Dear Traveler,

Surprising people is so fun!

Especially with something that you know they will love.

In this case it was my daughter’s best friend in Madrid. We surprised her with 2nd row seats (behind the pit) to Taylor Swift last week.

The surprise was for her, but the gift was for all of us. An absolutely incredible night of non-stop smiling, laughing, dancing and singing at the top of their lungs.

I of course knew who Taylor Swift was long ago. But when we made our plan to see her in concert and my daughter enlightened me about her lyrics and the stories behind them, I gained a greater appreciation for her talents, hard work, integrity and strength.

I think of all the girls and young women in the audience watching Taylor belt out the words to I’m the Man. Or the reality behind her taking back control of her music by doing what had not been done before – re-recording it.


Would I go see her again in concert?


And just to make it a little different, I would opt for being in the pit with no seats. Crazy, but fun!

I uploaded a few videos here. It makes my heart smile just reminiscing. If you’ve been on the fence about seeing her or not sure it’s worth an international trip – my response is an enthusiastic – YES!

Aside from the concert we lounged on terraces having tapas with friends, went out for menu del dia, walked through El Retiro (their Central Park), logged 25,000+ steps/day, did a lot of shopping, I did site visits and met with my partners and we each watched, with a sea of Spaniards, Real Madrid win the Champion’s League final. The Spaniards went crazy!

100% it will go down in our memory as one of our favorite concerts and travel experiences ever.

FYI – for those of you who read my newsletter from when I was in Spain two months ago and I guessed Taylor Swift was staying at the Rosewood. I guessed right. 🙂 And update from last week – my luggage finally arrived – three days late and after the Taylor Swift concert. Luckily there is much to buy in Madrid.

On the heels of this successful surprise, now my brain is thinking about who can I surprise next. And with what?

Those are fun questions to ask yourself!

This time of year is flush with events and activity. Father’s Day is coming up – so that is a great opportunity. More ideas on that below.

And we are immersed in high school and college graduation season. All great occasions for gift giving experiences that will create lasting memories.

Last week’s most popular article was The best gifts for women who love travel and adventure.

This week’s inspirational articles include 10 summer vacation destinations for entrepreneurs, the BVIs’ hottest new property, the 15 best hotel getaways in New England, how to enjoy spas if you’re not a spa person and other articles on Bali, Berlin, Brussels, Alaska and the UK.

The informational articles include how affordable Japan is for US travelers right now, quiet vacationing, what you need to know about European travel this summer and rising airfare prices.

Have a wonderful week!



  • Father’s Day gift ideas
  • This week’s highlight – Franschhoek Wine Tram
  • Hot New Hotel Opening – Gundari
  • Inspiration + Information

Sure, you can give your husband or father something traditional or expected, but why not surprise him with something that will floor him? Travel is always a great option!

Is he a golfer?

  • A trip to Ireland playing at the best courses – Old Head, Tralee, Lahinch, Adare
  • Scotland with a guaranteed tee time on the Old Course at St. Andrews, whiskey tasting, helicoptering over the dramatic Isle of Skye
  • Stay stateside at Bandon Dunes in Oregon or Pebble Beach in California
  • Golf at Cabot in Cape Breton or St. Lucia

Does he like live music?

  • Dead & Co at the Sphere in Las Vegas
  • Bruce Springsteen in Wembley Stadium in London or with the Black Crowes and Noah Kahan in Asbury Park, NJ
  • Morgan Wallen or Dave Matthews – across the US
  • A weekend getaway to New Orleans or Nashville

Is he a sports enthusiast?

  • World Cup soccer tickets next year in North America
  • The Masters in Augusta
  • Wimbledon in the UK
  • F1 – all over the world (including Madrid next year)
  • An NFL or college football game abroad
  • The Winter Classic hockey games outdoors
  • SuperBowl, Stanley Cup, World Series

Love wine?

  • Wine tasting by bike or on the Franschhoek Wine Tram (see details in Highlight below) in South Africa
  • Sommelier classes
  • Purchase a private section of a vineyard outside of Santiago, Chile

Loves to be active?

  • Hiking in the Dolomites, Switzerland or trekking through Nepal
  • Fishing in Alaska, Panama or Costa Rica
  • Heliskiing in Iceland
  • Backroads biking trip in Mallorca

History buff?

  • Normandy
  • Greece
  • Egyptian pyramids
  • Rome
  • London
  • Cape Town – Nelson Mandela


  • Center a trip alternating Michelin star restaurants with local hidden gems
  • Japan
  • Cooking classes with a Michelin star chef in Provence

Adventure seeker?

