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    What Travel Can

    Teach Us About Love


    F1RST Selects

    What Travel Can Teach Us About Love

    Our advisors and clients talk about how travel has fueled their love of family, self, and more. 






























































    Spending so much time at home has taught us two key things: How much we love traveling, and how much we appreciate our relationships —whether that’s with our partner, our kids, our siblings and friends, our pets, or ourselves.

    And often, traveling is the spark that ignites and fosters those connections between us and others. That’s why this month, we want to focus on the intersection of love and travel. Not just the trips we love—though we’ve always got lots of those to recommend—but also the types of love that often encourages us to get out there in the first place.

    Here’s what a few F1S advisors and clients have to say about their own experiences:









    Finding Love—And Re-Igniting a Career in Travel

    Nothing beats a good love story. But add in a chance meeting in a chat room, a long-distance overseas romance, and an Italian backdrop, and you’ve got the stuff of a bestseller. For Toronto-based F1S advisor Rosalba Chiappetta and her now-husband Giovanni, this was exactly how their love story played out in real life.

    Back in 2004, Chiappetta logged into an Italian chat room (remember chat rooms?!), looking to improve her language skills. It was there that she met Giovanni. “I had hoped to find a language buddy in the chat room, and ended up finding my true love instead,” she says.

    But it took some help from a friend for the two to meet IRL. (That’s ‘in real life’!) Chiappetta, who lives in Canada, had already planned a trip to London to see a good friend. “I casually mentioned my chatting experience to her and that I met a lovely ‘chat buddy’ online,” she explains. “The next thing I knew, I was booked on a flight to Venice!” Though she was nervous—being last minute, Chiappetta didn’t even know if Giovanni would be around to see her—she went anyway. And what started out as a friendship, developed into more when Giovanni confessed his feelings a few weeks later.





    "I know that many people today meet on social platforms and have long-distance relationships, however in 2004 it was not the same as today. Smartphones were a thing of the future, so we could connect via a home PC."
    Rosalba Chiappetta

    Their story also ignited another of Chiappetta’s loves: Working in travel. She had started in the industry in the mid-80s, before switching gears to focus on finance. Once the pair met, however, she began working in travel again, this time for British Airways—and has continued in the industry ever since.

    “Working for an international airline was my ‘ticket’ to travel the globe and, more importantly, follow my heart to Giovanni,” says Chiappetta, who now serves as the office manager for F1S Canada.

    The two were married in 2009, having weddings both in Canada and in Treviso, Italy. And travel, of course, has always been a key part of their love story. “If there was no trip to London, who knows if there ever would have been a trip to Venice,” she says. “Air travel made it possible for our hearts to unite.”

    Connecting with your partner—especially these days—is so important, and there are lots of great destinations and properties around the world to do just that. Here are a few we love, that offer something for new and established couples alike:

    • Belmond Hotel Caruso, Amalfi Coast, Italy, for the 1,000-foot-high breathtaking views of the water and the beautifully-appointed rooms, some of which offer private terraces     
    • Cheval Blanc Randheli, in the Maldives, for villas that will leave you feeling like you’re miles away from everything and specific activities designed just for couples
    • Amangiri, in Canyon Point, UT, for the 25,000-square-foot spa, the romantic private dining options (like in the desert at sunset), and stunning rustic surroundings










    The Empowerment of Solo Travel



    The way F1S advisor John Rios describes his love of traveling alone would make anyone want to jump on the next plane and head off to see the world with just a ticket and a good book by their side.

    It’s empowering, he says. “I feel like I am more confident and I can see myself differently—no judgments. My imperfections do not become an obstacle and I learn to embrace them. I am 100 percent authentic when I travel solo. It is blissful freedom.”










    Rios, who is based in Dallas, calls himself an introvert and finds that he doesn’t mind eating, going to museums, and trying out new things by himself. “I don’t have to be on anybody’s time. I am the master of my destiny and the plan is always mine.”

    And those plans have led him on a slew of solo adventures he’s loved—many of which are the stuff dream trips are made of. They include learning about Buddhism in southern China, doing a spiritual pilgrimage in the sacred mountains of Japan, and staying on a remote island off the coast of  Mozambique.

    One trip has always stood out though: gorilla tracking in Uganda. “I asked the guides to take me to the most remote location. I told them I would like to track the gorillas by myself and not with a group,” he explains. “We hiked for hours and hours until we spotted the first gorilla family.”

