Meet Melani A.K.A Savvy Travel Diva
I grew up in an Air Force family, living and traveling abroad. In high school, I toured Europe with a national orchestra as a timpanist, and in college I attended school in Paris. On school holidays, I traveled solo across central Europe and England. My post-graduate goal was to live overseas and teach English as a second language. Marriage and children changed that goal and I acquired a Masters Degree and became a school teacher.
The next twenty years found me teaching in public, private, and parochial schools across all grades K-12 in English, French, Music, Drama, British and World Literature, Religion, and Humanities - which featured heavily the art, architecture, social and religious life of ancient civilizations: Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, and that of the Holy Lands - topics I am still passionately interested in. I still felt pulled to experience more of this world, however, and so in my spare time I began taking courses by travel industry pioneers in operating a travel business and developing relationships with top suppliers here and abroad.
Between my personal travels and residences, I have experienced life in 26 countries and 49 states. I bring to the table 27-plus years of travel, tourism and event planning, education, journalism/public relations, music and theater performance experience.
In 2008 I opened Travel Overtures. I organized and led my first international group tour for adults to Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina while still a schoolteacher in March, 2009. The spring break tour was a success, and I joyously realized managing group tours to be an enjoyable, perfect fit for me, an educator with an interest in people, cultures, and sharing with them the wonders travel brings.
I left the classroom after 20 years to enroll in IGA's Tour Manager Certification course at their Cuernavaca, MX campus. I have never looked back! My greatest strengths include my knowledge of - and passions for - Italy, Ireland, and the Holy Lands, making sure the guests enjoy themselves, and ensuring a smoothly handled tour. I am also qualified to arrange and/or tour direct tours through California, the US National Parks, New England, Canada, South Dakota, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.
I really, really enjoy the travel business, especially the joys of group travel, which comprises 90% of my business. While the majority of my groups are faith-based, or religious groups, I also arrange Unique Events At Sea which encompass business meetings, conferences, educational cruises (photography, knitting, wellness, culinary & wine, history) as well as family and alumni reunions. Rounding out my offerings are historical and cultural heritage land tours. Subjects such as the American Civil War, WW 1 and WW 2, the American Revolution, Spanish Missions Trail, and Ancient Civilizations are all possibilities for your custom group land tour. Of course, any theme above can be the basis for your group's tour, as well.
For you who prefer to travel independently, I have the contacts and expertise to provide you with seamless VIP service! Just leave the details to me, and all you have to do is pack your bags.
I live in Oklahoma with my husband. When not traveling, I enjoy spending time with my children and grandchildren, watching sunrises and sunsets while sipping espresso on the patio, knitting, riding motorcycles or sailing into the wind, entertaining, and serving as my church's volunteer Co-Director of Music prayerfully selecting the worship music, directing the choir, and playing the organ.