  • Scuba diving in Raja Ampat or snorkeling with blue whales in East Timor
  • Via ferrata in Norway, Italy or Switzerland
  • White water rafting around Jackson Hole
  • Mountain biking with vistas of soaring peaks, alpine meadows and crystal clear rivers, over thrilling suspension bridges and epic mountain passes in New Zealand
  • Rent a Ferrari to drive through Tuscany, sign him up for driving lessons on the Indianapolis Speedway or hop in an electric Porsche for a self drive tour of Norway including the dramatic Trollstigen – switchbacks, towering waterfalls, deep fjords and lush valleys


  • Charter a catamaran or gullet in Greece, Croatia, Turkey or the BVIs
  • Float around the Maldives
  • Intensive sailing lessons in the Caribbean


  • Blackberry Farm
  • Amangiri

Looking for more inspiration? Check out these articles:

53 Best Father’s Day Gifts for Travel-Loving Dads, Condé Nast Travel
60 of the Best Gifts for Dads Who Say They Don’t Want Anything, Oprah Daily
22 Unique Travel Gifts for Dads Who Are Jet-Setters, Good Housekeeping
The 74 Best Gifts for Men That Are Sure to Impress, Real Simple
26 Father’s Day Gifts for Dads Who Don’t Want Anything, NY Magazine


Mostly my clients opt for private touring when they are on a trip, but contrasting that with a group experience is also a lot of fun.

In the case of the Winelands region outside of Cape Town I encourage both.

Have a private experience with a dedicated wine ambassador at one or two exclusive wineries – traveling by helicopter for a very special experience.

Then follow that up another day by hopping on the Franschhoek Wine Tramoutside of Cape Town, South Africa.

Taking the Wine Tram is a great way to see multiple wineries in one day. They have 5 different lines covering 30 different wineries.

The green bio-diesel-fueled Wine Tram, modeled on the open-sided trams of the 1890s, runs on narrow gauge rail track built 100+ years ago for transporting fruit from farms. You are seated with 32 passengers on flip-over tram-style benches so you can enjoy the views in both directions.

Sip Sémillon or taste Sauvignon Blanc paired with white chocolate and consider ending at Mont Rochelle, Richard Branson’s vineyard.

The tram’s website lists their three main types of experiences…

Hop-on Hop-off Experience
Hop on and off as you like, experiencing the different activities on offer, be it wine tasting, a cellar tour, lunch or just a stroll through the vineyards.

Curated Wine Experience
Designed for the true wine-lovers and foodies, the Curated Wine Experience is a real treat for the senses! A knowledgeable wine ambassador accompanies you to a selection of wine estates for premium tastings and pairings, a cellar & vineyard tour, and a specially curated three-course lunch.

Exceptional Wine & Cuisine Experience
Orchestrated by one of our finest wine ambassadors, enjoy a journey filled with fascinating stories about Franschhoek Valley’s history, wine, and culture. Sit back and relax as we spoil you with one-of-a-kind food and wine pairings, across breakfast, lunch and dessert.

This region isn’t just about the wine, it is also home to 40+ superb restaurants and occasional pop ups by other famous chefs. Consider the 7 course signature chef’s menu at Delaire Graff. And contrast that with a private picnic set in a meadow overlooking the valley.

📷 Franschhoek Wine Tram

Reach out to plan your trip to

🌟 Last month, Gundari opened in Folegandros, a small, secluded Greek island in the southern part of the Cyclades. Gundari is the first luxury eco-resort on the island and is an eco-friendly, blissful escape.

Why visit Gundari?

  • The suites and villas scattered on soaring hills all have private solar heated infinity pools and views of the Aegean Sea.
  • Activities include e-biking across the island, hiking, private boat tours, Greek cooking classes and diving or snorkeling in the caves, reefs and walls of Folegandros.
  • Retreat to the cliff edged pool with swim up bar and views for miles. For ultimate relaxation, enjoy the wellness facilities offering sound baths, mediation and energy healing sessions.
  • Orizon restaurant by Michelin-star chef Lefteris Lazaoru focuses on fresh ingredients and Greek cuisine. For a memorable farm-to-table experience, you can select your own produce for the chef to prepare at a sunset dinner on the farm itself.
  • Folegandros allows you to escape from the many tourists on the more popular islands. The main town, set on a cliff, offers stunning vistas and the islands secluded beaches offer remote privacy.

Of course it comes with the usual perks and VIP treatment when booking your stay through Truvay Travel.



📷 Gundari

Reach out to plan your trip to

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Extraordinary Experiences for
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