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Welcome to the Messages to Memories Travel Blog

Leigh

5 min read

Mar 23

Leigh

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I'm so glad you made it! Who am I? Firstly, I'm someone that writes how I speak. Please consider all of my travel blogs a conversation between you and I and know that this is who I am, frfr. Feel free to add to the conversation with comments. I'd love to get to know everyone who takes the time to read my thoughts! I'm, as of writing, 34, single, Childfree (permanently), mostly solo-traveling, and a reformed Disney Adult. For the vast majority of my life, vacation = Disneyland. And when I say vast majority, I mean my first Disney visit was at 1-year-old and I don't think I've missed more than...3 or maybe 4 years from then until now. But this is my last year; My Annual pass expires next month.

Disney isn't what it used to be. I know if I get into it too much I'll just sound like "old woman yells at cloud," but I've personally reached the point where the prices and experience no longer align in a way that makes sense for me. If you still love the Disney experience, I'm happy for you. Me? Knowing what it was and what it is now, I've made peace with laying the mantle down and getting out into the wonderous real world. There's got to be more magic outside that kingdom.


Leigh with custom In-N-Out Double-Double Mickey Ears at the 2023 Disney Food & Wine Festival.
These are my original idea and custom-made In-N-Out Mickey ears. The FIRST ones. Never forget that.

I'm also now a Vegas and cruise addict. These are likely to be the main sources of conversation here in my universe. I fell in love with Vegas in 2023 when I took a 6-day solo trip after a pit stop at the best Incubus concert of my life (more on that in the next blog). Being the foodie that I am, Las Vegas has been an awesome food-cation spot for celebrity chef (Gordon Ramsey is BAE) and fine dining restaurants. In fact, as I'm writing this, it's occurring to me that Las Vegas and Virgin Voyages, my main cruise line, have something in common: a ton of good food crammed into an easy-to-navigate space. Something else they have in common: adult-oriented atmosphere and entertainment. And no, I'm not referring to that of a sexual nature or gambling (although cruise ships do feature casinos as well). Rather that, despite Las Vegas having some things for kids to do, I'd still say it's arguably an Adult Vacation destination in most people's minds. Guys' trips, girls' trips, festivals, conventions, honeymoons, bachelor and bachelorette parties, etc. A lot of events and venues that draw large crowds of adults are all too common in Vegas. And me? I am adult.

You can usually find me there about the food and shows. I've gone to see Boys II Men, Bruno Mars, and almost all of the Cirque du Soleil shows (missed Zumanity and don't care to see The Beatles LOVE or Mystère at the moment but have seen Michael Jackson ONE twice and will not hesitate to see it again and cry like a bitch every time). Oh, also, I swear. So, get used to that. Can't pearl-clutch around me, ya dig? We're adults here, for fucks sake!


A night shot of Las Vegas Blvd with traffic lights in blur effect.. From New York New York to the Aria and beyond.
Las Vegas truly never sleeps. I do though. Very comfortably, I might add.

After going to Vegas 3 times in 2023, I did decide I needed to do something else before it got stale. My original plan was to start hitting up All-Inclusive Resorts, but the more research I did the more I found that cruising was a more affordable and more globe-trotting version. I decided, despite always being afraid to go down like the Titanic, that it would be worth a try. It also just so happens that I came to this conclusion in Year 2 of Virgin Voyages' operation, the premier adults-only cruise experience. The timing is pretty magical if I do say so myself. Finding out about VV was like having the clouds part and angels sing. It's food centric, LGBTQIA2S+ embracing (me, waving from the A), their brand colors are my favorite colors to wear (red, white, and black), and did I mention ADULTS ONLY?! Sign. me. The fuck. Up.

So, my first cruise (more on that later) was solo on The Scarlet Lady in January 2024. And aside from an issue I ran into with a couple of crew members that was well-rectified, I had the time of my life! I had so much fun and came to believe in the line so much that, as you can see from my website, I started my own travel business and became a gold-level First Mate (VV's designation for independent travel agents that sell their cruises) a soon as I could. Truly, my cruise with them was the origin of my entire Travel Agent era.


Leigh sitting in the captains chair on the brig of The Scarlet Lady ship.
Look at me! I am your Captain now!!! (From the brig of The Scarlet Lady)

So, here I am and here's this website where I can help you plan a cruise with them (and soon, likely NCL and perhaps others down the line). And what you should take away from this is, I only bring you things I stand behind. I'm offering VV because I genuinely love it. I have a cruise on NCL next week and, assuming I love it, will begin offering it, too. And eventually I'll be offering Vegas packages as well. Because another takeaway is, I'm only brining you something I know enough about to really help you with it. I don't want to knock any do-it-all, sell-it-all travel agents. In fact, I admire them. They know more generally about the world and travel industry than I do at this point, maybe more than I'll ever know. I'm just choosing to specialize because I want to have a personal connection with what I'm doing in my life.

Not going to give you a long sob story, but I will just say that I had a very hard time growing up. It's probably a large part of why I'm living a solo life, inclusive of being disconnected from my family-of-origin. The older I got [and went through the worldwide reflecting-at-home time of the Panini (what I call the pandemic to lighten the load)] the more I realized how much mental energy I had been putting into the external and sometimes inessential things of life to make it through. I knew the shallower parts of myself but not the deeper reservoirs nor much of what I could be. So now, after therapy and growing in self-interest, self-knowledge and self-confidence, I'm moving towards a greater me. To read my blog will be to come along with me on that journey. A journey of world and self-exploration. A journey of entrepreneurship I never thought I'd embark upon or was capable of, to be honest. A journey of another life. And I sincerely thank you for joining me!


Please like, comment, subscribe, book your next Virgin Voyage with me, check my Calendar page and cruise with me... whatever you want to do is alright with me. And I hope everything is alright with you :)