My personal journey began on the banks of the Blue Danube in Bulgaria, Eastern Europe. Despite its small size, my country has a lot of history, tracing back to the Bronze Age (if not further). The abundance of Greek, Roman, and Byzantine era archaeological sites are undisputed witnesses to the significance of the region. Since a teenager, I was fascinated with ancient Mediterranean civilizations, especially Egypt. My dream was to become an archaeologist in order to study the daily life of the people who inhabited the "Black Land Kemet", and to learn the way they perceived the world millennia ago.
Although not able to pursue the path of archaeology professionally, over the years I kept learning about the Ancient Egyptians and their trading and cultural relationships with their neighbors, such as the Minoans who lived on the island of Crete, the Athenians on the mainland Greece, the Romans, just to name a few.
A defining moment came when I started traveling to these destinations and the historical monuments were no longer just a teenager's bookish dream. Many times, I just stood in awe and marveled at the sight. Irreplaceable experiences also included interactions with locals and learning about their culture and traditions.
Unfortunately, during my adventures, I also ran into tourist crowds, large bus tours, and hours-long lines to must-see cultural and historical sites. As someone who appreciates getting a closer look and a bit of quieter time to study my point of inspiration, I was frustrated and annoyed by the tourist crowds, the feeling of being pushed and rushed. Having sometimes just a few days at the destination, the time wasted can quickly add up. After a few stressful travel occurrences and meeting on this path people who faced similar challenges, I started to search for a wiser, personal and stress-free way to travel.
Following my passion for ancient history and cultural heritage sites inspired me to start Journeys4Life , boutique travel services. My commitment is to dedicate the rest of my professional life to help savvy travelers who struggle with the lack of time and the overwhelming information on the internet and who would like to avoid tourist crowds and skip the lines to historical monuments, but get personalized attention, so they can deeply experience the destination they are traveling to and come back home culturally enriched and full of life-lasting memories.
We look forward to serving you and making your dream vacation, an experience for a lifetime.
How long have you been doing what you do and how did you get to be a Cultural Travel Expert?
I started my business back in 2013 as a home-based independent travel advisor affiliated with Palm Coast Travel & Signature Travel Network. My true passion for Old World Civilizations/Historical UNESCO World Heritage Sites was sparked in my teenage years when I dreamt to become an archaeologist. Since then I have constantly studied about and traveled to many historical sites in the Mediterranean region and the Middle East known to be Cradles of Civilization. During my travels, I realized that they are many ways to see a destination - inexperienced people wait on half-a-day lines to get into must-see cultural sights and eat at crowded and touristy restaurants. My mission is to help travelers to experience the destination away from tourist crowds, skip the long lines to monuments and create enriching, long-lasting memories.
Who are your clients exactly?
My clients are typically savvy and physically-active travelers, who are interested in history and local culture and would like to experience the destination in a deeper, authentic way, away from tourist crowds and long lines. They would like to connect with the local people and have enriching experiences, which are not readily available to everyone. The time is their most precious commodity and they seek the expertise of a travel consultant to match their travel style with the right travel supplier and get all of the travel logistics handled from start to finish. They need someone who is knowledgeable, it can be trusted, someone who cares and is ready to provide support in case the trip doesn't go as smoothly as it was planned.
What happens if you haven't yet worked with travel advisors?
In today's internet-connected world, people have unlimited access to information and think that they don't need to use the services of a travel professional and reserving travel through a travel advisor can be more expensive than booking on their own. However, they don't count the many hours or even days spent on research online and often, the fact that they lack inside knowledge about the destination and rely solely on other travelers' reviews and sometimes paid-publications in travel magazines. A legit travel advisor saves time, has destination-specific knowledge either by frequent in-person travel or certification, offers competitive rates, and can usually offer added-value benefits such as cruise shipboard credit, extra hotel amenities such as complimentary breakfast, late checkouts etc.
How are you different from other "travel advisors"?
The majority of travel advisors still use the traditional business model and try to be "everything for everybody". A specialty travel advisor focuses on a particular niche and area in the world. What separates me & Journeys4Life from other travel advisor is that our focus is on cultural heritage travel/historical UNESCO World Heritage Sites primarily in the Mediterranean (Italy, Spain, Greece) & Middle East (Egypt, Morocco, Turkey, Israel, Jordan) and we have traveled to this destinations.
What type of traveler do you work best with and what is expected of me?
I work with clients who are pressed for time and the overwhelming information on the internet and seek deeper, authentic experiences and expert guidance. We collaborate together and make adjustments until we find the best fit for traveler's needs, that might be complex: multi-city/multi-country land journeys or small ship cruising and the assistance of local guides. In order for us to work together, I handle all of the travel details from start to finish (accommodations, air, transfers, activities).
What type of traveler my services are not appropriate for?
Please know, that I am selective in who I work with and not every traveler needs my services.
I am not the right resource for you if:
-- If you typically stay at hostels, AirB&B's and budget 3-star accommodations.
--You'd like to go with the flow, without any planned activities and not sure where you going to spend the night
-- If you travel on a tight budget and have unrealistic expectations about the cost of the trip
-- If you have reserved the main portion of the trip on your own and need someone to fill out the missing details (example airfare & hotel/cruise are already booked, need help with transfers and tours)
What are the benefits of working together?
-- You will save multiple hours, often days of research on the internet
-- You will get expert guidance and get a match with a travel supplier that fits your personal travel style
-- You will maximize your time in the destination
-- You will receive more easily-coordinated, and reduced-stress vacations
-- You will get unique experiences, not able to create on your own
-- You will have my support in the event something unpredictable happens during your travel
-- You will come back home culturally enriched, with long-lasting memories
How do you get compensated?
The majority of independent travel advisors get compensated directly by the Tour supplier in the form of commission. The airlines don't pay commissions, or on rare occasions when they do, is not enough to compensate for the multiple hours needed to research complex multi-city/multi-country airfare. That's why travel agents collect airfare planning fee. In cases of custom-planned itineraries, due to the many components involved, many travel advisors collect itinerary planning fee as well.
Can I contact some of your former clients to see what it's like to work with you?
Yes, I encourage you to! Please go to the Client Testimonials page or simply Google Journeys4Life and read all of them. See which ones you feel drawn to. Then feel free to email or call them and ask what they got from working with me.
Ok, I am ready to work with you. How do we get started?
Great! The first step is to complete the "Traveler Profile Form" located under "Planning Process" Tab. Once completed, the next step is to schedule "Get acquainted" 20-min phone call.