Founder and CEO of Travellati Tours, Elizabeth Kemble gave up her career as an IT Project Manager to pursue her dream of starting her own travel company in early 2015.
Born in Paris to a German mother and an American father, Liz spent her early childhood in the City of Lights until her family relocated to Cincinnati and then settled in New Jersey. “We all spoke French, ate French, and I guess, acted French,” Liz recounts of her early years.
From her teenage years onward, Liz returned often to Europe to visit her relatives in Germany and Switzerland, where she learned to speak German. As an adult, she began to organize her trips around themes – seeing friends, visiting historic sites, or retracing the paths of her favorite writers and artists.
Her father was an artist who taught Liz from an early age to notice the details around her. He took her to museums as early as she could remember – and probably before. “He liked to point out specific things like a cat yawning in an upstairs window or the baubles of a plane tree dangling in front of the Woolworth building against a crisp blue winter sky,” Liz explained.
Liz settled in Tarrytown, New York, where she enjoyed a long career in project management in the IT world while simultaneously pursuing her many interests in dance, acting, singing, poetry, and art. In her early forties, Liz discovered that she had a knack for acting. She has played dramatic and comedic roles at the Open Eye Theater in upstate New York and practices improv at a local studio. She also became enamored of jazz and blues and goes swing dancing frequently.
All the while, Liz continued to nurture her love of travel. It was Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” that gave her the inspiration to combine her talents to create a unique travel experience and to develop her ideas into a business plan. By that time, she was already taking entrepreneurship classes at night. Liz decided to create a travel touring company that weaves music, theater, and dance into each travel adventure.
Like Woody Allen’s journey into the Paris of another era, she wanted her tours to focus on fun, on learning through experience, and on helping people step out of the boxes of their daily lives. "When you travel, you can try new foods, new drinks, see new sights, and do things you’ve never done before,” Liz explained. “You can step out of your usual routines and predilections. You can be a different you for a while. It’s like acting in that way.”
Liz also wanted to offer a relaxed, intimate atmosphere, which is why she limits her tours to 6 to 12 guests, enabling the group to blend into its surroundings in a way that a bus load cannot.
Travellati emerged as the perfect name for her tours and recalls the literati, culturati, glitterati, and illuminati. Liz has defined “travellati” as “people who are connoisseurs of travel.”