Swan & Sparrow Travel was bound to happen. I'm Shelley, and my husband John and I love to travel. Pretty much anywhere. He has always traveled for work and naturally, when we got married, I joined him. But the story of how we came to love traveling together starts long before we met.
My love for travel starts with a Christmas gift I received at age 4. No, it wasn't a trip - it was a miniature record player, accompanied by a stack of Disney records, including the one pictured to the right. This was the background music of my young life, long before I had any understanding that Disneyland was a real place that people actually visited. Growing up, most of my family travel consisted of road trips to weddings and holiday gatherings. Our first big vacation was in 1986. I was 16 years old, and my parents and I went to Disneyland - it was the first time for all of us. That day, in a moment of pure Disney Magic, I saw it's a small world - in real life, in living, glittering, audible color - for the first time. I had tears in my eyes during the ride - it was the closest thing to jumping into a storybook that I will ever experience.
We would take another quick trip to Disneyland 2 years later before finally visiting Walt Disney World for the first time in 1994. I like to call that one The Trip Heard 'Round the World!
John's experience was quite different. His parents were educators and travelers. By the time he got to college, John had seen Walt Disney World, Europe, and New York City multiple times. After college, his professional life took him from Texas to Tennessee, where the work travel began. As a young single guy, his job took him all over the country, and he stocked up on hotel points and frequent flier miles, saving them for a rainy day.
When he and I met, it took approximately 5 minutes for John to pick up on the fact that Disney was important to me. So important, in fact, that he began to make plans to propose to me at Walt Disney World, which he did in October of 2002, over an Italian dinner in Epcot. The aforementioned "rainy day" turned out to be our honeymoon. We learned the value of those hotel points and frequent flier miles on our trip to the Virgin Islands. And I learned what it means to "go in style".
Since then, travel has been a regular part of our lives. While we are both on the road extensively for our work, we are sure to include leisure (read: RESTFUL) travel as well - both with our young daughter AND just the two of us. We have discovered so many things together - among them, the peacefulness of the open sea experienced from the deck of a cruise ship, the majesty of Alaska and Canada's Yukon territory, the natural wonders of Hawai'i, the ancient Mayan ruins of Mexico, the Emerald Coast of Florida, and the tree-canopied roads of Hilton Head, South Carolina. Oh, and John visited Disneyland for the first time along the way, too (we've been back a few times since then).
Combine this Wanderlust with John's entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen, and here we are. We hope to share our expertise and wisdom with you, to get you on the road to your own amazing experiences and memories. We wish you the best of travels!