Family Travel Personal Stories

Meet BTA Travel Advisor Nikki Olds and Why She Loves Travel

As long as I can remember, my parents gave my sisters and me the gift of travel.  We lived in five states during my childhood not to mention one state twice.  Being able to adapt to new environments and adventures is instilled in me.  Our many moves often kept us far away from family and friends and therefore we took many road trips as a family to visit our loved ones.

My parents had limited disposable income, but this never stopped us from traveling around the country.  We traveled to Washington DC for history, enjoyed relaxation on the beaches of Virginia and made several journeys to Colorado for the enjoyment of ski.

We made road trips to the West Coast, including California, Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.  One of my favorite trips growing up involved venturing to New York to see both the countryside and of course, the Big Apple.  Most of our travel was by car until the invention of the minivan.  For hours on end my sisters and I would make up games and watch the world around us transform from highway to mountains to desert to coastline.  My mother and father would turn around and say “Look over there, kids” as we drove by different sights of interest along the roadway.  There were times I would not pay attention due to daydreaming or other distractions.  But, I can recall many times looking out that window and imagining being a part of the world out my window – what it would be like to live on a farm or survive a summer in the desert.

When it came time to create my own life’s path, I accepted my first job out of college as a sales position. Eager to begin a career, I was willing to relocate anywhere.  I landed in Boston by chance but this gave me an incredible opportunity to visit so much of New England.  Boston is a spectacular city, but within three hours you can visit New York City, Connecticut, Maine, Vermont and of course, Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.  My experience on the East Coast broadened my background in American history, exposed me to culture differences within our country  and only deepened my love of travel.

My next big adventure in life involved marriage, followed by thoughts of raising a family and the decision to return to my roots in the Midwest.  This decision to move back “home” never changed my love of travel; if anything, it has me wanting to go more places and experience new things everywhere I visit.  And, luckily for me, one of the first things I discovered that I love about my husband is his love of travel as well.  We spent so much of our courtship traveling back to the East Coast.  As young professionals, we took advantage of as much time as we had to take weekend trips and extended vacations together.  We took trips with friends and family, as well time enjoyed along on romantic get-a-ways, to places like Hawaii, Florida and Mexico.

Now we are in the “sweet spot” of parenting, so I’ve been told, with an almost teenager, 10-year old and almost 9-year old.  I have been brought back to my childhood through my own children.  What I am most excited about is that they are now at an age where they can appreciate the places we go and build cherished memories of their childhood on each of our vacations. just as I did throughout mine.

I believe all of this has brought me to this point in my life.  It has been an amazing start to a new journey where I am incorporating my love of adventure and travel into a fun and rewarding career.   Another passion of mine is making people happy, and knowing that I can create experiences and memories of a lifetime for other families feels like a blessing!  My goal as a travel advisor will be to provide a very personalized approach to servicing every client.  My recommendations will always prioritize what matters most to each client.

It brings me much excitement hearing about the amazing adventures that unfold as my clients are in the midst of their travels! Just recently, I planned a fully customized itinerary to Spain and Portugal for a beautiful and active family of five, joined by grandparents.  I was overjoyed to see the following Instagram post from my client following their travels:

“Lisbon and Cascais! What amazing cities!  A huuuuuuuge thank you to @nnolds [that’s me] for helping our family create amazing memories. You are the best trip planner every!  I would recommend you to anyone.  My kids tried to get permanent residence and employment, but when they realized they couldn’t make enough Euros to purchase a Pastel de Nata and the incredibly polite Portuguese denied them employment they begrudgingly headed back to Chicago.  We’ll be back!”

I also look forward, as well, to sharing my personal travel experiences with my clients.  My own recent travels to Portugal allowed me to truly visualize for my client the type of experiences that awaited their family.  Check out the view from my room:

Some of my personal travel goals include visiting Switzerland, Italy, Costa Rica and Turks & Caicos Islands.  Sometimes it’s the planning of a client trip that has me rethinking my own “bucket list” for travel and wondering what’s on your list?  I encourage you to share a comment letting me know, Where will your journey take you?

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