Vision Travel/ Lush Life Sunday Ezine
July 16, 2017

Star Gazing

Executive Producer, and Luxury Travel Advisor 

Contact me to arrange your complimentary consultation.


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Antarctica Mar.27
R Rd Dublin Mar.20
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Buy Local Feb.14

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252 Days Nov.29
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Invited Oct21
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Africa  Jul29
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Travel Better Nov20
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Happy Sunday, friend! Welcome to my weekly newsletter! 

This week's feature article concerns "Star Gazing."  Read star  below. (Click the link to skip to that article).  

And get inspired by this image of the Arkaba Walk, Elder Camp, Flinders Rangers, SA - Wild Bush Luxury/ Great Walks of Australia. 

Besides star gazing, it's been another busy week on my end. No time for navel gazing, that's for sure (ha.). 

I had another VAST (Virtuoso Active & Specialty Travel) task force meeting. I love representing my industry in getting the best of active & specialty travel products brought to the forefront so I can share with my clients.

In terms of clients' travel, it's been a fun, but an eclectic week in terms of the kind of trips I've been involved in helping my clients with. Among a host of other things, I've been working on getting some cruisers onboard - with a couple solo travelers on a Viking France river cruise, a couple on a Crystal cruise around Australia, and a mother-daughter NCL getaway to the Med. Disney planning has had some grandparents taking their granddaughter to see Mickey, and some young parents taking their 2 year old on her first trip to see Frozen's characters. I've been helping a couple plan their honeymoon to Spain, putting final touches on a 3 family trip to Greece, and helping a 30th anniversary couple get away to Galapagos.  

I've also shared some Tauck Smart books on river cruising with clients, Lindblad DVDs with clients looking for expedition holidays, Virtuoso Australia info packages, and Big Five coffee books with clients looking for customized touring. Let me know if you'd like to receive any info to inspire a dream trip.

Want some immediate inspiration? Look at the most recent  Virtuoso Traveler.  It's the sister publication to Virtuoso Life. Click the picture to get a digital copy of the most recent issue on "Adventure Calls" or click here .(You can click this link to see the most recent  Virtuoso Life  )   You can also check the new VAST  catalog here Vast 2017  . Or see details on the  Australia event I recently had here

I've struck two events for the next two weeks - the next installment of my solo travel club will be July 19th at Tartan Pub & Grill. See solo . And Morocco for July 26th. See  Morocco  .

Remember the 4 A's I promise if you work with me? Advice, Access, Accountability, and Advocacy. See  blog article  .   

Let's schedule your dream vacation planning call today!

Best regards

Star Gazing ...If
Stellar Summer Vacations

Did you know there's a "Stargazing for Dummies" book? Maybe I should get a copy. See  dummies 

I came across a Travel & Leisure article about 13 otherworldly destinations for star gazing - see  article

It got me thinking about star gazing, and reminded me of the exceptional experience I had in Cairns, Australia this April. We just pulled over the van one night to look at the sky. I was astounded by the clarity, and the ease we could see the Milky Way - and the Big Dipper was upside down!  What a startling impression it made upon me when I first realized what I was seeing. 

See  For Southern Hemisphere dwellers who want to see the Big Dipper, you must go north of latitude 25 degrees South to see it in its entirety. Across the northern half of Australia, for instance, you can now just see the upside-down Dipper virtually scraping the northern horizon about an hour or two after sundown.  In fact, it's the opposite effect as that observed by people who live in north temperate locations like New York. They see the Dipper at a similar altitude above the northern horizon on early evenings in late November or early December - except the Dipper appears right-side up!

Here's a picture from Thala Beach Nature Reserve, Port Douglas, QLD that I can use as an Aussie specialist. 

and you can see the celestial map of northern and southern starts here on   
Of course, the less familiar constellations to me (including the Southern Cross) were a sight to behold. My photos didn't come out (of course - I need to get a photography for dummies book too!), but that doesn't mean it wasn't an incredible highlight, and totally unplanned, event.

