It has been over 15 years since I curated my first trip for others, and to be honest I wasn't sure I wanted to take it on. (Funny how things work out sometimes.)
At the urging of friends, and to test the waters, I took 2 women on a journey to Paris in 2009 - a place I've been visiting for over 35 years.
I treated them like I treat myself. I put them up in an area of Paris I love. I gave them the gift of an immersive experience by putting them up in a lovely apartment, orienting them to their surroundings, and then showing them my version of Paris so they could then go out and make it their own.
And as is my norm, I sprinkled the experience with special, unforgettable & extraordinary moments along the way.
That first trip became the benchmark for all of my Paris trips going forward and what was then known as One Brown Girl in Paris ultimately became Tracey Friley Tracey as the business grew and new destinations were added.
But only destinations and experiences that I was as familiar with as I was with Paris: searching for Josephine Baker in France and Marrakech, glamping trips on the California coast, an upscale 7-day stay in Barbados, a blissful Bay Area wine experience, and more.
So here we are now in this relatively new era of pandemic travel where the best travel curators are assessing risk over money and re-creating how they care for their guests.
For me, that means changing the traditional group travel dynamic into customizable individual travel experiences on specific dates for solo travelers, duos or groups of friends in order to mitigate risks until the world resolves this battle with COVID. That's just real talk.
Travel isn't going anywhere and neither am I. So I say let's get out there - safely - and see the world.
That's what I'm about.
And this is my About page.
Tracey Friley, MBA is a California native with Bajan roots and a love of France and all things travel. A National Geographic Traveler of the Year award winner, youth travel advocate and course instructor, she gladly claims the titles of wifey, daughter and polymath. In years past, she has written travel articles for American Airlines Black Atlas, Travel Channel & more.