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THE STORY OF WINGS LUXE

Nestled in the heart of the breathtaking Gold Coast lies the enchanting tale of Wings Luxe Travel, where adventure knows no bounds. I’m Vanessa, the visionary behind Wings Luxe Travel, and I invite you to join me on an exhilarating journey through my wanderlust-filled life.

MY FIRST TASTE OF ADVENTURE

My journey began amidst the bustling halls of the University of Western Sydney, where the promise of travel beckoned. It was there that I seized the opportunity to embark on my first adventure—a third year university practice teaching assignment in Portland, Oregon the United States of America. Little did I know, this experience would ignite a lifelong passion for exploration and forge unforgettable friendships across the globe.

At the end of those two rewarding weeks of teaching at Tualatin Elementary, our University contingent travelled through the States for a further three fun-filled weeks. It was an experience that opened my heart and mind to cultural immersion, connections, and the wondrous joy of travel. 

On my return to Australia, I proudly donned the gown and was awarded a Bachelor of Education. The world was my oyster, and I intended to savour every pearl it had to offer. 

EUROPEAN ESCAPADES

With my diploma in hand, I set out to conquer the world, starting with the iconic cities of Europe. From the romantic allure of Paris to the historic treasures of Rome, each destination left an indelible mark on my soul. Alongside fellow travellers, I wandered cobblestone streets and embraced the vibrant tapestry of European culture.

In the company of a university friend, I joined a Contiki tour that promised to be a whirlwind of unforgettable moments. From the romantic streets of Paris to the historic treasures of Rome, we traversed the continent, embracing each new experience with wide-eyed wonder. 

London, the cosmopolitan giant, beckoned. I succumbed to the allure of teaching in one of the world’s most iconic cities. The British capital was a sprawling canvas of history, culture, and modernity. But, as life often goes, change was on the horizon. 

My insatiable curiosity led me to Italy, a land of art, history, and romance. There, I delved into the melodious mysteries of the Italian language at the Università per Stranieri, Perugia, Umbria. The narrow streets of Florence and the serene canals of Venice became my new weekend haunts, each day an artistic masterpiece and each conversation a lyrical experience. 

Returning to the UK, fate smiled upon me with a serendipitous encounter with my cousin and her Welsh beau. Fuelled by wanderlust, we set off on an impromptu adventure, tracing a picturesque path westward. Our journey unfolded against the backdrop of the majestic Severn Bridge, eventually unveiling the enchanting vistas of South Wales, the homeland of my cousin’s partner.

THE GREEN, GREEN GRASS OF HOME 

The Rhondda Valley, with its rugged beauty and warm-hearted locals, became the catalyst for yet another transformation. In the wake of that wondrous weekend, I made a life-altering decision, bidding farewell to the bustling streets of London to embrace the close-knit community of Ynyshir in the heart of the Rhondda Valley, South Wales. 

Living amongst the resilient and kind-hearted people of the coal mining community, I cherished each day. The valleys echoed with tales of grit and camaraderie, and my heart found solace in this rugged land. I immersed myself in teaching, imparting knowledge to young minds, and learning in return the priceless lessons of community, resilience, and the indomitable Welsh spirit. 

For a year, I revelled in the unique rhythm of life in South Wales, but as my heart journeyed through the valleys, an undeniable feeling of restlessness crept in. My path had taken me far from my homeland, and it was time to return to the sunburnt shores of Australia, though the sense of being “unsettled” now lingered, a whispered promise of more adventures to come. 

TEACHING AND TRAVELLING 

 A few years later, I was happily teaching in western Sydney, working alongside phenomenal educators and remarkable students. Little did I know that my life was about to take a thrilling detour. 

On a regular evening, a dear friend called to ask:

 “Would you like to join me as a host on an around-the-world private charter aboard a Qantas 747?” 

Of course! 

A few days later I was in Sydney meeting with the owner of the tour company and even though the position of Tour Host was unpaid, the allure of adventure was irresistible. Within an hour, I had officially joined the team, about to embark on a journey that would redefine my life. 

The years that followed were a mesmerising blend of teaching, enjoying quality time with family and friends, and exploring the world, both independently and as a Tour Manager and Tour Host, for three Australian luxury travel companies

With each experience, my passion for travel and creating unforgettable memories deepened. These experiences added depth to my knowledge and a wealth of connections, many of whom I consider dear friends. Through the years, together we conquered new horizons, taking to the skies on charter flights, sailing on chartered cruises, and embarking on group journeys that left indelible marks on our souls. 

MOVING ACROSS THE DITCH FOR LOVE 

Moving to New Zealand for love and to teach was more than just a physical relocation; it was a journey of the heart and mind, an exploration of a new way of life, and a testament to the power of love and the pursuit of one’s passions. It was a beautiful chapter in my life’s story, marked by growth, adventure, and the fulfilment of dreams. 

With the heartbreaking loss of my father in 2011, my wonderful mum and I embarked on journeys together, both close to home and further afield. The journeys to these diverse destinations helped us to heal, and rediscover that life could still afford us joyous moments. The memories created together served as a tribute to my late father, as we celebrated the beauty of the world and the strength and love of family. 

HEALING ON THE ‘ISLAND OF THE GODS’ 

Bali became our sanctuary, where we both decided to linger for a while. The island’s serene beaches, lush rice terraces, and vibrant culture allowed us to reflect on our immense loss and gain a deeper understanding of life’s impermanence. We lived like locals, savouring Balinese cuisine and participating in traditional ceremonies with newly made local friends. In this tranquil environment, Mum and I found peace and shared moments of healing.

WINGS LUXE IS BORN

 In late 2018, it was time to transform all of the past learnings into a new reality and Wings Luxe Travel was born.

With a laser focus on creating journeys that were guest-centric and provided redefined modern luxury based on the building of honest personal connections and getting to really know our guests and what they desired from a journey. We were unwavering with a mission to provide impeccable personalised service, crafting unique and authentic experiences, curating itineraries with intention, and fostering lifelong friendships and memories for all guests It was a personal commitment to ensure that every detail of each journey was imbued with heart and soul. 

In the inaugural year (2019), our journeys resonated with travellers seeking something beyond the mundane, each tour sold out quickly and we were showered with glowing reviews from guests about their own personal Wings Luxe experience. The enthusiasm was contagious.

What truly sets Wings Luxe apart is the sense of community that has blossomed among our guests. They have come together for weekend reunions, sharing stories and laughter, a testament to the bonds formed during their travels with us. 

At the heart of it all, we deeply value the trust that our guests have placed in us to craft incredible journeys that are sustainable, support locals, and are lovingly shared with friends and loved ones long after the journey has ended. 

The Wings Luxe Mission: To craft moments that will linger in the minds of our guests long after the adventure has ended. We connect with winemakers, artisans, and remarkable locals in each destination, bringing the essence of the country to life. Luxury villas, boutique hotels, and five-star accommodations are our canvas, hosting showcase events that transform mere moments into cherished memories, our passion.

Wings Luxe, where every journey is a masterpiece waiting to be discovered, and every traveller becomes a cherished friend.

 ❥ Vanessa 

AKA Wings Luxe

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