My birth name is Anne Marie, but everyone’s been calling me Sunnie for much of my 25 years in the travel advising space. I can book itineraries all over the world, but I have a special place in my heart for the South Pacific — and specifically for Australia. I have been to the South Pacific 45 times, Australia on its own 36. My husband sometimes asks me if I have another husband over there. I don’t, obviously, but I do love the place.
I have a second-level certification in scuba diving and have dived repeatedly in Australia as well as Fiji, the soft coral capital of the world. A few years ago, I had the opportunity to dive with Jacque Cousteau’s team; when I hit the water, I had a massive crying jag because of how amazing and emotional the experience was. I’ve also dived in Port Lincoln, Australia — there, they didn’t use “chum” to attract the sharks. Rather, they play AC/DC music in the water and the sharks arrive! It’s stunning to watch.
Because of this, I can work well with an adventure or experience-driven traveler, but I’ve also worked with all kinds of people — from millionaires to Chicago Bear football players. The core of everything for me is the conversation. I try to start each relationship with those, as opposed to via e-mail or something else. I want to get to know who I’m working with — understand them and their family’s needs — and then build the itinerary and ideas from there.
I’ve been expanding into Africa bookings recently, too, because many of the same people who want these South Pacific experiences also tend to preference Africa for future itineraries.