Meet Anna Harrison, Your Travel Advisor
“Be sure to bring earplugs and your own food, they only give you Reeses’ Peanut Butter Cups on the plane and the engines are so loud! There are only a few windows too!!”
I typed this cheerily and hit send to my college friends, attaching a travel checklist in the spirit of overachievers everywhere, the week before boarding a plane to Italy for our semester abroad.
You see, the only airplane I’d been on before was ten years earlier, when my family had left Portugal and flown on a military craft to the USA after my parents decided to move back after raising a family in Europe.
On that first flight to the USA as a child, immigrating to a land whose passport I held but where I’d never lived, I remember sitting in seats at the back of the cargo aircraft, and shyly walking up to the front where the soldiers had kindly placed chocolates and candy. I thought all planes were like this – loud engines vibrated and ropes swinging in the cargo area with many seats removed. I didn’t think it was that pleasant – did people really fly on planes for fun?
Suffice to say that ten years later, boarding that flight to Rome to study abroad felt like a whole new world. They gave you actual meals on the plane? You didn’t have to wear earplugs? There were free movies? What was this, the lap of luxury?! (I promptly and immediately made the rookie error of staying up all night from excitement on that first flight to Italy.)
Being a global citizen comes naturally to me. It starts with my American father with 25 years of military service including setting up the NATO headquarters in Lisbon, where he met my mother. My Portuguese side of the family was already used to globe-trotting: my mother’s father had a distinguished diplomatic career that took him from London to central Africa to Paris at the end of World War II, to Washington DC, to Southeast Asia, and finally as Portuguese Ambassador to Sweden, Pakistan, and Chile. My great grandfather was the consul general of Portugal in Shanghai, New York, London, Tanger, and Amsterdam. My Argentian grandmother met my grandfather in London and later flew to what was then the Belgian Congo to marry him without friends or family present. Adventure-seeking must be hereditary!
I’ve come a long way since that embarrassing error of telling my friends that earplugs are mandatory on airplanes – and I’ve upgraded my definition of luxury since that college experience! I’ve hiked the Great Wall of China, ridden horseback in Argentina, walked amongst wild giraffes in Niger, and climbed castles in Wales. I’ve slept on dirt floors in Burkina Faso, and ordered room service at the Peninsula in Hong Kong.
As I added more stamps to my passport (75+ countries and counting!), I discovered I had a knack for fitting all the pieces of a complicated trip together. My own travel style helped me send itineraries to clients that carefully balanced the touristic necessities with time for individual discovery and relaxation. My experiences flying around the world for conferences gave me valuable insight on the lovely touches an elegant hotel and upgraded room can provide, while my penchant for research let me discover hidden treasures wherever I visited, such as the myserious Las Lomas sand dunes in Bolivia, a cooking class in Marrakesh, or a tango lesson in Buenos Aires.
After ten years as a travel advisor, here’s my commitment to you:
I plan my clients’ trips as carefully as I do my own. Travel is so wonderfully transformative that you deserve to have an advocate who invests hours of care and research into your trip design. You’ll feel relaxed and secure knowing you’ve been matched with the perfect travel experience. And when it’s time for a splurge, you’ll be also be thrilled with the benefits of VIP partnerships and amenities at luxury hotels that only a professional travel agent can unlock.
I know that you like the finer things in life and that you’re willing to invest what’s necessary – but you want to feel that you’ve made the absolute best decision for yourself, not just based off of someone else’s online reviews or an online booking engine’s algorithm.
You don’t want to second-guess your choices, and you certainly don’t want to feel that you’ve left anything off the list when you visit those once-in-a-lifetime-destinations. I’m here to enrich your experience and to ease your overwhelm.
Ready to elevate your travel experiences?
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Ten Things About Me You May Not Know
- I love horseback riding and often add it into my personal vacations.
- I used to teach pysanky – Ukrainian Easter egg decorating – at my local community college.
- I love coaching and teaching and used to travel to places like Brazil, El Salvador, China, and South Korea to lead workshops for high school students looking to study abroad. I also was an AmeriCorps Volunteer for a year in inner city schools in Philadelphia.
- I lived in West Africa for three years as a Peace Corps Volunteer.
- I speak French well enough that the flight attendants always assume I live in Paris 🙂
- My two favorite international hotel brands are the Fairmonts and InterContinentals.
- I hate the cold but the best trip I ever took was four magical days in January to Quebec City.
- I’m most likely to order red wine with dinner. If ordering gin and tonic, it’s always Hendrick’s!
- My dream is to spend a week at an immersive cooking class in southern France. In a villa, of course!
- I’m terrified of heights, yet constantly find myself in destinations where a cable car / funicular is required to reach amazing views!