One of the main reasons I like traveling is because it brings me so much joy meeting new people and seeing how they live. I have learned so much from listening to the stories of locals, and I have been able to implement some changes in my life as a result. I have learned to have immense gratitude for family and friends, and especially for good health. Some of my fondest memories from trips start with a glass of wine at a local pub and turn into long conversations with new people that quickly become friends!
I also enjoy traveling to experience wildlife in their natural habitat. Some of my best memories of this are seeing humpback whales off the coast of Cabo San Lucas and a school of dolphins along our fishing boat off the coast of St. Lucia.
Finally, I love to travel because I get to sightsee, eat, shop…then repeat. I like to explore churches and learn about the history of the city, and I love to eat local cuisine. I genuinely believe food and wine taste better in Europe! I love to shop for things that are made locally. Some of my fondest shopping experiences happened in Florence when a friend showed me a leather store behind a local church where the monks made leather goods. I also love Italian charms and enjoy shopping for those when in Italy.
My favorite place to visit is Paris. Paris holds a special place in my heart because it was the first European city I had ever visited. I remember how excited I felt looking outside the plane window as we were about to land into Charles de Gaulle airport. I was hoping to get a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower, which I have since learned you cannot see from the airport. I was in my early twenties and on a budget. Although my taste in hotels has changed over the past 25 years, my love of Paris has not!
My favorite hidden gem is the town of Kenmare in Ireland. A small town a short distance away from one of my favorite Virtuoso hotels, Sheen Falls Lodge. My schedule while traveling tends to be sightseeing, eating, and shopping…then repeat. You can do this all very well while staying at Sheen Falls Lodge and visiting the town of Kenmare. It is also on the Ring of Kerry so you have the beautiful views of the ocean and the Irish countryside as well. My tip is to splurge on the Falconry Experience, it will create a memory to last a lifetime!
Clients enjoy working with me because I will be there every step of the way before, during, and after their trip. I have close relationships with the hotels and contact them directly before my clients arrive to make sure the hotel is ready for them and has their preferences in their file. I contact tour operators to make sure they have all the information they need to help tours run smoothly for my clients so they can concentrate on making amazing memories. I know my clients are trusting me to advise on how best to spend their hard-earned money, and I will not disappoint them.
A graduate of University of Georgia with a BBA in Accounting, I began my career at Arthur Andersen, LLLP in Atlanta. My passion for travel, meeting new people, and finding great travel deals eventually led me to Valerie Wilson Travel. I am also an active volunteer and participant with many charities such as the Alzheimer’s Association of GA, Catholic Charities of Atlanta, as well as Ghana Friendship Project.
When I’m not working or traveling, I enjoy running monthly community 5k races, playing competitive tennis in our local Atlanta leagues, and volunteering at my children’s schools and athletic activities. I reside in Sandy Springs, GA with my husband and our two children.