And see The Milky Way, Sleaford Bay, SA by photographer John White in the Eyre Peninsula.

The T&L article I've mentioned above listed the following spots, and I'll share some of them in my VAST section below - see vast. The 13 spots are:

1. Tenerife in Canary Islands, 
2. Atacama Desert in Chile, 
3. NamibRand Nature Reserve in Namibia, 
4. Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve in New Zealand, 
5. Kerry International Dark-Sky Reserve in Ireland
6. Mauna Kea in Hawaii 
7. Nova Scotia, Canada
8. Jasper National Park in Canada
9. Cherry Springs State Park in Pennsylvania
10. Galloway Forest Park in Scotland
11. Hovenweep National Monument in Utah and Colorado
12. Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in Australia 
13. Headlands International Dark Sky Park in Michigan

Kinda makes you want to get a telescope, and just go, doesn't it?

Not surprisingly, many of these spots appear again in this article

And then there's the Virtuoso article in the latest Virtuoso Traveler magazine that lists stellar summer vacations. Not surprizingly, Longitude 131 in Australia and Atacama in Chile are featured.

I have some other notes on Mauna Kea, Atacama, and Uluru below. Let me know if you'd like to go.

Luggage Tips

Got a black suitcase? You're not alone. How do you make your luggage stand out?  Watch. 
Lush Life Travel Events 
Coming Events

I'm planing another solo travel club  evening is being planned for July 19th.  More details  here !   And see 


 I have another  Morocco gathering on July 26th . I have a group trip leaving Sept.16-25, 2017.  See more details  here  

Join us!
Visit Hawaii
Oahu & Maui

I visited Oahu and Maui with my family this March. If you'd like to go for star-gazing or otherwise, let me know!  I have plenty of Virtuoso partners, so I can VIP you, and get you special amenities you cannot get on your own. And - I have insider knowledge from having visited these beautiful islands (as well as Kauai and the Big Island - and Lanai!) multiple times.

Let me know if you'd like to say Aloha to Hawaii!



Lush Life Testimonials
Verified Virtuoso Client Testimonials
I love getting client reviews. Here's a terrific one. (Thanks, Anne.)

Fantastic Trip to Antarctica
By: AHT 

Reviewed on: 26 Dec 2016

Sheila was a great help to my friend and I in arranging for our trip to the Antarctic. She got direct feedback to our questions from the travel company staff and assisted when they made a change to the date/ship. And she responded right away to any inquiries we had. All in all - everything went very smoothly.

Travel end date: 28 Nov 2016

See more verified testimonials here from my clients, check this out;
Contact me if you'd like to schedule a complimentary consultation.
Best regards,
Quark Expeditions - Greenland Offers green
Terrific Offers for 2017 - and - more!
I have some great and exclusive offers as a result of my show with Quark Expeditions business development manager, Cara Matthew.

If you want to go to Greenland in 2017. 25% off select sailings - plus - I can extend an additional $1500/p off up until August.

Blue Danube - Family Riverboat Adventure
8 days - July 31, 2017 
I'm thrilled that my family will be doing the Danube with Tauck Bridges on July 31, 2017. 

We're doing the westbound sailing on the MS Espirit from Vilshofen to Budapest.   Want to join us? There's 3 cabins left for sale.  Contact me if you'd like to join us!

Depart:  Monday, July 31, 2017
Return:  Monday, August 7, 2017
Very Limited Availability Left.

Tailor-Made Morocco

I'm thrilled to have a confirmed escorted small group going to Morocco with a customized trip with On the Go on September 16, 2017

This is a really special trip that goes from Casablanca to Marrakech, and has some really special inclusions that are unique to this trip.

Want to join the group? There's 4 spaces left  for sale.  
Single rooms are available for $3,045 /person CDN (excl air). 
Double rooms are available for $2,230 /person CDN (excl air).

Contact me if you'd like to join the group!  Both pre-tour (Casablanca or Egypt) and post-tour (Essaouira) stays are available.

