April 2020

My mother was the queen of armchair traveling. Living in the same small town in eastern North Carolina where she was born, she transported herself around the world via the books delivered to her doorstep each month by Beaufort County Regional Library’s book mobile. My father saw most of the world during his lifetime. Although it certainly never seemed so, I often wondered if she envied him and his experiences.

As I write this edition of the newsletter, travel - near and far - has come to a screeching halt. International and domestic travel bans have been instituted as nations around the globe strive to keep people safe. Life as we know it has been disrupted. Daily lifestyle adjustments we could never have imagined on New Year’s Eve, slightly over three months ago, are the norm. At the same time, we are learning we are adaptable, creative, and resilient. We will come out of this crisis having learned valuable things... about ourselves, our families, our neighbors, our communities, and our world. Perhaps the most striking thing we will come away with is our desire for the best for one another.

I believe in travel. And I know you do, too. Travel powers economies, strengthens communities, and changes lives. As the seventh-largest employer in the U.S. private sector, the travel industry supports one in nine American jobs. For an in-depth look into the travel industry in North Carolina, click here to read the May 2019 newsletter, Why Does Travel Matter?

For me, travel is an essential component of my lifelong learning journey. Looking beyond today’s healthcare crisis, recovery for the travel industry will take longer than we might hope. 

If your travel plans have changed this spring, remember there are many ways to experience some of the joy of traveling from the comfort of your own home. Click on the following link for a list of great travel movies. Here’s another one. Virtual tours of world-famous museums and amazing concerts are just a click away.

There are lots of travel book lists online. A few books I’m considering re-reading are Kim by Rudyard Kipling, The Thornbirds, Under the Tuscan Sun, and The English Patient. Some personal favorites through the years have been James Mitchner’s Iberia, Alaska, Hawaii and Poland.

I have always described visit NC concierge is a “happy business.” People look forward to leisure travel for a number of reasons. So, even though you may be disappointed that your spring travel plans were canceled, or had to be rescheduled, don’t be discouraged. While you have this time at home, read that list of highly recommended travel books, watch those favorite travel movies, listen to concerts by world-renowned orchestras, and plan your next travel adventure.

When it’s safe to travel again, we all need to jump back on board cruise ships, airlines, and trains fulfilling our travel fantasies and helping to reignite the world’s economy. Coronavirus has reminded us, once again, just how interconnected and interdependent our beautiful planet is.

Don’t just see North Carolina. Experience it.
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Let Me Introduce You...

It was 165 years ago, in the spring of 1855, that Walt Whitman self-published his first volume of poetry. Credited with reinventing poetry for our young nation, this man, whose formal education ended in the third grade, became one of our country’s best-loved poets. April is National Poetry Month. Let me introduce you to Jaki Shelton Green, North Carolina’s Poet Laurate and a Fellow of the Academy of American Poets Laureate. For Ms. Green, “poetry is this living substance that in always present.”  She inspires us to share our unique stories.

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What Our Guests are Saying About Us

"I thought the trip to the Outer Banks was excellent. I learned so much about NC and that part of our state! I was especially impressed with the Coastal Studies Institute. You planned to the last detail. Needless to say, I'd like to go on more trips because they are so educational."

"The trip to the North Carolina High Country provided an opportunity for us to learn about the Ben Long frescoes, Grandfather Mountain beauty, Elliott Daingerfield art and Eseeola Lodge’s history. Mary Esther’s planning and attention to detail provided us an incredible experience."

"I am a frequent traveler with Mary Esther and Visit NC Concierge. Each trip is well planned, very organized and provides experiences I could never create on my own. I highly recommend Visit NC Concierge if you seek to experience, learn and have all the planning done for you while visiting sites in North Carolina."

"Mary Esther is always available to answer any questions you may have and with great patience. She also is very willing to help solve any problem you may have. She is an excellent planner, director and tour guide. Her trips have been super!"

"Just a short note to tell you how much we enjoyed our curated trip to the Georgia O'Keeffe exhibit yesterday. It was truly first class ... It was our first trip with you and certainly will not be our last."

"We were very well educated as to what we would be doing and what we needed to do to make it all happen. Everything flowed as expected."

"We loved the carriage tour through the historic district. The homes and buildings were beautiful. We loved everything we did and thought each stop was delightful. Exceeded expectations."

"What I appreciate is that you provide guests an opportunity to learn and experience a part of NC while you take care of all the logistics and details!"

Contact us to book your tour today! 
visit NC concierge is a premier hospitality company dedicated to providing the discriminating traveler unique experiences savoring North Carolina’s history, geography, and culture at a leisurely travel pace while enjoying the state’s finest sites, cuisine, and lodgings. Itineraries are subject to change at the discretion of the company. Group size: minimum 10; maximum 30. Registration for each tour closes 30 days prior to tour start date. For more information, visit us at
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Visit NC Concierge · 8726 Cypress Club Drive · Raleigh, NC 27615 · USA

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