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My Italian Transformation

My Italian Transformation

I got my start in the travel industry almost ten years ago after a Life Changing trip to Italy. My husband and I traveled to Italy for our daughter’s graduation from culinary school (she had been attending Alma in Colorno for the previous six months), and was now on her way back to take her finals and graduation. Proud Parent Moment!!

We stayed in Colorno in a lovely B&B on the outskirts of town. A short walk into town along cobblestone streets and lovely architecture. Upon entering the town square it was something out of a movie with quaint restaurants and coffee shops, and old Italian men sitting at tables playing dominoes. Set back from the town center towers my daughter’s school, ALMA – La Scuola Internazionale di Cucina Italiana. Once know as Ducal Palace of Colorno owned by several esteemed Italy families, after the unification of Italy it was property of the state and acquired by ALMA. It is a magnificent structure with beautiful gardens and grounds.

Over the next three days my husband and I explored Colorno as a local and wandered the cobblestone streets early because each day all the businesses close from 12-4 so that residents can take their time eating lunch, which we very happily participated in sipping wine and eating wonderful local meats, cheeses and breads. On our final day in Colorno we took a private guided tour of Parma visiting a farm where we watched a local family make Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, visiting a curing house for Prosciutto di Parma ham, dined outside for lunch on a vineyard where we again drank and ate the wonderful fare that Parma has to offer.   Last stop was a vineyard to taste some of the most amazing balsamic vinegar I have ever tasted.  It was at this stop that I was very quickly befriended by the owner of the vineyard, and almost 10 years later, we still regularly email and talk on Skype.

Next stop, and our base for the next 7 days, another lovely B&B on a hilltop in the port city of Livorno overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. A little slice of heaven. By day we traveled the sites of Livorno, Florence and Pisa, by night we dined at a local family owned and run restaurant, that by the 2nd night, the owner would have our favorite table reserved and promptly serve us local wine and some of the most amazing food we had ever tasted (we were ruined). Meals in Italy are not scarfed down, but eaten slowly and savored, usually taking several hours to complete. While in Livorno, we also had our first experience seeing the local wild boars, Cinghiale, which DOES NOT look like a common farm hog, but literally some huge beast that you would only imagine in a horror movie. This was quite interesting. This town was quite quant, tucked away on a hilltop, away from the bustling seaport below.

We traveled by train to Florence and Pisa and walked from the train stations to the main sites so as to explore the cities. Florence is a bustling city filled with art, architecture, museums and SHOPPING.  We definitely needed another day to really explore all it has to offer. Pisa was another quaint city where we of course had to see the leaning tower and the other surrounding magnificent buildings. This was definitely a tourist area; however, we decided to explore the surrounding city where we finally found ourselves a lovely outside café where we dined on wonderful pizza and other Italian fare.

Our final stop was a day in the bustling city of Milan; again, another city we really needed an extra day to explore. We walked the streets and checked out the local scene and shops while eating cones of creamy gelato.

While traveling from city to city by train the scenery was nothing short of AMAZING. Beautiful fields of sunflowers as far as the eye could see and lovely vineyards spread across the countryside. Through the coastal cities there were crashing blue waves against the rock cliffs, as well as lovely beaches where locals splashed in the water.

We were so sad to live Italy, and definitely left a part of our heart there. So excited for my return to Italy in July to explore the Roman Countryside. This time……. I just might not come back.

Give me a shout if you want to join us!!

 

ABOUT TRASFORMATIVA TRAVEL

Trasformativa is a US based travel company with offices located in Durham, NC and Clarksville, VA.  We are  focused exclusively on transformational travel. Our experienced and qualified travel agents offer many different types of transformational travel opportunities. We work with individuals and groups of many sizes to help them find a true difference. Most of the people who contact us are luxury travelers and leaders of groups who are traveling together. This includes, yoga or fitness instructors, health and wellness professionals, human resource directors, sales managers, CEO’s, church group leaders, corporate trainers, personal chefs, wedding planners, brides, corporate travel professionals, and also individuals looking to plan an exciting and out-of-the-way trip for a group of their friends.