See itinerary:  Morocco Trip Details
Tour Start: Saturday, September 16, 2017
Tour End:  Monday, September 25, 2017
Very Limited Availability Left.

See details and video of presentation by Mike Quinto of On the Go:  Tailor-Made Morocco  
Tulip Tour - Bike 'n Barge 
Tour Amsterdam
I'm offering a group 'bike 'n barge tulip tour to Amsterdam next April. There is only room for 20 passengers on this barge, and it is now selling. 

This is a really wonderful trip that includes a visit to the tulip auction next year, and seeing Keukenof Gardens - as well as toodle around on a bike. 

Want to join the group? There are 8 cabins left for sale. 
Double occupancy. $1,995 / person CDN (excl air).

See details here Tulip Tour - Bike 'n Barge  

Tour Start: Saturday, April 7, 2017
Tour End: Saturday, April 14, 2017

Contact me if you'd like to join the group.    
My Recent Media Appearances 
More about why you should work with me!  
I was interviewed by Daytime Ottawa about the difference between a travel agent and a travel advisor. Plus, we talked about the explosion in adventure travel, and the show I was hosting at Shepherd's Fashions with  Viking River Cruises.  Have a watch!
Lush Life Travel visits Daytime Ottawa
Lush Life Travel visits Daytime Ottawa

I was also interviewed about the role of a travel advisor in the digital age in November. Give a listen to my interview with Carol Anne Meehan of 1310 radio in Ottawa from last month.  

Last week, I appeared on Carol Anne Meehan's show again. I was interviewed about the emergence of adventure travel, particularly for solo travelers, as well as the Solo Travel Club I've created. My segment starts at 20:20. Give it a listen. 

And, I also appeared on Daytime Ottawa this week to talk about sustainable tourism, as I'd noted above (including the link here too. Give it a watch.)
Of course, you can see more about the 4 A's of working with me:

Contact me if you'd like to schedule a complimentary consultation.  

Best regards,
Lush Life's Top 5 VAST Trips of Week vast
Virtuoso's Active & Specialty Travel Program

VAST, Virtuoso's Active and Specialty Travel program, offers you the chance to immerse yourself in authentic, life-changing moments and unique experiences provided by a select group of travel partners, taking you one step closer to our world's most captivating destinations and intriguing cultures. See new 2017 catalog here

An important aspect of VAST to remember: Only a Virtuoso travel advisor can be a VAST specialist, and only Virtuoso clients can be a VAST traveler who enjoys Virtuoso exclusive perks, upgrades and access. I am proud to be a VAST specialist.See more  here

Here are some terrific options to explore Virtuoso Active & Specialty Travel partners and go star gazing!

1. Southern World & Longitude 131 -   Longitude 131, Uluru

2. Explora Atacama, Chile

3. Big Five Tours  Custom Namibia

4. Rocky Mountaineer   - Whistler to Jasper

5. National Parks Revealed   - Exploring Natural Wonders of Utah

Let's Collaborate        
Work with a Virtuoso Travel Advisor   
Let's collaborate. (See blog )

The concept I like to promote to my clients is a  lush life I craft travel experiences that contain magic and wonder for the whole family (or a subset).

I've been doing this for 10 years  So, I have more than 10,000 hours under my belt that I can leverage to help you. See here. Before becoming a travel advisor, I was an actuary. I dealt a lot with conventional return on investment (ROI) before, and I deal hourly with  return on life (ROL)  now. It's as if I went from being a true actuary to a  happiness actuary .

I love that my whole role is about helping you  build memories . Whether it's a "fly n' flop" beach holiday, a Galapagos expedition, a family reunion safari, a family bonding/ biking trip with university-bound kids, or a couples' wine -themed river cruise, I focus on what you want to bring home from each trip .   It's all about  the experience . I am a travel masterchef - and I put together the ingredients (travel suppliers) to make the meal (travel experience) you desire. See here
Value is more important than price. Let's set up a complimentary consultation, so I can start helping create your Lush Life.  See more  here  Call me!


Sheila Gallant-Halloran
Vision Travel/ Lush Life