Welcome Aboard

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Golden Sunset over Pacific, Laguna Beach, California

Where do you want to go? Picture it & set sail. 

Docked in the artsy tourist town of Laguna Beach in coastal Orange County, midway between Los Angeles and San Diego, Gold Boat Journeys (Live Write Travel Explore) is the kind of creative venture that Californians are known for.  When I wrote my business plan, hired a logo designer and started developing the Ship’s Log (blog, aka slog) and website in March 2012, I still couldn’t see where the voyage would lead. One year and many false starts later I have a clearer idea. Inspired by my memory of the little Iron Age boat I saw on a solo writing trip to Ireland, my dream become an ongoing lesson in patience, flexibility, determination, dedication and humility. It’s never easy to picture where you want to go. It’s often more difficult to set sail.

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Heart Cloud Over Torres del Paine, Patagonia Chile

Here’s how I can help you realize your travel dreams:

Travel Planning and Booking: I’m thrilled to have joined the travel consultant team at Expedia Cruise & Vacation Centers, Saddleback Valley (on Via de Carlota, right next to Trader Joe’s in Laguna Hills). Working wirelessly, I can even bring my laptop to my Laguna Beach neighbors’ favorite coffee spots or book travel for clients anywhere in the world (from anywhere in the world). We work with G Adventures, Rocky Mountaineer, National Geographic Expeditions, Trafalgar, Globus, Viking, AMA Waterways and many more trusted travel companies to offer concierge service at Expedia prices.  Whether you are traveling for business, learning or pleasure, I apply my research skills to help every journey go more smoothly and efficiently.

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Quote by Poet William Butler Yeats on Wall of Bachelor Inn, Dublin, Ireland

Personalized Travel Planning: If you’re craving a trip filled with cultural discovery, active adventure and relaxation but have no time to plan it, we can tailor an itinerary to your schedule, interests and abilities and save you money in the process. Why use me instead of booking on your own? I’m a creative researcher determined to find my clients the best experience at the best price. Still want to plan and book your trip yourself? Check back often for a constantly changing array of travel deals, including tours; cruises; vacation packages; villas in Italy;  chateaux in France; cottages in the UK; discounts in popular destinations like New York City and Paris; and promotions from travel brands like Virgin Atlantic Airlines, Rail Europe and Best Western. Our website also provides easy links to booking engines like Expedia, Booking.com, BedandBreakfast.com and Webjet, with more on the way.

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California Highway 1 Looking North to Big Sur

Custom Itineraries: I create itineraries for Australian-based Outtrippin, where travelers pay a flat fee to receive personalized proposals from three travel writers. Travelers choose their favorite from three pitches and the lucky writer gets to plan their trip. It’s a win-win idea that lets writers get creative and the clients enjoy the insider experience of a trip designed just for them. My latest client itinerary was a ten-day budget honeymoon in Half Moon Bay, Carmel/Big Sur and San Francisco, and I just completed a sample itinerary for a family in New York City as a pilot project for their partnership with a major credit card company.

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Lago Pehoe, Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

 Writing, Editing & Marketing: From guest blogs to newsletter articles, opinion pieces to ad copy, I have the writing, editing, visual marketing and social media skills to make your audience take notice. Although I don’t publish sponsored posts on my own website, I blogged extensively about my recent FAM tour to Patagonia, and have become an enthusiastic advocate for the destination.

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Trabant Near Remains of Wall, Berlin, Germany

No matter where you go or how you travel, there’s always another amazing destination just over the horizon. I look forward to talking travel with you in Gold Boat’s second year.

Happy Sails!

Ellen Girardeau Kempler
Chief Navigator and Founder

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