    But then he and the guides couldn’t find their way. “On the way back, we got lost walking in the densest jungle. It was difficult because it was raining heavily—and I was losing hope on finding our way out.” But then they encountered a group of people from a local region on the border with Congo who, Rios says, “not only showed us our way back, but they entertained us with dancing, let us use their fire pit so we could dry our clothes, and told me stories about their culture and how their people managed to live in the middle of the jungle for centuries.”

    And while it was quite the experience, doing it on his own was reassuring for Rios. “If I had done this with someone else, I’d have been so worried about the other person because the hike was very strenuous and the weather did not help,” he says.










    His advice for other solo travelers? Trust yourself. “I understand the uncertainty of traveling solo—and you should feel uncertain. It is tough to be by yourself, doing things that you have never done before among strangers,” he says. “But once you find the courage and give yourself a chance, you will experience adventures that you will cherish for the rest of your life. You will learn and discover things about yourself and, like me, make new friends that will become friends for the rest of your life.”

    There are so many options when traveling solo, whether you’re looking for adventure, like gorilla trekking, or prefer a wellness-focused trip. If you’re looking for some inspiration, here are a few spots to consider:

    • Palmaïa, The House of AïA, in Riviera Maya, Mexico for an all-inclusive “progressive wellness resort”, featuring unique mind-body programs
    • Oetker, Brenners Park Hotel and Spa, in Baden-Baden, Germany, for fun dining and drink options, along with a slew of wellness and medical treatments, like physiotherapy.
    • Troutbeck, in Amenia, NY, for a chance to hang at The Barns, the just-opened wellness-focused initiative for acupuncture, tai chi, and more.














    Making the Most of the Teenage Years

    For Michael and Anna Singer, and their 17- and 14-year-olds, travel offers a way for them to connect—especially while juggling four different schedules.

    “[Travel] instills a sense of adventure and gives our family a singular purpose, both of which are absent in our hectic work and school lives,” explains Michael. “With teenagers and my wife and I working, there is little time to communicate, let alone connect. Mobile devices in everyone’s hands all the time exacerbates the situation. Traveling creates a common focus for us so that we can leave behind all distractions. Better yet, it allows us to revert back to when the kids were younger and we had more frequent family outings.”

    And with their eldest headed off to college soon, the Singers say it will be even more challenging to carve out time to travel together. “When we look back and talk about past times together, it always is about our family trips and rarely about the minutia or other events,” says Anna.

    Over the holidays, the family went to St. Lucia for an incredible stay at the Viceroy Sugar Beach Resort, arranged by Stacy Weigant, co-owner of S & L Journeys, Inc., a First in Service affiliate.










    The planning was so well done that the trip was seamless—a key element in why we enjoyed it so much. It is no easy task to align and keep the interests of the four of us.
    Anna Singer



    The family enjoyed breakfast together on the patio, with gorgeous views of the mountains and ocean—and says the resort did a great job maintaining Covid-19 safety protocols. Then, they’d head out to enjoy a number of planned activities, from driving ATVs and going to the local mud baths to spending time on a catamaran and scuba diving.

    “Our days were full of day trip adventures, after which, we would enjoy dinner together talking all about it—and then play board games back in our villa. That is a perfect memory,” says Michael. “Said another way, although the scuba diving was intense, it paled in comparison to the game of Trivial Pursuit that night.”

    As you plan your next family trip, your advisor can suggest specific kid- or teen-friendly options, which can range from resorts with kids’ clubs to ranches with lots to do outdoors. For some ideas, here are a few resorts that offer lots in the way of family fun:

    For more family fun, try these kid and teenager-friendly resorts:  

    • Brush Creek Ranch, in Saratoga, WY, for active families who want to try ice fishing, snowmobiling, archery, mountain biking, and so many more outdoor adventures  
    • Auberge Esperanza, in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, for activities for kids (like ice cream lab and mermaid parties) and teens (like SUP lessons and ‘Soccer Saturdays’).
    • Rosewood Little Dix Bay, in Virgin Gorda, BVI, for the kid-focused ‘Rosewood Explorers’ program—and lots of parent-friendly amenities like baby monitors and baby proofing.














    So whether we’re traveling alone, with our partner, or with our family, there’s so much to learn and appreciate about the people we care about while we’re traveling (And not just whether they prefer people-watching or museum-hopping—though that’s fun too!) And an F1S advisor can help make your trip even more special, by recommending specific resorts, suggesting just the right activities, and most importantly, helping ensure everything goes smoothly—so you only have to worry about enjoying yourself with those you love most.  












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