By: John Kennedy
I’ve had a great career in the travel industry, starting in an ad agency, then in marketing with a major hotel chain, advertising with a well-respected airline and ultimately as founder of a successful travel marketing company, designing and producing travel brochures and marketing campaigns for the major Canadian tour operators, tourist boards, airlines and hotels. I can’t think of a career I could have chosen that I would have enjoyed as much!
Like so many of you, I’ve enjoyed my fair share of travelling. I haven’t been anywhere that I wouldn’t return to (maybe one?) and I’m big on first impressions. They tend to stick.
I read somewhere that when you arrive in a destination you should look out the window of your hotel and snap a picture, right away. When you look at that pic later, it might stir up some of those first arrival impressions. The beginning. Hard to put into words, but for me it seems to work and so I still walk to the window and take one ‘says so much’ picture. The view expands from there.
When we were young, my wife and I took a Contiki coach tour through Europe. I look back on that as a great experience. Aside from the fun we had in that youthful group, it gave me first impressions of every country we visited and which ones I’d like to get back to. Although I went on the trip with some pre-conceived ideas about what each country might be like, it was my first impression on arrival that stayed with me. Italy was the country that more than exceeded my expectations, flat out. The scenery, the culture, the food and the people. I’d studied art history in university and for whatever reason, the renaissance was my soft spot and Italy had a lasting impression…
Now, years later, scenery, culture, food and people are the ingredients I lock on to. I like to learn some of the history, but hate boring tours that drone on and on…choosing to spend as much time as possible just ‘being’ in the place. Walking around and marvelling at the layout of the city, finding neat little areas and unexpected surprises! I’ve got lots of favourite cities now.
My featured tour ‘Istanbul free style’ has been carefully crafted to introduce you to one of the truly outstanding cities in the world. With half of the city in Europe and half of it in Asia it’s hard to imagine the enlightenment that lays in store. To be true to my concept of ‘free style’ I’ve selected just one half day tour a day, in the morning after you enjoy breakfast at our perfectly located hotel. Each tour and cruise shows you the historic and breathtakingly beautiful mosques and places of interest that give explanation to why this ancient city has thrived and grown through the centuries. A comfortable, thriving, bustling city, with friendly, helpful people who welcome you with open arms. I’ve enjoyed planning it…you’re going to love it!