Here’s a story about one of our tour clients, named Jabu.
This chica is the most “get it done” gal we know.
She runs her own companies in San Francisco and consults for startups.
She’s a master researcher, executionist and has traveled the world solo in places that people told her not to go. If anyone can plan and execute an incredible trip with style, this woman can.
But there’s a reason she travels with us, instead.
Letter from our founder, Bianca Gignac:
Let me reverse the clock.
Five years ago, the very first year we hosted trips to Italy, Jabu signed up!
I couldn’t help but notice her email address, “email@example.com.”
I was, to be completely honest, kind of star struck.
Jabu was head of HR at Airbnb — obviously the best “travel” company around.
This was back when Airbnb was just getting mainstream and had mega cool factor.
I was thinking… damn, this lady wants to come on one of our trips?
(If you’ve ever started your own company, you do BACKFLIPS when you get your first few customers. If they happen to work at one of the coolest global brands you can imagine, your backflips turn into double backflips.)
Guess what? She’s now joined our trips three years in a row.
For her, coming year after year is the way she defines abundance. It’s part of the lifestyle she WANTS to lead. Being able to work hard so she can play hard and pay herself with a luxurious experience.
Our trips are her “reset.”
We take care of everything, so she gets a mental break from having to Type-A the eff out of everything.
She said, “It’s like setting a business goal that every year I can afford a trip like this. To me, going on a vacation like this actually defines what life looks like to be a baller. To be in a cool place, and have everything handled.”
I can relate to Jabu so much.
For ambitious people, a trip isn’t just a trip — it represents winning at life and seeing what’s possible when you go for it. It’s the definition of “making it.”
Busy people want stuff done right.
They don’t have time to take a shower some days. So they know the value of time — the most precious commodity in the modern world.
“I can add leverage to my time that I wouldn’t have otherwise had. These become a value add for me. Because I don’t have time to burn, I love handing this part of my life over to someone else.
I trust your taste. I trust you would make decisions based on the kind of decisions I would make.
Before I go, I’m relaxed and I know I’m going to hang out with cool women. When I get on the plane I am in f***ing chill mode then and there.
If I was doing it myself and traveling on my own, I would have to have eyes in the back of my head and it wouldn’t be restful. I might as well stay in San Francisco for that!
Since my brain is constantly going, I don’t know if I’m really ever on vacation… even if I’m in Sicily I’m constantly curating ideas. But it’s in a more creative and organic space. It’s not really about relaxing. Of course at the beginning it is, because I’m just absorbing everything. But then I swing around and get more intense about my goal setting. When I get home I’m ready to hit the ground running at a million miles an hour.
But the trips are regenerative. I feel more energized after them.”
Jabu says the trips always usher in some new turning points because of the decisions she makes on them.
That’s why she keeps on coming back.
Ambitious gals want to feel progress.
Jabu runs three companies, so this sister is like, crazy busy.
Busy like, fielding-back-to-back-calls-in-her-Uber-between-meetings busy. Like, getting-up-at-the-buttcrack-of-dawn-to-fit-it-all-in busy.
Back when she was still at Airbnb, she said she didn’t feel like she “could” take time off. She felt like things would fall apart if she wasn’t there.
But she also knew that she was getting maxed out, and that if she teaches self-care to her team, she’d better take her own darn advice!
So she booked one of our trips.
“Even if I’ve done a ton of traveling in the past, and know how to arrange a great trip, I just didn’t want to organize everything. Because I knew it wouldn’t be restful for me to do that. In the name of self-care I found Italian Fix and left it in your hands. I needed to physically rest and not worry about the details. I worry about the details for my clients, so I needed a break from that.”
As you can tell from these photos, Jabu has killer style.
She’s got a wardrobe that you wanna raid. Her vibe is west coast coolio. A mix of super pragmatic and sharp with big dreams and a positive outlook. But also super grounded.
Last year on our Sicily trip, I stumbled upon her sharing a bottle of vino in our hotel’s tropical garden. She had a group of women gathered and they were casually chatting as she was pulling tarot cards for everyone. I was like, man, why didn’t I think of that?! She’s just badass.
