Connoisseurs of luxury travel, David Porter and his wife Carol are the highly successful Roaming Boomers. And we had the pleasure to talk with David to get his thoughts about traveling to Ireland with Luxury Gold. This was their first journey to the Emerald Isle and, as luxury travel consultants, the Roaming Boomers were only too pleased to share their highlights from our Ultimate Ireland guided tour.
From a lifelong passion for travel…
We asked David how Roaming Boomers came about, and about his passion for travel. He told us “We owned a business in Michigan, USA and we always dreamed of early retirement and traveling the world. I had visited Europe when I was in college, and it left a love of travel in me that would not be suppressed. We travelled when we could but were so busy with work we could only do a short trip once a year. So, we had a lot that we wanted to do, a big bucket list and still do! So aged 50 we sold our business and started living the travel dream.”
However, in 2008 the financial stock market crash took a large amount of their life savings, so David and his wife had to rethink their plans of early retirement.
To a business in travel
“We didn’t want to go back into our previous business” David explained. “So we decided to start a luxury travel blog, called the Roaming Boomers – the baby boomers luxury travel guide, as we had had ran a successful blog once before. It wasn’t long before we had a large audience who then started asking us to help with their travel planning. From this Roaming Boomers Travel Services was born, and we affiliated our agency with Virtuoso®, the world’s leading international luxury travel agency network.”
“I now don’t think that we will ever retire!” David says with a laugh. “We are building the business and we don’t feel that pull of retirement anymore, because we are travelling which is what we wanted to do. The entrepreneur part of me also missed running a business. So, we have changed our whole outlook.”
Highlights of Ultimate Ireland
David and Carol indulged their dream of traveling to Ireland on Luxury Gold’s Ultimate Ireland guided tour. This exclusive 12 Day luxury guided tour takes you deep into the heart of the Emerald Isle. Visiting the great cities of Belfast and Dublin, guests can learn about conservation at the Giants Causeway, one of the essential things to do in Ireland, and hear the history of Londonderry from a local storyteller. With opportunities to try your hand at falconry and enjoy a private Irish dance class, there are many ways to connect with both the country and its people, as you journey through great castles and picturesque villages. Renowned for its warm welcome and tasty cuisine, our Ultimate Ireland tour also offers an unforgettable gastronomical journey from the famous Irish breakfast to Michelin-starred dining and farm-to-table fare.
We asked David for his highlights of traveling to Ireland with Luxury Gold and immediately he tells us, “Ashford Castle”, an exquisite hotel where guest stay on days 10 and 11 of the tour. “We were greeted by the piper on the drawbridge and from that moment on it was fabulous experience after fabulous experience,” he says. “We really enjoyed the falconry, and we sampled some exceptional food.”
“The staff were amazing, the setting was beautiful, and we enjoyed walking to the little town and having lunch with the locals. That was certainly a highlight of the trip. Knowing that the castle used to be in the Guinness family added to the historical interest. We had visited the Guinness Storehouse whilst in Dublin and I am now a great fan of the beer.” He concludes, “We’ve not had this kind of castle experience anywhere before, and it was certainly the highlight of the tour.”
“Tracey’s Farmhouse was a very enjoyable and memorable experience too,” David continues. “It is kind of the other end of the spectrum to the castle, where you are now in the home of a local in a centuries old farmhouse and Tracey is teaching us to bake traditional soda bread.” He tells us that he hasn’t yet had the chance to practice the recipe at home, but hopes to soon for his Irish neighbors. “We had a delicious farm-to-table lunch there that was a fun experience in a completely different way,” he explains. “It gives you a chance to interact with a local person, so it changes your perspective a little. You get invited into someone’s home and you are listening to the language, which is different and colorful to American ears, it was a very memorable experience. This really stood out as something you won’t usually get the chance to do. It felt very special. “
Our Travel Concierge
David and Carol were both very impressed by their Traveling Concierge, Erica. “Having a local as a guide made the whole experience very enjoyable and authentic.” He explained. “I know many companies will operate Ireland tours, but some will send guides from the United States, for example, over to lead the tour. But hearing the history from the lips of a local is a very different thing.”
A Luxury Gold Traveling Concierge takes care of every detail and looks after guests needs throughout the tour. They are also your local expert, fluent in the local language and possessing vast knowledge of your destination. Ensuing your journey is curated for you, they will assist with recommendations for free time, restaurants and help with reservations to ensure you have the perfect vacation.
“For example, when she was talking about Ireland’s complex political history, she had lived through that herself.” He continued. “It was a very powerful experience hearing that from her personal experience. She made traveling in Ireland an emotional experience. And when we arrived in her hometown of Kilkenny you could see her pride and delight at sharing it with us.”
Read more: A day in the life of a Traveling Concierge
“There were a couple of things I was worried about before going traveling to Ireland and taking a guided land tour,” David confesses. “I am not the kind of guy who likes to ride on a bus for example,” he says with a knowing chuckle. “However the Luxury Gold coach was beautiful, customized with fewer seats so there is lots of legroom to move around. With a maximum of 20 people on a tour, and in fact just 14 on our journey, we were all able to spread out and have our own row. The seats were very comfortable, the suspension was fantastic – the coaches these days are phenomenal which really impressed me.”
Plenty of time
“I also liked the balance of experiences and free time,” David tells us. “The pace was relaxed throughout, and we appreciated having reasonable time to wake in the morning and enjoy breakfast before starting the day. In some locations you had a choice of activities, and we had some free afternoons in which to do our own things. It was great to be able to tailor our plans to suit our moods and preferences. If I were to add anything, I would probably say we could have done with an extra day in the middle of the tour in a nice place or resort where nothing was planned, to relax, get a massage and just enjoy the beautiful surroundings even further.”
So where to next for the Roaming Boomers?
David tells us “Our next destination is a cruise to the Baltics in a couple of weeks. And we are very much looking to taking another journey with Luxury Gold and for this we are looking at New Zealand. That should be a spectacular journey, so we are looking forward to that.”