For the first time ever, one of our very own Go Ahead travelers will be blogging their story from tour! Meet Verna H., a longtime Go Ahead traveler and Group Coordinator. This month takes Verna to Italy on Food & Wine: Flavors of Tuscany & Umbria—complete with a pre-stay extension in Florence. Before she departs, get a closer look at her travel story.
How many years have you been a Go Ahead traveler? What about as a Group Coordinator?
I’ve been traveling with Go Ahead for six years, and I’ve been a Group Coordinator since traveling to Egypt… so six years as well!
What do you love most about being a GC?
I LOVE the great hotels, great food, super Tour Directors, local guides and having so much flexibility and the freedom to explore on one’s own.
Describe your group a little bit. How did you meet them?
My group is made up of longtime travelers/friends and family who have been traveling with me since my school tour days, plus friends that I have made along the way with Go Ahead.
Why do you like traveling with Go Ahead?
I don’t just like it; I LOVE it! I love being able to make friends from all over North America and travel in the company of like-minded people who I can share ideas and commonalities with.
How many countries have you been to?
I just counted twenty-three!
Which one was your favorite?
It has to be Egypt!! Turkey is a close second.
Why did you choose Food & Wine: Flavors of Tuscany & Umbria for your next trip?
We all LOVE the idea of a slower pace and sampling of food, wine and culture. We can’t wait to explore small villages and find the real Italy through this trip.
What are you most looking forward to about your tour?
I’m very much looking forward to the cooking lesson and meeting new people. The October colors of the Tuscan hills that float in the mist of the early mornings and evenings. I also want to share some of my favorite little places and experiences that I have had while traveling on my own. I want to share picnics along the way when we can have them and I am happy to include the whole darn bus if they want to be part of it. Everyone is invited! These are some of the most magical times one can ever have.
What’s your favorite part about traveling?
I love to interact with the locals and learn about the culture through sharing food, wine and experiences. I have been able to find a new form of educating myself and others through travel.
What are your favorite things to do when you’re not traveling?
I spend much of my time exploring new places through the internet, walking our beautiful west coast beaches, sharing time with my wonderful husband, Lorne, and my two great daughters. I also keep pretty busy managing our own businesses. I don’t know how I had time to work!
What’s one of your best travel tips?
Travel with only a carry-on. You don’t have to wait for luggage; no lost luggage either–you just get there and go! Pare down the wardrobe to a few good travel clothes in dark colors. Wear slip-on walking shoes through security. Take along a tiny pair of travel binoculars.
Do you have any questions for Verna? Ask away in the comments!