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Meet the team

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Annita – Expert lover of travel

More about meMy favorite things

Hello, I am the Annita of Travel Bags with Annita.  My wanderlust really started when I was a child, listening to my father talk about his time traveling in Europe and North Africa during WWII.  The places he mentioned sounded exotic, fascinating and a little mysterious.  His stories were filled with cultural intrigue and interesting people.  Enough to make me dream of traveling to far away places – as soon as I could.  The latest National Geographic magazine was a staple on the coffee table in our home, and we traveled the globe through the pictures.

It only made sense that I would join Pan Am World Airways as a flight attendant and travel the world.  My love of travel, a keen interest in culture and my ease with meeting people made up for any possible “lost in translation” moments!  I always felt each trip was new and exciting.

I now manage a group of luxury vacation rental cottages on Sapelo Island, GA and enjoy this side of travel and tourism!  And, I host a radio show, Travel Bags with Annita & Friends on WDUN AM 550, providing great informational tips for our wonderful listeners. And, our Just Got Back travel blog shares recent trips, tips, and travel news.

Favorite place to relax or vacation: The Georgia coast is always calling my name. There is nothing like the sunrise on Nannygoat Beach on Sapelo Island watching the day come alive or as the locals say, “day clean.”

Must have for every trip: An extra oversized bag I can pack and take out when I need it. Right now I have a wonderful canvas bag that’s my favorite, and it’s from Pan Am Brands; makes it really unique.

Favorite music for a road trip: Something high energy and fast, so I can “seat dance” and sing!

Favorite food: Special meals prepared by Doc Bill

Travel tip: Gather all must have items (meds, passport, itinerary, any pre-purchased tickets) a day or two ahead and put them in your carry on. Being organized for your trip is so important and also helps you stay on time!

Packing tip: Plastic zip lock bags for anything that might leak, spill or stain

 

 

 

Doc Bill – Expert food, culture and nature lover

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More about meMy favorite things

The best way to describe me is farmer, wild and domestic food & plants explorer and expert.  I can spend the whole day and also part of the night at my organic farm.  I love to watch the farm grow.  Experimenting with heirloom and unusual seeds and plants; discovering a usual plant or seed. I am inspired!

I have a passion for food lore and mythology; they connect to my style of cooking.  A meal is a creation born from nature, culture, and great ingredients.  Cooking to me is a show of love for the food and the people you are cooking for.

The first food I learned to cook was Thai.  And it’s still one of my favorite.  I am always looking for a new area of gardening and cooking to explore.  Heirloom and rare bean/peas are what’s trending with me right now.   By the way….I do have a day job as a physician!

 

Favorite place to relax or vacation: The Big Island of Hawaii and close by – the Georgia coast

Must have for every trip: Camera, i-pad and telephone!

Favorite music for a road trip: Books on tape are my favorite

Favorite food: Mom and pop local restaurants. There is always a great dish to uncover and make my favorite

Travel tip: Discover the food from the region and enjoy a local, traditional dish

Packing tip: Don’t forget your chargers and a converter for international trips!

 

Nichole – Producer of future road warriors 

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More about meMy favorite things

I like to think of myself as a Road Warrior.  For the last eight years I have traveled around the U.S. for work, taking TV crews to some of the smallest and largest cities on the map.

I have a big zest for life and am filled with wanderlust. When I am not working, you can find me dreaming up and planning my next adventure in order to leave behind the stress of the day today and expand my mind with images I  would never see, people I would never meet, food I would never eat, and cultures I would never understand without the endless excitement and burning will to find them.  ROAD WARRIOR – Full speed ahead!!!

Favorite place to relax or vacation: One of my favorite places to relax is a hotel called Casa del Mar. It’s only about a 15-minute drive from my house and I can go very easily to sit in their lobby or lounge on the beach just outside the hotel. It’s a great getaway right at home. As for favorite vacation spot, I have been to many places, yet there are still so many to see. Maybe after a few more trips and a few more years of travel, I can finally settle on just one.

Must have for every trip: I have 2 must haves for every trip. The first is my Ipad. I bought it about a year ago for work, and it is amazing, allowing me to take the endless pictures that I go crazy for, read books when I want to relax, stay connected to friends and family, and it gives me instant access to numerous websites for places to go while I’m traveling. Number 2 is a regular old notepad and pen. I love to write whenever I feel inspired, and there is no better feeling than putting all out in ink. I’m not the best at it, but I also love to draw/sketch beautiful landscapes or interesting buildings, so it just gives me another way to convey my emotions at that moment without letting the high-tech distractions of my iPad get in the way.

Favorite music for a road trip: I have two depending on the type – Kesha is my go to for trips with my girlfriends when we drive to Las Vegas, Santa Barbara, etc. for a getaway. If I’m by myself and on more of a soul searching introspective ride, I turn to an album put out by my good friend Amber North. The beautiful melodies she put together are outstanding.

