We have been busy traveling. As we launched and have grown The Curated Travel Collection, our division for global travel, we have seen some pretty cool places, experienced some incredible things, and met some of the best people. Traveling connects us to different cultures and beliefs. We meet and connect with people through travel that ties us and unites us. Thanks to WhatsApp and social media, we have been able to keep up with many of them through the years. So I thought it would be fun to peek at some of the incredible people we have met and some of the things we have learned from them.

Salem
Salem is from Morocco. He told us the French brought old world vines to Morocco and have become a significant supplier of wines to Germany.

Sam
Sam is from Serbia. He told us of the car trip he took from the Serbian mountains to Morocco, passing through Serbia, Croatia, Italy, France, Spain, Gibraltar, and a ferry across the Straights of Gibraltar, into the Atlas Mountains.

Mila
Mila is from Ukraine. She is one of the most knowledgeable sommeliers we have met. She was a nursing student and saving money to go back home to practice her schooling, but needs to have money saved for six months. Nurses starting have to work for free in Ukraine for six months. We met her three weeks before the war broke out and think of her often.

Cory
Cory Scruggs is from South Africa. He is an award-winning bartender in Grand Cayman who taught us how to batch cocktails for parties and innovative drinks.

Jennifer
Jennifer is from Grand Cayman and a salesperson at Island Jewelers. She taught us jewelry care and introduced me to John Hardy.

Lisa
Lisa is the Grand Cayman Director of Communications. We learned about the island’s issues regarding LGBTQ rights and their desire to move to a medical vacation destination and away from the banking industry. We also got the name of a great trainer on the islands from her.

Sarah
Sarah lives in the Tuscan countryside and owns an organic farm and vineyard where they make wine, balsamic vinegar, and many organic fruits and vegetables. She does an excellent pasta making class and produces an incredible Chianti Reserva.

Tuscan Farm

Elaine
Elaine is from Jamaica. Those in management in hospitality and tourism should hire her to train their staff. She is an ultimate professional. She remembered our names from day one, and there isn’t a drink she doesn’t know how to make. In addition, she has a huge, kindhearted personality that drew people to her. Even with a mask on at the time, her eyes smiled so brightly she could light a room.

Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas

Sassa
Sassa is from Croatia. He has incredible wine knowledge and wow, his memory! He remembered our dinner selection and wine we drank from a sailing two months prior.

George
George is Master Sommelier and owner at Wine Bar George in Disney Springs. We took a private master sommelier class with him. He took us through the same things any sommelier would go through to get accredited as a Master. Fantastic knowledge of wines, of course, but he also gave us insight into buying and where to go in Italy to get the wines we love. He also introduced us to French wines, which we now enjoy today. We stop in when we are in town, and he never ceases to tell a story through wine.

Wine Bar George

Photo Credit @Winebargeorge

Rivers
Rivers is a bartender at Wine Bar George with great wine knowledge. He has often pushed the varietal to somewhere I didn’t know existed, nor would I have tried it. A wine that tastes very dill but grows on you or a wine produced by Hennessy in China with a super green pepper taste. I will never forget the taste and the story. That is the type of experience I long for when I travel. Food and drink tied to stories that stand the test of time and take me back to the moment repeatedly.

Devashish
Devashish is from India. His family is from Northern India and owns an apple farm. He saves his money and goes back each August through Sept to help with the harvest.

Claire
Claire. Indeed our favorite executive in this industry. A love of gin and tonics, travel, and a wealth of worldly and professional experience. She is an absolute joy to hang with, and we have learned far too much to highlight it here.

Adrian
Adrian is a specialist in the lowcountry. She has given us some of our favorite little spots to visit in Hilton Head. We have been travelling there for years but always to the same spots. She has a fresh perspective and new places to try.

Dion
Dion was our first mate on a boat charter on Turks. If you think of a happy island local, this is him. He walked us through the culture, the landscape, and the places to hit. We even met him for his birthday party at a local beach bar where there was a junkanoo band.

Da Conch Shack

The Boat Captain
Our boat captain in Costa Rica (Regrettably, I cannot remember his name) introduced us to a local restaurant on the beach with the most insane seafood. It was a dive that smelled like garbage and had the best fish in a Vera Cruz sauce and a gorgeous view.

Alexa
Alexa is from Civitavecchia. She was a guide on an Italian trip. Her beautiful smile and love for her country came through every minute of that trip. I learned so much about the language and the culture through her teachings. I fell in love with Italy that week. I am not sure I would have fallen so hard without her guidance. She has a gift and love of not only showing people her country but teaching them about it through experiences.

Italian Tour Guide

Photo Credit @damselinvenice

Although the people above are from these locations, some were working elsewhere. I have listed below all the places we met them. I hope you learn whether it is on a three-night Bahamian cruise on different lines, a more extended cruise, an island vacation, or a transatlantic one, there are people to meet and their cultures to learn.

Italy
Costa Rica
Turks and Caicos
The Lowcountry of South Carolina
Grand Cayman
Walt Disney World
Disney Cruise Line
Freedom of the Seas
Oasis of the Seas
Celebrity Edge

Is it time for you to find your next destination and get out there to meet, learn and see? Contact your advisor at The Curated Travel Collection for more information. If you do not have an advisor with us, please reach out and we will be happy to assist you.