Our transformational opportunities include Exotic Group Travel, Jamaica Travel, Caribbean Travel, Europe Travel, Retreat Group TravelCulinary & Vineyard Group TravelWellness Travel Retreats, Incentive Travel Reward ProgramsDestination Training EventsCorporate Wellness RetreatsTeam Building RetreatsFitness Retreats, Yoga & Meditation RetreatsJuice & Cleanse Retreats, Spirituality Retreats, and Autism Travel,

To learn more, visit our website or call us at (919) 616-3780.

 

Here’s why travelers from 22 states could face conflict with domestic flights in 2018

Here’s why travelers from 22 states could face conflict with domestic flights in 2018

 

What Does This Mean For Travelers?

The deadline is approaching for nearly two dozen states that have yet to update state IDs in compliance with the REAL ID Act, which was passed in 2005.

As a result of the REAL ID Act, residents in those states may have to present a valid U.S. passport or other identification — instead of previously used driver’s licenses or IDs — to travel within the U.S. and beyond.

Travelers who live in the following states could be affected:

Alaska
California
Idaho
Illinois
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Missouri
Montana
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
North Dakota
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
Washington

Residents of Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands could also be affected, as could those from Virginia.

Even if you never plan to travel internationally, it’s strongly suggested that you obtain a passport for your domestic travel as well.  You don’t want to get to the airport only to find you will be turned away at TSA.

 

ABOUT TRASFORMATIVA TRAVEL

Trasformativa is a US based travel company with offices located in Durham, NC and Clarksville, VA.  We are  focused exclusively on transformational travel. Our experienced and qualified travel agents offer many different types of transformational travel opportunities. We work with individuals and groups of many sizes to help them find a true difference. Most of the people who contact us are luxury travelers and leaders of groups who are traveling together. This includes, yoga or fitness instructors, health and wellness professionals, human resource directors, sales managers, CEO’s, church group leaders, corporate trainers, personal chefs, wedding planners, brides, corporate travel professionals, and also individuals looking to plan an exciting and out-of-the-way trip for a group of their friends.

Our transformational opportunities include Exotic Group Travel, Jamaica Travel, Caribbean Travel, Europe Travel, Retreat Group TravelCulinary & Vineyard Group TravelWellness Travel Retreats, Incentive Travel Reward ProgramsDestination Training EventsCorporate Wellness RetreatsTeam Building RetreatsFitness Retreats, Yoga & Meditation RetreatsJuice & Cleanse Retreats, Spirituality Retreats, and Autism Travel,

To learn more, visit our website or call us at (919) 616-3780.

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Engagement and a Changing Talent Pool

How to Obtain & Retain Top Talent With Incentive Travel Rewards

For the first time since industrialization, companies are now faced with a larger generation exiting the workforce than entering. As Baby Boomers retire, Generation X is not large enough to replace them and are followed by a large and less experienced worker staff – the Millennials. This structural change to workforce itself has helped drive employee rewards and recognition to center stage, as CEOs and senior management must strategize to retain as many top performing Baby Boomers for as long as possible, while simultaneously “training up” Millennials at a much faster rate than previous generations. In this changing environment, it is easy to understand why surveys show that over 90% of CEOs said they either need to or are already changing their attraction and retention strategy to obtain and retain top talent in these changing times.

As well, Millennials are looking for a much different employment contract than Baby Boomers, preferring entrepreneurism and a much shorter-term than in the past. They are looking for company brands that are innovative and value driven; Brands that carry those values through to multiple kinds of benefits and offerings to their employees.

Be sure to consider your training and retention strategy, so that the expertise, experience and wisdom of older workers remains in your organization and Millennials are ready for the challenges presented to them. Ensure that company values are clearly stated and well-supported throughout the organization.

Companies that implement Incentive Programs into their offerings see a much higher rate of obtaining and retaining top talent. Every year, according to the most recent figures, roughly $11 billion is lost due to employee turnover. Incentives are a great means of curbing those losses. Incentives Give Millennial Employees Reason to Stay, as they are at an age where they’re finding what career will define them going forward. As a result, most Millennials view their current occupation as transitory. In fact, 44% of millennials actively seek to pursue additional career opportunities over the next two years. Incentive programs can help reduce that statistic.

Over 65 percent of participants strongly agree that Travel Awards are remembered longer than cash payments. Employees like their incentive programs, and having a system in place in your company is a proven way to ensure increased retention in 2017/2018.