She said that she’s looked at a lot of other companies to travel with. But a problem she keeps seeing is that they’re a bit Wonder Bread. All the same. Sure, some “luxury” brands have 5-star hotels and eat at fine dining fancy places every night. But will the trips just be filled with affluent, country club types? There are some companies that target a younger crowd, but will those tours be filled with twenty-year-old “still figuring out my life” types? Who wants to feel like the “old wise one” and roll your eyes the whole time you’re on holiday? Plenty of time to feel like that in real life!
Wanna hear something super surprising about Italian Fix trips?
The people on them are a mixed bag. We’re a Heinz 57, if I may.
We’ve got it all:
- 25-year-olds to 75-year-olds.
- Single gals.
- Married-three-times gals.
- Divorced-a-few-times gals.
- Women with kids.
- Women with zero desire to have those brats.
- Can’t-make-the-rent-next-month-but-crossing-my-fingers gals.
- Have-three-homes-and-one-is-in-the-Hamptons gals.
- Ladies from Canada, USA, Australia, Singapore, Europe. Expats who don’t know where home is anymore.
Some women on our trips travel more than the Dalai Lama.
Some have never been out of their own country.
Why do we get such a range of people?
Because instead of following the rules and creating these strict boxes like, “We’re an adventure company,” or “We’re a company for young travelers,” or “We’re a company for luxury travelers,” we are really driven by a vibe and a philosophy.
We like to mix “high and low.”
(Like a cheap pair of jeans from H&M with a “these cost me two rent payments” pair of boots.)
You like to get together, in a pretty place, and sometimes you’ll eat at the hardest-to-get reservation in town and sometimes you’ll be standing in the market eating a panino with construction workers. It’s just about being yourself, at ease, in a place with women who might not have your background but they do have a vision for how they want to live their life. With choice, optimism, faith that everything will be alright.
And that’s the common ground.
As Jabu says, “This is a be-yourself group of people from all walks of life.”
Look, I agree an Italian vacation costs a buttload of cash. But I also feel like there’s no shortage of money on this planet. What there is a shortage of is people who are happy, who have the things they want and who love their lives.
I believe it’s better to live rich than to die rich. It’s better to pay a little extra and get what you want than to pay a little less and make a mistake.
As Jabu says, “You can’t put a price on travel because it’s an experience, not a product.”
For her, what’s the price of getting closer to your mission? To defining your personal value system so that you can make strategic decisions for work and life?
Jabu is pretty clear though. “That’s a conscious choice, because many people who work crazy hours don’t even have a life. For years on end they stop doing things and that’s kind of a sad story, so if you don’t want to be that person this is a way to revitalize your life and have these amazing stories to tell.”
80 bucks and a dream.
I founded this company 5 years ago with a “How to Build a WordPress Website” book from the library, and less than 80 bucks.
Things have grown from my humble beginnings when my toddler daughter napped beside me and I was starting this company from the ground up.
I’m now a founder of a travel company with a global team, get to work with my best buds, and I have amazing clients like Jabu that I get to serve.
Even after having served hundreds of customers, I’m so deeply honored and remember every last one. I don’t take lightly that they’ve invested their time, money and energy to fly across the world and join our Italian experiences.
I’m happy to call many of our clients good friends. Work might be “just work” to so many people, but this company, along with being a wife and mother, is actually my absolute passion and joy and a path I feel so grateful to be on.
Now, I’d love to know this.
Do you feel like traveling around the world and hanging out with wonderful women is your definition of abundance?
Can you relate to Jabu?
Do you secretly dream that someone would just “handle” parts of your life?
If you feel energized by the feeling of growth, of progress and of living a bigger life, then, you’re in the right place.
It’s a super exciting headspace to be in.
Meeting other people on a shared path will also be part of your life. And you’ll actually have time to connect as you’re chillin’ in colorful villages of the Cinque Terre, a Positano rooftop bar or the wild countryside of Sicily. For days on end.
The boom boom boom coolest thing? This is YOUR life. You get to choose YOUR own adventure. We’re just here to help make that adventure more magical.
Know that we’re all in this together.
Bianca Gignac, Founder, Travel Beautifully Media Inc.
P.S. May I ask you a tiny favor? If you have a busy, full-of-dreams gal in your life, could you share this story with them? It’ll show her you love and admire her. Encouragement can be EVERYTHING at certain points of life, and I want positivity to spread.