Meet the Founder

Some folks have been asking about the woman playing puppeteer behind the Travellati Tours' curtain. So, here's my story.

Fifty-six years ago, I was born in Paris to a German mother and American father. We all spoke French, ate French, and I guess, acted French. We moved to Cincinnati (my Dad's hometown) when I was 18 months old, then moved back to Paris six months later, then back to Cincy 5 years later, all by ocean liner. When I was 12, we moved to Edgewater, New Jersey (ed-ghe-va-ter, my Oma said). My younger brother and I spent three summers with my Oma in Germany, where we learned German.

After taking a year off after high school to work, I entered Barnard and put myself through school – working full time while also singing in the chorus and being a coxswain on the crew, where I met my husband.

We got married the day after graduation, then the following day packed our bicycles into the trunk of a taxi and headed for the airport. We spent five months bicycling and camping throughout Europe on a shoestring budget. This was the most rewarding and memorable time of my life.

When we returned, we worked in a bike shop in the City and spent August on his family's land in New Hampshire, where we wanted to build a log home. After my reading up on architecture for years, we started to build the house with our own two hands.

After that, I had a brief career in the garment industry as a production manager, then worked as a bilingual executive assistant. After teaching myself programming and building an application for my company in my spare time, I enrolled in a computer technologies program at Columbia.

I got into the field at the tail end of the dot com boom and was able to advance rapidly within project management. I often traveled to Europe on business which reignited my love of travel. Thirteen years later, I became a consultant for a software company. I loved that job and my colleagues were great and I traveled a lot, but, unfortunately, it became a victim of the economic downturn.

I had been thinking about starting my own travel business for quite a long time and had been taking classes in entrepreneurship and developing my business plan. Now, I have the opportunity to work on my business full time, providing themed, interactive tours to international destinations. The groups will be small – 6-12 guests – and feature custom theatrical, musical, and dance experiences.

Currently, I am busy preparing for our upcoming trips: "Papa's Paris" – where we'll "run into" Hemingway and his coterie; and "Bowie's Berlin," an homage to Bowie where we'll "meet" the artist and his entourage. In the meantime, Penelope and I will be sharing travel tips and insights with you through these newsletters as well as on our Facebook page.

– Liz