St. Andrews with my dad

At the end of 2017, most people will evaluate their year and look ahead to those perennial New Year’s Resolutions. I am not unique by any means in that I have had a roller-coaster year with wonderful highs and deep lows. I grappled with mortality after learning of my dad’s brain cancer diagnosis that has left me feeling helpless, and scared to lose my dad. It’s a miracle in disguise that I decided to freelance two years ago. It’s given me the flexibility to be present when things got tough and able to spend time with my family. Once we were out of the woods this summer, thanks to incredible medical advancements, we planned a two-week family trip to Scotland and Ireland to explore my dad’s ancestral roots. It’s something he has always wanted to do. The Parkers first came to Berlin to spend time with my boyfriend Malte. It was perfect start to our memorable trip.

Flash back to two years ago when I quit my 9 to 5 job, I happened to meet a wonderful German man on a boat in Zanzibar and fell in love. Since then, I’ve been able to join him in Berlin and now, Beirut. I’ll be splitting my time between Lebanon and the U.S., working remotely. If I wasn’t in the travel industry and freelancing, there would be no way for me to carry on the way that I do and be successful. It’s the travel community that has a lot of understanding and even encourages me to pursue a different path.

I took the end of the year as a good time to put down on paper (and the internet) things that I’m going to reach for next year. I hope this public post will hold me to it. Please do come visit me here and follow along.

Cheers to good health, happiness and new adventures in 2018!

โœˆ๏ธCustom Travel by Trip Whisperer (moi!)ย 

By early 2018, I will officially become a travel agent. I’ll be able to book travel for friends and fellow dreamers. I love planning and researching trips even when I’m not going. So it’s time to get booking and help others get busy living.

Since I’ll be spending a lot of time in Beirut, it’s a prime opportunity to help connect Western travelers with the modern day Lebanon. I found the country and city to be fascinating and it changed my perception drastically. Beirut’s nightlife has that Berlin hedonism and chic style of Paris. Hot spots keep popping up all over the place, among its beautifully designed architecture. In the warmer months, people are sunning themselves at resorts and beach clubs that hug the coastline from north to south. The country is littered with ancient remains from the Phoenicians to the Romans. And not to be forgotten, the Lebanese are some of the oldest winemakers, dating back 5,000 years.ย  I cannot wait to go back this February and indulge in more wine ๐Ÿท

๐ŸšขMy Humble Aboat

Another idea has set sail! I’ve been dreaming of owning a Dutch barge. Lately, it keeps bubbling to the surface. I find myself on houseboat forums, and deep on the web looking at barges for sale. As fate would have it, I found the most amazing Dutch barge. It is currently functioning as a B&B in the Netherlands. The timing is not ideal, but I have to see about a boat. So my first international trip of 2018 will be to the Netherlands. I plan to make it a floating travel agency and B&B if the stars align.

The inspiration for this idea comes from my aunt and uncle. They had semi-retired in their 40s and bought a Dutch barge just after traveling the world for two years. Now you can see where I get my wanderlust spirit. This is their bargeย ๐Ÿ‘‰ย Toulouse, France 1984

My dream barge will come with some challenges. It’s not as ‘loosey goosey’ as it was in the 80s. Lots of regulations and mooring limitations. However, if you set your mind to something and commit, it’s worth the risk, cause look at that boat ๐Ÿ‘‡

ย ๐Ÿ’กTravel PR & Marketing Consulting

And for Trip Whisperer Petite PR, I will continue to maintain clients and pursue projects that help stretch my creativity. I have been really fortunate thus far to work with the mentors and friends that I have in this industry. I’ll continue to foster relationships in the travel community and nurture the Travel Massive network that I’ve spent more than five years growing and growing with.

I mean, look at this crazy bunch of awesome people ๐Ÿ‘† Who would give this all away?

I owe my achievements and happiness to my family, friends, work-friends, and love of my life.

Lesson learned, don’t let anyone take the wind out of your sails! The boat puns are just getting started โš“๏ธ

Signing off for 2017!



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