The answers to your questions!

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Hello there, intrepid adventurer!

It's been a while! There have been a lot of changes around here, so I thought I should start with the basics. My name is Kati Knowland, I like long walks through the jungle with elephants, and I’m the owner of Curio Travel Designs (formerly Mosaic World Travel...see? Changes!) 

This week, I'm going to do things a little bit differently so that I can bring you up to speed on what's new around here and share my excitement about two upcoming trips that are on my calendar for 2019. I've gotten a lot of questions lately, so let's do a little Q&A to bring everyone up to speed!

Going forward, in this space I'll share insights and reviews from my own travels, and I'll also give you real-world tips for making your travels extraordinary! If you have any travel questions that you'd like me to answer for you, just send me a note, and I might feature you (or, your question at least!) in a future newsletter.

I'm so glad you're along for the ride!

Q: "So, Kati, what's with the new company name?"

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A: I'm so glad you asked! My goal in changing my company name to Curio Travel Designs was to focus more obviously on serving my clients — the curious travelers who want to see the world in style. A "curio" is defined as a rare, unusual, or intriguing object, and I love to seek out the rare, unusual, and intriguing destinations and experiences for my clients, so the word just seemed to perfectly fit my business!

In addition to the change of name, I've also switched my agency affiliation from Signature Travel Network to Virtuoso, the industry's leading luxury travel consortium. Now, that may not mean much to you (depending on how plugged in you are to the ins and outs of the travel world), but let's just say that Curio Travel Designs has taken a big step up and will now be able to offer even higher levels of service and exclusive amenities to our clients. So, yay!

If you've got a trip in mind, and you'd like my help making it rare, unusual and intriguing, just click the button below to get started or send me a note at kati@curiotraveldesigns.com. I can't wait to uncover some gems that will take your trip from ordinary to extraordinary!

Q: "Wait, where are you going NOW?"

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A: That's what my husband asks me any time I start a sentence with, "So, guess what?" (Poor guy!) It's true that I have been very fortunate to visit some incredible places since becoming a travel advisor (India, Myanmar, Cambodia, Japan and Thailand so far), and I have two more trips on the calendar for 2019!

First up, I'll be leaving at the end of May to explore Laos and Vietnam, two of the only countries in Southeast Asia that I've never visited! I can't wait to:

  • see the historical treasure that is Luang Prabang

  • experience a private Baci ceremony (for good luck and blessings)

  • visit the Pak Ou caves filled with more than 4,000 sacred Buddhist statues and images

  • people-watch in a vintage coffee shop in Hanoi

  • marvel at limestone karsts in Lan Ha Bay (a more secluded part of Halong Bay)

  • learn to prepare traditional Vietnamese dishes on board the Ginger Cruise

  • delight in the street food in the ancient town of Hoi An

  • learn the traditional Vietnamese art of lantern making

  • brave the Saigon city streets at night on a vintage Vespa

  • eat lunch with a local farmer along the Mekong Delta

  • AND, of course, visit some of the most breathtaking hotels in Laos and Vietnam

It's going to be an amazing trip; I'll be documenting the highlights on Facebook and Instagram, and I'll share all of the details afterward on my blog, so I hope you'll follow along!

Q: "But didn't you say you had TWO trips planned?"

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A: Yep, it's true, there's one more trip on the horizon for me ...

I'm going to Africa! Specifically, South Africa and Zimbabwe!

Now, the trip isn't until November, so I'm not going to spill all of the details just yet (your jaw will drop when you see some of these safari camps!), but I do want to tell you about how I ended up on this trip. It's one of those "meant to be" stories for me.

As you know, in the past, I've focused mainly on travel to Asia — I love Asia, and it provides ample opportunity for those curious travelers like yourself (and myself!) to encounter the unusual and intriguing. 

But lately I've felt a bit of a nudge to expand on that. There are so many destinations around the world that are filled with curios; let's not limit our imagination just to Asia, right?

Once this thought crawled its way into my brain, it seemed like Africa (and, specifically this trip) was tapping me on the shoulder everywhere I went! I first heard about it in February and considered it, but hemmed and hawed long enough that all the spots were filled. I decided it must not be meant to be.

Then in early April, I heard there may be a spot open, but I resisted again — why would the Asia travel pro go to Africa? Plus, I've been on so many trips this year, I should really sit this one out!

Later in April, it popped up on Facebook that the one spot was definitely open ... but the post had been up all day and had several responses already. I told myself that I would just reach out and ask! If the spot was already taken, then that was my sign that it really wasn't meant to be. If it was still open, I NEEDED to be on this trip!

As you can probably guess from the fact that I'm going to Africa in November, the spot was not yet taken, so I quickly filled out my paperwork and submitted it, knowing that for whatever reason, this was meant to be. I can't wait to see what this trip has in store!

Moral of the story: If an opportunity is chasing you around, just GO FOR IT! 

Q: "It's been a while; who are you again?"

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A: (First of all, ouch ... I can't believe you forgot me. But on to the real answer!)

Hi! I'm Kati!

My focus is on crafting tailor-made vacations with style and substance. You are a discerning traveler, and I want to ensure that your every travel dream comes true, whether that means receiving a personalized blessing during a private ceremony in a small Hindu temple on a side street in Delhi or sipping a perfectly chilled cocktail on an exquisite sandy beach during your private island escape ... and everything in between.

You know what luxury, service and perfection mean to you. My job is to translate those dreams into reality by crafting a tailor-made itinerary that will absolutely blow you away and will create treasured memories for years to come. (With, of course, as little effort as possible on your part!)

My services are perfect for travelers who want it all — the comfort and luxury of the world's most amazing hotels, insights and deep knowledge from personal guides, the simple deliciousness of street food and a true understanding of the complexity of a different culture.

As both a traveler and a travel consultant, travel to me is about going big — crafting an itinerary that is chock full of big memory-making moments. 

Because of that, I'm always on the lookout for the "best," — the best hotel, the best food, the best guides, the best experiences, the best service. But more than that, I'm 100% focused on what "the best" means to you! This is not about simply booking the top-ranked hotel on some ratings site; it's about figuring out what makes a hotel the best for YOU. And the best way for me to do that is for us to chat! So reach out today and we can get started planning your BEST trip ever.

Kati Knowland