 

ABOUT TRASFORMATIVA TRAVEL

Trasformativa is a US based travel company with offices located in Durham, NC and Clarksville, VA.  We are  focused exclusively on transformational travel. Our experienced and qualified travel agents offer many different types of transformational travel opportunities. We work with individuals and groups of many sizes to help them find a true difference. Most of the people who contact us are luxury travelers and leaders of groups who are traveling together. This includes, yoga or fitness instructors, health and wellness professionals, human resource directors, sales managers, CEO’s, church group leaders, corporate trainers, personal chefs, wedding planners, brides, corporate travel professionals, and also individuals looking to plan an exciting and out-of-the-way trip for a group of their friends.

Our transformational opportunities include Exotic Group Travel, Jamaica Travel, Caribbean Travel, Europe Travel, Retreat Group TravelCulinary & Vineyard Group TravelWellness Travel Retreats, Incentive Travel Reward ProgramsDestination Training EventsCorporate Wellness RetreatsTeam Building RetreatsFitness Retreats, Yoga & Meditation RetreatsJuice & Cleanse Retreats, Spirituality Retreats, and Autism Travel,

To learn more, visit our website or call us at (919) 616-3780.

 

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Why Group Travel Is The Smart Way To Travel

Why Group Travel Is The Smart Way To Travel

While you may have never thought of getting a group of family and/or friends together to visit a destination you have all been dreaming about. Well, you might want to give it some thought, because group travel can be an extremely rewarding (and smart!) option for all types of travelers to set out and experience the world. Still not convinced about why a group travel experience might not be right for you? Continue reading…..
So you’re probably thinking, what are the benefits to traveling as a group, rather than solo or with one other person? Here are the five top benefits of group travel.

Save money – Practicality of group rates. Whether it’s airfare, lodging, food or adventures, groups will always get better rates than individuals. This is a no brainer if you want to experience everything a destination has to offer, and do it without breaking the bank.

Everything is taken care of and planned for you – All you do is show up. This is a big one! All of the particulars are taken care of for you. Planning a trip can be difficult, especially if you’re venturing to a place where you don’t speak the language. Traveling with a group and a Tour Director or local means all of the details are taken care of for you.

Do things you couldn’t do on your own – You’ll get to see and do things you might not have been able to do on your own. Whether it’s skipping the line at a museum or getting exclusive access to an area that is generally off limits, and experience hidden gems that you wouldn’t have known about, or had access to, on your own.

Create lifelong friendships – Travel gives people experiences and memories that are felt deep in the soul. You have the opportunity to meet likeminded people who will become your travel buddies, wine drinking buddies, adventure buddies, and the experiences you have together will create relationships that last a lifetime.

Safety in numbers – There is safety in numbers. You will need to think about safety no matter where you travel. No one wants to think anything will go wrong on a vacation, but that’s not the reality and being prepared is your best defense in tough situations. Traveling with a group means you have a “pack”. Think of a wolf pack. They travel together and protect one another. Traveling with a group means built in safety and protection. You can think of the Tour Director as the alpha wolf in the pack, always there to lead the group and make sure everyone stays safe and happy.

So….. Do I have you convinced? Do you have a destination you have always wanted to see? Well then let’s plan a customized Group Travel Experience for you and your group and create lasting lifetime memories.

 

ABOUT TRASFORMATIVA TRAVEL

Trasformativa is a US based travel company with offices located in Durham, NC and Clarksville, VA.  We are  focused exclusively on transformational travel. Our experienced and qualified travel agents offer many different types of transformational travel opportunities. We work with individuals and groups of many sizes to help them find a true difference. Most of the people who contact us are luxury travelers and leaders of groups who are traveling together. This includes, yoga or fitness instructors, health and wellness professionals, human resource directors, sales managers, CEO’s, church group leaders, corporate trainers, personal chefs, wedding planners, brides, corporate travel professionals, and also individuals looking to plan an exciting and out-of-the-way trip for a group of their friends.

Our transformational opportunities include Exotic Group Travel, Jamaica Travel, Caribbean Travel, Europe Travel, Retreat Group TravelCulinary & Vineyard Group TravelWellness Travel Retreats, Incentive Travel Reward ProgramsDestination Training EventsCorporate Wellness RetreatsTeam Building RetreatsFitness Retreats, Yoga & Meditation RetreatsJuice & Cleanse Retreats, Spirituality Retreats, and Autism Travel,

To learn more, visit our website or call us at (919) 616-3780.