WHEN WAS YOUR PASSION FOR TRAVEL FIRST IGNITED?
I was born and raised in Fiji. When I was 21 or 22, I was a stewardess taking my first flight to New Zealand. I had never left the island before, so it was very exciting. The moment I arrived, I said to myself, It’s such a big world out there. That’s when the travel bug started.
THE INTERNET ALL BUT KILLED THE TRAVEL AGENCY BUSINESS, BUT IT SEEMS TO BE MAKING A COMEBACK.
People want the human touch. Computers can do a good job of gathering information, but when it comes to actual booking you want the expert advice of the travel agent, somebody who has actually been there, who has contacts there.
ANY TRAVEL NIGHTMARE STORIES THAT YOU CAN LAUGH ABOUT NOW?
My first trip to India was during the heart of their monsoon season, and I was not prepared. In India during summertime, they usually sleep on the rooftops. In the middle of the night came the rain, which they didn’t expect that early in the season. It was so funny—I didn’t know which way to run because I was on the roof. I started screaming.
WHAT IS THE ONE PLACE YOU THINK EVERYONE SHOULD VISIT AT LEAST ONCE?
I tell people: If you haven’t been to India, you really haven’t traveled. People don’t realize India has it all: the most beautiful beaches, history, culture, people, language. You will feel, see and experience things that will literally change your life forever.
WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU NEVER LEAVE HOME WITHOUT?
WHAT HAS TRAVEL TAUGHT YOU ABOUT YOURSELF?
I am adventurous, but I didn’t realize it until I started traveling. By going out of my comfort zone and talking to people, I have learned that we all have the same dreams and values.
YOU SEEM TO DERIVE MUCH SATISFACTION FROM YOUR WORK.
I love to create dream itineraries for my clients so that when they come back, they tell me it was the best trip of their life. St. Augustine said, “The world is a book, and those who don’t travel read only a page.” Travel is good for both mind and soul. I love what I do.