Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Currently Reside
Elgin, Illinois, USA

My first memory of travel
Wow, I must have been about five and we were heading to the Snowy Mountains down in New South Wales for winter Ski Holidays. My brother and I were collected straight from school for our four hour car ride down to Mount Kosciusko. Well as we arrived, which was well into the late hours of the night, we needed chains to get up the last part of the mountain. Dad did not have any with him. There were several cars trying to get up the hill and kept sliding back down. So then it was our turn, after numerous times “MY DAD THE HERO” made it up the last hill to the resort and all of us tucked into bed for the night. The actual skiing part went about the same for me for my first time down the mountain. However, I ended up becoming a great skier and have skied all around the world.

My first trip abroad
Fiji is a favorite destination for Australians during Winter Holidays. We used to travel to Fiji quite often. On my first trip to Fiji, we went on the Blue Lagoon Cruise. I remember swimming in the same caves that BROOKE SHIELDS did when she made the movie Blue Lagoon. The Fijians are some of the friendliest people in the world, and this was my first introduction to island life. I have traveled to Fiji well over 50 times since I first visited.

Recent trips
This is hard as I do love to travel and travel quite often abroad. My most recent trip has been to Dublin and London, and just prior to this I did a road trip to South Dakota to see Mount Rushmore and the Badlands. America has some wonderful areas to see and I have around three states left to visit. In my other travels I have visited every continent other than South America and hopefully will get to visit sooner than later.

My favorite place to travel
Well I think I’m spoiled as I grew up in Australia and now live in the USA, and I think these are probably the two best countries in the world. I do get to travel back to Australia to visit family yearly, so I would say my next favorite country would be Italy. I just love the countryside, food, wine of course the laid back feeling, which is similar to OZ.

My dream vacation
This is hard, I still have a lot of places I would like to visit. I think I would definitely like to See Rio in Brazil and Machu Picchu in Peru. I would also love to see the Northern Lights in Iceland and spend a night in the Ice Hotel. I never got to see them when I was in Scandinavia as it was the wrong time of year.

My ultimate survival bag for international flights includes
Chocolate, I love to just have this as it melts my time away on the plane while watching the videos. I can’t seem to sleep on planes no matter how many tricks people tell me. So Chocolate is my vice. Of course a toothbrush is essential, you feel nearly human after cleaning your teeth. Also a pair of socks you can throw away. I always wear them into the bathrooms as you know how dirty they become after a long flight.

My travel tips to make a long flight seem not quite as long
It’s all mind over matter. Once the doors shut on the plane you have to deal with the long flight. So just “don’t sweat it.” I always have the meals on board, I ask them to wake me if asleep. This way your body is getting used to the new time zone. I always drink lots of water so as not to get dehydrated and I do take quite a few walks throughout the flight, about every two hours. You have full access to movies, music and of course these days you can use your own computers and iPads.

My favorite destination we sell
Tasmania, a lot of people forget this little Australian island, however it is fantastic with great food, wine, lots of Australian History and beautiful scenery. It’s very laid back and you can see all of the Australian wildlife including the Tasmanian Devil.

My best travel advice
Don’t panic, as this will ruin your holiday. Always take out travel insurance as this will give you peace of mind if something beyond your control happens.

If I weren't in the travel industry, I would be busy making a living doing
I have my Real Estate License so would look into doing this full time. I also used to coach tennis in Australia so would love to get back into this part time.

I fell in love with travel
I was originally a social worker in Australia, then decided to take three months off and travel to Europe. Well those three months turned into four years of working/traveling throughout Europe and the UK. So when I finally returned to Australia, I wanted to tell everyone about what to see and do when going to Europe. So the start of my travel consultant days. This is my passion making vacations turn into reality.

What I love most about my job
Hearing that they really enjoyed visiting my home country and wish they had longer. I quite often hear “Shelley - when we book the next trip please make sure we see all the places we missed this trip.”

My happy place
Castaway Island – Fiji

My favorite travel companion
A good book. But seriously, I have to say my husband. He is so used to flight delays etc, he just has a “go with the flow” attitude which is great.

I'd love to take a trip with
My son and my nephew. They both are big soccer and tennis players. As I am a tennis player as well, would love to go with them to the four major tennis tournaments and the World Cup soccer.

What I do when I'm not at work
I’m a soccer Mom, my son is in MDL league and we travel all over the country. I also play high level tennis in NITTL Chicago league.

Email me for Australia, NZ, Fiji, Tahiti and Cook Islands