Chelsea Johnson | Ciao Bambino!


Chelsea Johnson

  • Travel Advisor
  • Charleston, South Carolina, USA

Before Becoming an Advisor …

It would be reasonable to say that my life has always centered around food, travel and culture. My father was deeply involved with organic agriculture and developed his own commercial heirloom variety farm and fruit orchard in Northern California, where I grew up. My mother’s side hails from Switzerland; my grandmother was a prima ballerina in the Swiss National Ballet. I grew up skiing in Tahoe, Sun Valley, Utah, British Columbia and the Alps; playing on the beaches of Mexico; and exploring European locales from Switzerland to the Netherlands, Italy, Ireland and France. I moved to Southern California for college and then some. Before I got formally involved in travel, I started my own artisanal baking company selling to some of the top wineries and cheese shops across the country, and arranged chocolate, pastry and food tours in Europe. I spent a few years as a stay-at-home mom before realizing I could combine some of my greatest passions in life by becoming a travel advisor and helping others create amazing experiences and lifelong memories.

My Favorite Travel Experiences

That’s honestly a very hard question to answer! I feel like there is something to love about every travel experience I have had. Whether it is a relaxing spa or beach getaway, spending time outdoors on an adventure-packed hiking or ski trip, or experiencing a new city or culture, there is something special about each one. One of my favorite things to do in a new destination is simply to wander around with no agenda. Getting lost in time and space and experiencing places that are off the tourist radar; trying new cuisines; visiting local markets; going beyond the big cities; and seeing things from a local’s perspective are some of the experiences I value most when traveling.

Introducing my children to new cultures and different ways of life is also very important to me. My husband and I spent a good part of our honeymoon in Cuba, and that was an amazing experience! We had both always wanted to travel there, and it was such an interesting time to go just as it was opening up to U.S. tourism for the first time in years. It was like stepping into a bygone era, from the classic taxis to the mix of beautifully restored buildings juxtaposed with crumbling relics of European architecture. We loved learning about the history, exploring old Havana, hiking in the lush hills and sipping mojitos while watching the Caribbean sunset. A major highlight was the private dinner we had cooked for us by Fidel Castro’s former chef on one of our last nights there.

Chelsea Johnson

Why I Love My Job

The travels I have experienced have played such a huge part in shaping who I am, and some of my best memories are from trips I’ve taken over the years. I feel like there is no better way to educate children about the world than for them to get out there and experience it firsthand. I love working with people who share my passion for showing children the world, and I love being able to play a part in creating unique and personalized travel experiences that families will remember forever. I think the idea of traveling with kids and pleasing travelers of different ages can be overwhelming for many families, and I am so happy to be in a position where I can take that stress off their plates so that they can focus on spending the most precious gift of quality time with their loved ones. One of the best parts of my job is hearing about a family’s experience when they return home from an amazing trip together and knowing that they will all cherish those memories for the rest of their lives. I can’t wait to help your family plan your next amazing adventure together!

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