World Travelers Unite!

Hey SC Family,

As you all know, the purpose of this here blog is to help expose you to different concepts, ideas, etc AND to encourage you to “Live Life to the FULLEST”.  With that being said, I am super excited to present to you this new series “World Travelers”. SC family I would like  you to meet Ms. Gai Spann, founder and travel artist of “SPANNing the Globe Tours” a wonderful women (and sorority sister by the way), who I have had the chance to get to know AND love.  Why I love Ms. Spann, because she has dedicated her life to helping any and all people to travel and see the world….and on a budget at that. Lol.

In the summer of 2002 Gai A. Spann realized her dream to live in Paris, France. During her four months stay her life was forever changed.  Traveling abroad, visiting other countries, learning about different cultures, languages and cuisines ignited a passion for unique travel experiences.  SPANNing the Globe Tours (STG Tours) is the realization of that passion.  Gai is dedicated to helping others travel the world and realize their dreams of traveling to places far and wide.  I had the opportunity to catch up with this busy lady, for an interview for the first induction into our “World Travelers Series”…here is what she had to say:

SC: So tell the readers who you are and a little about yourself and your background?
GS: I am originally from Rutherford, New Jersey but have had the opportunity to live many places around the US and abroad. I have a Bachelor’s Degree from the Wharton School of Business University of Pennsylvania and a teaching certificate from WICE/Rutgers University Paris, France. My professional and educational background is in Marketing, Public Relations and Special Events. I worked for major companies such as GE and Clif Bar and for non-profit organizations the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and the American Lung Association. I am a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Travel Agents of Brooklyn & Staten Island and the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. Personally I love to dance, read and go to brunch with my girlfriends!

SC: How did you get into the travel business/Why the travel business?
GS: I actually fell into the travel business unintentionally after having a life changing experience abroad in Paris. After 9/11 I got the opportunity to visit Europe for the first time and fell in love with Paris at first sight. I was so smitten so that I returned home from my trip determined to live there and two months later I had rented an apartment in Paris for the summer and signed up for French class! The experience changed my life.
I am in the travel business because it is my passion. I have always been the “planner” for my friends and our vacations so finally I realized that I could use my talent and actually make a living from it. I think I get a bit of the wanderlust from my dad who is an original Tuskegee Airman and served abroad in Italy and Germany during WWII. I love to travel to new places and learn about different cultures including food, language and customs. I am also a “people person”. Whenever I organize a trip I get to meet fascinating new people that bring so much to every travel experience. Even if I go to the same city each year no two trip experiences are the same. I like being an ambassador for my clients experiences around the world, that’s why I am a Travel Artist not just a travel agent.


SC: Considering the economic turmoil that we are facing, why travel now?
GS: Now is a great time to travel for a couple of reasons. Many airlines and hotels are offering discounts because of the economy. So if you do have the money now you can really take advantage of the lower prices. And travel is actually a renewing process. If you are trying to re-group taking some time away to a beautiful Caribbean island to relax and think can be very inspiring. If you’re not working you may finally have the time to go on that European tour! You never know who you can meet on your journey or what new ideas you may come across with the inspiration that your new surroundings provide.


SC: Which is better domestic or international travel? Why?
GS: I think it’s great to travel to places where you’ve never been regardless if it’s domestic or international travel. However, I think more Americans need to travel abroad to learn more about the world beyond the USA. There are so many misconceptions people have about other cultures but once you have a firsthand experience abroad I think you come away learning that we are actually all more alike than we think.


SC: Suggestions/encouragement for all those who are NEW to world traveling?
GS: The best encouragement for new travelers is to do like NIKE says and Just do it! Make sure that you use a travel professional to make your arrangements so that you have the confidence that everything is taken care of and in case you have any issues while traveling you have someone to call. When deciding where to go, try to push yourself and go somewhere you always wanted to go that’s out of your comfort zone for whatever reason (distance, culture, language, etc).

SGT Tours has many escorted trips coming up this year.  I want to encourage all to take at least one international trip….it is a life changing experience believe me.  For more information on G. Spann and/or STG Tours, please visit her site at “SPANN the Globe Tours”.  Also, take a look at these upcoming trips G. Spann has planned:

Paris Sizzles in Summer (July 21-26, 2010)

NY Black Wine Tasters Napa Valley Tour (Sept 2-5, 2010)

Arabian Nights Egypt & Dubai Adventure Tour (Oct. 5-16, 2010)

I promise you will have lots of fun, with memories to last a life time………the orAKAle has spoken….


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