"The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away." - Pablo Picasso
The quote above is attributed to Pablo Picasso. I came across it as a framed print in a dental office and it stopped me in my tracks. You see, in my business I work with brilliant entrepreneurial mentors, and critical to the success of one's business is understanding what sets one apart from others - in other words, one's Brilliance.
I will admit I've struggled with figuring out my brilliance, yes, I have a passion for travel, yes, I like to help busy people create memories that will last a lifetime - but let's get real - I'd wager every travel advisor can honestly claim these reasons for being in this business. But during a conversation over a leisurely dinner, with a travel colleague I'd just met in person after many online collaborations - it struck me - my brilliance is helping people do something for the first time.
So what does this mean? To me, it means I'm here to help you experience things that are new to you - to do things for the first time. From getting your first passport - to taking your first cruise - to taking your first river cruise - to your first hop across the pond - to coming face to face with magnificent beings as the elephants pictured above - and someday, traveling for the first time post-COVID - I will here to help you do something for the first time.
In closing, I came across another Picasso quote which seems entirely fitting: "Everything you can imagine is real." And somewhere on this beautiful blue planet that's our home, it's likely true - so think about it and remember it is my privilege to help you do it - for the first time.
Pablo Picasso was commissioned to created this sculpture by the city of Chicago to anchor the plaza of the Civic Center being built. Viewed from the front the face resembles that of a baboon...But viewed from the rear and the side, a profile emerges. As Picasso said, everything you can imagine is real!
While we've been on this pause, I've been learning about various travel experience and hotels, and have started to compile my personal wish list of places I hope to visit when we are able - I'll be sharing a few of these with you from week to week. This week my thoughts have turned to Ireland, the Emerald Isle.
Adare Manor, County Limerick
Adare Manor borrows its name from the nearby village of Adare, beloved for its delightful thatched roof cottages, lively pubs, and antique shops. Sitting on the banks of the River Maigue, Adare overlooks the fording point from which the village derives its name: Ath-Dara meaning ‘The Ford of the Oak’. The plans for the Manor House as it exists today were begun in 1832. An example of a rare Calendar House,, Adare Manor is adorned with 365 leaded windows, 52 ornate chimneys, 7 stone pillars and 4 towers to mark the annual tally of days, weeks, and seasons in a year. The Manor House is reminiscent of a chateau, sharing many features of the 19th century Gothic Revival in Britain and Ireland, and drawing inspiration from a romantic view of the chivalric past. The building displays a wealth of gargoyles, heraldry and decorative stone and wood carvings. Many of these carvings show creatures and monsters from the Bestiary, a medieval book of mythical beasts.
Fancy a round of golf? Throughout the years, The Golf Course at Adare Manor has been the setting for many prestigious tournaments, attracting golfing legends and supporters from around the world.
Tom Fazio has designed a magnificent parkland course to rival the best Championship courses anywhere, with inbuilt infrastructure and amenities capable of hosting the largest international tournaments in comfort and style. We look forward to welcoming many more spectacular golf events to Adare Manor in the years to come, including the Ryder Cup in 2026.
Experience a gracious evening of fine-dining by candle light in our Michelin star Oak Room restaurant, where Head Chef Michael Tweedie’s seasonal menu has distilled the essence of Ireland’s best artisan ingredients, paired with our wine collection, lovingly curated by our Head of Wines and Beverage Jurica Gojevic, Michelin Sommelier Award winner 2020. In the mornings, the magnificent Gallery offers a breakfast menu designed to give you an inspiring start to the day. Our Afternoon Tea in The Gallery is a refined indulgence, where expert Executive Pastry Chef Xavier Torne has created a divine menu of delightful confections, pastries, and hand-cut sandwiches, served with a selection of exquisite teas from around the world.
Ballymalloe House, Shanagarry, County Cork
Before traveling to Ireland for the first time, my mother in law mentioned that she had just read a review of Ballymalloe House. My husband and I decided to spend a couple of days there on our way from Dublin to Kenmare. It was (and is) an amazing property and is a brilliant example of a property that takes the food it serves very seriously. Most of the food is produced locally -and with the sea bery near, this includes the seafood. John Dory for breakfast? Yes please! The proprietor hosted a cooking show in England and the property offers a variety of cooking programs.
Ashford Castle, County Mayo
During this pause I've gotten very familiar with the hotels operated by Red Carnation - one of their extra-special properties is Ashford Castle, and I am really looking forward to visiting when I can. They have put together a lovely video introduction; it's attached to the button below.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.