I love to understand and appreciate a destination from the local perspective. I attempt to learn the language, avoid the touristy spots, and visit local cafes and restaurants to enjoy the regional cuisine. I love to visit a coffee shop or a wine bar to people-watch. Shopping for specialty food items, wines or trinkets that are unique to the area to take home allows me me remember my experience and re-live it again once I’m home.
I have many favorites, but Paris remains at the top of my list. Visiting during the holiday season is quite special. The city sparkles with holiday lights and decor, and it is simply magical. Just one of my favorite things to do is to stroll through the Luxembourg and Tuileries gardens and along Boulevard St. Germain or Place Vendome.
The Swan Lake Ballet at the Opera Bastille in Paris on Christmas Eve is a hidden gem I was recently able to experience with my husband. Very few tourists were present which made for a very French experience. The champagne was flowing during intermission – so festive! It was a beautiful and special performance.
My official travel career began with Valerie Wilson Travel in 2016 as part of the Associate Access training program for those new to the industry, however my passion for traveling began at a much earlier age.
My prior background as a critical care nurse required meticulous attention to detail, extreme focus and critical thinking; all valuable skills that have proven excellent companions when planning detailed trips to unknown destinations.