Have you ever thought about what kind of traveler you are? What does traveling mean to you? Is it to escape, celebrate, or discover something new?
Being in the luxury travel industry for almost a decade, I have heard these words a lot, “If you ever traveled in luxury, there’s no going back”.
How I wish I could say that, but if I am to define the kind of traveler I am, it would be far from luxurious. The words balanced and versatile are more appropriate.
Moments of solitude is necessary for a good rest that sometimes, I prefer getting lost and finding my way back on my own. Once, I took a cruise from Bergen to Tromso through its beautiful, majestic fjords with 50% of the time spent sleeping in my cabin. That was because I just spent about ten days of an educational trip in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan that I finally submitted to travel fatigue. I never regretted spending my holidays in rest because sleep is essential for me to get inspired and appreciate the world around me again. And besides, it was cold, and my bed was too comfortable!
I also love the conversations, the exchange of ideas with new-found friends, whether they are visitors themselves or locals who have been living there for a long time. Traveling with friends and family is one of the most treasured memories I would ever have – imagine, sharing amazing moments with someone who indulges as you do. But sometimes, going solo is the way to go because you can’t forever wait for people to be ready. You just have to be eager, pack your bags, and go.
“Balance is listening to your instincts, and (it sounds cliche), following the pace of your heart.”Cindy Wong
I was taught the value of money at an early age, and in today’s times, I prefer a better stretch of my dollar whenever I go traveling. But to what extent should I pay tons of money for an experience? How do you measure and make sure it is worth the money? How do you even define the ultimate travel experience?
I still remember self-driving in the South Island of New Zealand, where one day, we would be staying in a motel and the next day, taking a helicopter to the glacier and then staying in a suite room at The Rees, Queenstown. Maybe I am a versatile traveler because I can appreciate wherever I decide to travel, whether it’s in my home town in Cebu, or the Four Seasons Kuda Huraa, the Maldives, or the AndBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge. Speed-wise would depend on the destination. Sometimes, I would spend a night in each city, other times, a good ten days, which proves that I still have my favorites because they are more personal to me.
“After all, it’s all about the memories, the stories you will remember for the rest of your life – the ones you’d tell others to encourage and inspire them to do the same.”Cindy Wong
The Philosophy of Exceptional Wanders
The best experiences are crafted mostly from small little things that you sometimes don’t take notice of. But because “it’s” there, everything runs perfectly smooth. The art of silent service is what I always strive for when designing an itinerary for my clients. In the world of automation and modernized systems, we don’t have to compromise personalized service. That goes from the first step to the end.
My first job in tourism was working as an airport representative at eighteen. It was still fresh in my mind how I was very green and how things didn’t work out easily. The learning has been very steep. For ten years, I have witnessed a lot of fiasco, both foreseen and unforeseen, that can happen during a holiday, and my job as a travel designer is to resolve these problems, making things better for the traveler. Honestly, it took me some time to learn empathy, an essential ingredient in becoming a successful travel consultant. It is not all about meeting the target and closing the deals, but apart from mastering the craft, building friendships that share the love for travel is the most satisfying thing. The most exciting question would emerge naturally, “Where are you traveling next?”.
A decade of travel has taught me valuable points that I will surely carry now that I am pursuing my own Exceptional Wanders. I am fortunate to be with passionate travelers who are visionaries themselves, aiming to share what is out there and the best there is.
Another decade from now, I am sure that I, along with my team, will continue to evolve in becoming better travel consultants. Meanwhile, I also hope to establish a community of travelers who are willing to live life to the fullest, embracing meaningful experiences while exploring the world with enthusiasm and because they booked through us, with peace of mind. And that is what genuine luxury travel is ought to be.