San Diego Office

Rachael Mendizabal

Growing up in Australia, the rest of the world always seemed so far away. When I was young, I used to look at my grandmother’s atlas and read about foreign places in her old encyclopedias. As soon as I was old enough, I set out to discover as much as I could.

Rachael Mendizabal

I have been fortunate enough to have had some amazing experiences: I have hiked the Inca Trail in Peru, stood beneath an exploding volcano in Costa Rica, bathed an elephant in Thailand, and watched the sun rise on Christmas morning over Angkor Wat. More recently, I have been spending time in Europe where sailing the Adriatic coastline, searching Italy for the best gelato, and exploring sites from classical Greece have been some highlights. I even ran on the footrace track in ancient Olympia - sadly, no laurel wreath for me!

My favorite thing about travel (aside from all the food!) is when sites from history are still standing, waiting to be discovered. The feeling you have the first time you walk the sacred hill to the Acropolis or climb the towers to the ancient wall in Dubrovnik will stay with you long after you have gone home and put your passport away.

Favourite places I've been

My hot picks

My top tips

  • Use technology to your advantage – download the language translator for the country you’re visiting, and google maps also allows you to download a map for offline use.

  • Make a music playlist to play throughout your trip. When you hear those songs once the vacation is over, you can be transported back to that place! It’s a great way to keep the memories alive.

  • Don’t visit Morocco without getting to the desert. The Sahara is awe-inspiring, but it can be challenging to get to. Marrakech has a stony desert only an hour away that is a good substitute.

  • A visit to San Sebastian would not be complete without a pintxos tour. Bring your hunger and adventurous taste buds! Pintxos are small, so you can try almost everything.

  • Sometimes getting up early (or staying up late!) is worth it, especially if you’re in a really popular place. Walking the streets in the early morning light of Dubrovnik, without the crowds, gives you such a different perspective.

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