Switzerland’s historic Lavaux region, overlooking Lake Geneva. Four-wheeling through the Arabian desert dunes to a feast under the stars in the UAE. Waking to the sounds of hippos braying in the river outside my safari tent in Kenya’s Masai Mara. The Sistine Chapel, all to ourselves.
While some unforgettable experiences come with price tags that reflect their exclusivity, just as many cost next to nothing. Maybe it’s that first taste of something new. Or simply awe at the sheer beauty of the world – a sunrise, a
snowfall, or a breathtaking view.
I owe much of my own travel highlight reel to the network of connections that makes Virtuoso what it is. With more than 16,000 advisors and 1,700 hotels, cruise lines, tour operators, on-site partners, and other companies in nearly 100 countries around the world, Virtuoso brings together the best people in the luxury travel business. Those personal relationships help advisors plan top-notch itineraries for their clients, often offering opportunities and VIP treatment you didn’t even know were possible.
Take, for example, a friend’s 50th birthday celebration in Florence last year. As a travel agency exec, he’s on a first-name basis with the owners and GMs of the best hotels and local tour connections, so the whole week was over the top, from an after-hours viewing of Michelangelo’s David to a rooftop party at a private palazzo. But honestly, my favorite memories from that trip cost nothing more than a meal (and a few bottles of vino, of course). Lingering over a leisurely lunch, laughing with friends, and toasting our good fortune – that’s a wow moment for sure.
Our September issue is dedicated to such moments, big and small. You’ll find more than enough inspiration, so why not get a trip on the calendar to make more memories? At the end of this thing called life, you won’t necessarily remember the things you bought – but if you’re lucky, you will remember the things you did.
July 2017 l May 2017 l March 2017 l January 2017 l November 2016