Jim Wiedeman

Independent Travel Advisor – CA

Cruise, Russia, India, Turkey, Egypt, Africa, Safari, Tahiti, Fiji, Cook Islands

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About Me

When I travel, I like a good mix of everyday life and a slice of history. I prefer big cities to walking The Rockies (as noted by my interest in cities like Paris, London, New York and Moscow, to name a few).  Typically, when I arrive in a new destination, I immediately get out and walk the streets to get a feel of the local vibe (with usually includes a stop at a local pub for a bite and a local beer). Good shoes for walking are important to me and I rarely take taxis instead rely on walking or local transportation such as metros, buses and trams to get around.  I also like local cuisine and on a trip to India several years ago, I ate regional food for breakfast, lunch and dinner for 2 weeks and loved it.

Favorite Place

Though there are many classic cities like Paris, London and New York, a city I’ve been to twice and look forward to returning to is Moscow.  I feel that, unlike St. Petersburg, which I do like, Moscow is the heart and soul of Russia.  There are amazing restaurants, hotels, museums, attractions, and churches to visit.  I love riding the Moscow Metro and stopping at the various underground stations to see beautiful art, sculpture and tiles.

Hidden Gem

Taj Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad, India.  When you arrive, you ride in a horse-drawn carriage up the hill to the palace and are greeted with a shower of rose pedals.  It has a museum of the original artwork and furnishings from the maharaja who lived in the palace.  The palace sits on a hill with beautiful views overlooking the city, which are best at night when the lights are out and you can hear the sounds of the city below.


Twenty-two years ago I decided to move from the world of high-tech semiconductor industry to travel. I started at Bungey Travel in Palo Alto (a pioneer agency which opened in 1931 by Mrs. Bungey and who worked there to 1964). and later worked at Cardoza-Bungey Travel, where I managed the leisure department.  Since 2011, I have worked at Valerie Wilson Travel as an independent contractor.