"Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough
Gleams that untravelled world, whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!
As though to breathe were life!"
— Ulysses | Alfred, Lord Tennyson —
Karen Lee-Ishmael -
Wife, mother of twins, and eternal optimist. She has lived in South America, the United Kingdom and North America and has travelled extensively.
Karen has a B.A. (Hons) in English Literature from Smith College and a M.B.A. (specialization in Marketing) from the University of Miami. She is a Luxury Travel Advisor and a Certified Travel Associate (CTA) accredited by the Travel Institute. Pre-children, she and her husband enjoyed semi-spontaneous trips to Europe and weekends in Las Vegas. Since the arrival of the offspring, "spontaneity" now holds less appeal for this family, but international vacations have continued from the time the children were three months old. Crafting a travel plan that keeps everyone on the trip happy and engaged is no simple task, and traveling with children, has made Karen more thoughtful about all of the details that could motivate a family to leave the comforts and conveniences of home, in the first place. Many life lessons have been learned throughout these recent journeys, some more challenging than others, but the most important have been - retaining a sense of humor is vital, and the recognition that “selective hearing” is the tool of the determined!
One of the most memorable trips of her life was a budget, 14-day coach tour through several cities in Europe with her sister and four close friends when she was 16. Perhaps it was a “coming of age” event, but it was so unexpectedly fun and exciting, that every detail has been cherished. The organization of the day-to-day itinerary, the way that everything had already been arranged and booked without any effort from the travelers, held a vast appeal. "Our job was just to show up on the appointed date and have the time of our lives!" This should be the core expectation of all vacationers.
A Travel Advisor's job is to make travel easier, more memorable, and a superior experience than if the clients book the trip themselves. A skilled Travel Advisor is able to utilize networks, knowledge, and resources to enhance a journey in all the ways that really matter to the travelers. The relationship Karen develops with her clients is extremely important to the success of the trip. Listening to the "whys" in order to understand the expectations of each traveler, facilitates collaboration and connection. Karen strives not just to match these expectations, but also to surpass them in an extraordinary way. In each vacation, there should be at least one "wow" moment. Perhaps it was climbing out of a river rafting vessel and finding private picnic lunch set up for the family along the river bank. Or, returning from a long day of sightseeing and finding the phone you thought you lost 50 miles away, returned, and on your dressing table. Maybe it was that heart-stopping view of the Caldera from your upgraded room in Santorini, or the delight of the children who found the swimming goggles and travel games on their beds when they checked into the Hotel.
Karen is wholly committed to designing vacations that give optimal value to precious leisure time – easily planned, meticulous, magical escapes that inspire you to travel again and again.
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Travelutionist is an avatar for the travel blogger of Bite Travel, LLC and the Twitter handle. She is a travel solutions specialist or unofficial therapist, as needed. She is savvy and a little sardonic, and most importantly, she’s willing to be paid in the international currencies of good wine, coffee, and blocks of "peace and quiet".