Well it’s about time… Meet Your Travel Blogger!
July 21st, 2011

For several years now I’ve been writing the Chimera Travel blog. I write about my travel experiences, travel embarrassments (which seem to be among my most popular blogs), travel words of wisdom and more. I realized earlier this week that what I have neglected to do, for five years, is write about the blogger herself. While I don’t think it’s necessary, nor would I want, for everyone to know my life’s story, I do think it’s important for my readers to know where I come from and why I do what I do. For me, when I “get to know” the person behind a blog, I can relate better, I feel more comfortable commenting, and it’s just overall a more enjoyable read. To keep myself from rambling too much, I figured I’d frame this in segments, types of questions people generally ask me when they find out what I do. Enjoy, and feel free to ask questions! I’m very open here on my blog and I’m always happy to share.

 How did I get overtaken by the travel bug?  I began traveling overseas at the age of 16, when my high school offered a trip to London over Easter break (I can call it this, I went to Catholic school). I was hooked. When you’re 16 and Florida and California seem “exotic”, England seems like another world. Twice more I got to travel with school – the following year on a similar trip over Easter break to Italy, and in college when I studied abroad in Wollongong, Australia for a semester. My trip to Australia sealed the deal – from that point on I was going to be a wanderer and that I’d never see enough of the world.

How did I get into planning travel for a living?  After I graduated college, my family began taking “big” family trips. My parents, all the kids and our significant others would choose a few international destinations and travel for two weeks. These trips were built from the ground up – no tour bus for us! Guess who did much of the planning! I became almost as fascinated with the planning aspect as the travel itself. I liked it so much that found a travel college (one of the few that existed at the time) that offered an intense correspondence course, which I completed over the course of two years. As word spread about our family trips and my role in the process, people we know starting asking me to plan for them. It got to the point that it became like a part time job – one that wasn’t paying me, unless you count destination coffee mugs, pins, fridge magnets and the like. I was finishing up my Masters degree in International Marketing, so I was at the point in my life where I was ready to make a change anyways. If I was going to keep planning travel at the rate I was currently, I was going to have to start earning some money doing so. I decided to quit my full time job and start my own company. The rest is history.

What’s my ultimate goal in my travel career?:  Step one is to narrow down a niche that I love and focus on that almost exclusively. Step two is travel and write. I’d love to do a round the world trip and share my stories. I’d also enjoy being able to personally research and review hotels, tour operators, suppliers, and be able to write my findings. I can do this now, of course. The “ultimate goal” part is to make a living doing this. I have a luxury travel e-magazine, TraveLuxe, that I hope to utilize in this process of expanding my writing. Of course, I don’t want to do all this alone. Having special people to share these experiences with make it all the more enjoyable and exciting (cue the sighs and “awwws”).

 

What’s my favorite destination?  This is a tricky. City wise I’d say my top four are: Paris, Vienna, Venice and Cape Town. Destinations as a whole, it’s got to be New Zealand and Southern/Eastern Africa. Botswana is incredible in particular. Where my heart lies: Italy, without a doubt. I’m 50 percent Sicilian, several generations removed, and happy to visit the “motherland” at any and every opportunity.

What’s on my “must see” list?  Well, almost every country I’ve yet to see. Topping the list is India. Following closely are (in no particular order) Vietnam, Cambodia, Egypt, Morocco, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Israel, Turkey and Scandinavia to name a few. I’m sure I’ve missed plenty in there.

 I love your blog! Where can I find out more about you?  You’re in luck! I’m very reachable all over the web and social media.

 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chimeratravel (business page)

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/chimeratravel

Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/mayanorthen

Google+: Coming soon! I personally have a Google+ profile, and if you’d like to connect, let me know. Chimera Travel is in the process of setting a Google+ page.

TraveLuxe: Check out our quarterly e-magazine, TraveLuxe. You can also sign up to receive each issue via email on our Chimera Travel home page.

Email: You are always welcome to email me at maya@chimera-travel.com

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