Favorite food: My favorite food is French Fries all the way, but I must say I have two trip guilty pleasures which are – Cheesy Doritos with salsa or Goldfish crackers with M&Ms. Either one is clutch for me when I’m traveling.

Travel tip: Always research where you are going so that you are prepared and know what to expect. This way once you’re there all you have to worry about doing is exploring.

Packing tip: It’s just a fact of life – you will never wear everything you pack, so instead of packing every outfit in your closet, think light. The less, the better. There is nothing worse than not being able to explore your surroundings because you are weighed down by too many bags. Take the essentials and be spontaneous about the rest.

 

Steven – Mr. Air Miles

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More about meMy favorite things

I have worked in the travel industry for over 27 years. And a lot of that time as a frequent traveler. So I know the business through my job and personal experience too!

I LOVE to travel, exploring new places and learning new cultures.

For several years I worked with Annita, where we became very good friends, and the two of us traveled the world for business.

I am originally from London but have also lived in Sydney, Chicago and now Singapore.

While in London I had a regular phone-in show on BBC Radio to share my travel expertise, as well as contributing to the BBC1 TV shows Perfect Holiday and Holiday 10 Best.
I have two cats and enjoy photography and keeping fit- always a challenge when you travel!

 

Favorite place to relax or vacation: Cape Town- it has everything! Culture. Beaches. Mountains. Wineries. Wildlife. Great Restaurants

Must have for every trip: Camera (but now I just need my smartphone)!

Favorite music for a road trip: Australian rock is great to sing-a-long to Midnight Oil, Faker, INXS

Favorite food: Healthy: Cashews. Non-Healthy: Chocolate Fondant Cake

Travel tip: Get a prepaid SIM card when you arrive at your destination

Packing tip: Put jackets and trousers in first then roll them around the rest of your clothes- they will not get creases!

 

Olivia – Sports radio, basketball and travel enthusiast   

Olivia Varnson

More about meMy favorite things

I love to be by the water; it is where I feel most at home. It is always exciting when an opportunity comes along to see a new beach or body of water; there is something unique about each and every location. I was born and raised in Buford, Georgia and I attended Brenau University, where I graduated with a degree in Mass Communications. My greatest passion in life is learning about basketball. Much like the hidden gems of destinations across the country and beyond, my favorite part of basketball is when an athlete surprises the world with an unknown talent or unique style of play. I hope to one day combine my love of travel and basketball by visiting every NBA arena in North America.

Favorite Place to relax or vacation: My grandmother’s home in Pensacola, Florida, the beach is beautiful, the food is spectacular, and the company is second to none.

Must have for every trip: A new book, in the future whenever you think of that story you will also be reminded of where you were when you first read it.

Favorite music for a road trip: Ballads! It’s impossible not to sing along with Whitney Houston or Billy Joel.

Favorite food: Crepes with fruit and lots of maple syrup, scrambled eggs on the side and a tall glass of orange juice.

Travel tip: Try to leave yourself time to do something you might not normally do, I could spend all day at the beach, but whenever I visit Pensacola I always try to spend a day doing something new.

Packing Tip: Something I learned from my military veteran father, try rolling your clothes like towels instead of folding them into squares, it will save space!

 

Jack – Master of the traveling car

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More about meMy favorite things

I am the true road warrior, traveling and keeping the car safe from strangers.  I love to sit in the front seat just like a regular passenger.  But, I ride on the back seat and sleep until it’s time to stop for a walk.  I love protecting the car and keeping mom and dad safe with my big growls and barks.

I sometimes travel with my sister and brother too, but they don’t know as much as I do about traveling with your doggie friends.  I can answer those questions and plan to have a lot to bark…. oh I mean talk about and share with everyone.

I am a good swimmer and can run really, really far on the beach.  I love when my sister and brother run on the beach with me.  I guess it is just natural because I was born on the Georgia coast and can’t get enough of the marsh, the beach and watching the big birds.  I am also the captain of the Sapelo ferry, greeting everyone as they get onboard.

When you travel with your doggie,  don’t forget to pack the toys and treats.

Favorite place to relax or vacation:  Running on Sapelo’s Cabretta and Nannygoat beaches

Must have for every trip:  Cookies and chicken strips

Favorite music for a road trip:  Listening to mom sing

Favorite Food:  Dad’s liver brownies are my favorite and always a special treat when he makes them.

Travel tip:  Plan for potty stops

Packing tip:  Don’t forget to pack the water bowl and a few tennis balls are good to bring along too!  And, don’t forget my leash.  I’ll need it for all my walks on the beach and around the squares in Savannah.

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