About Us

Travel by Travellers -- Personally Exploring more than 70 Countries and arranging journeys to dozens more.

For each of us, 'Time' is our most valuable commodity and our most precious time is our vacation.  Shouldn't you entrust that investment to a professional?

Crafting a wonderful vacation is analogous to a chef masterfully transforming ingredients into gourmet dining.  It's the skill and technique of the professional that imparts value.  There's no substitute for Experience, Creativity and Ingenuity.  That's where we excel -- Travel by Travellers.

Over the years we have become more focused on the destinations we prefer to emphasize.  Consequently, Safaris & Sojourns evolved from Sapphire Travel which began as a private consulting practice in 2004 following ten years owning and operating a full-service travel agency.

"Price is what you pay; value is what you get." -- Warren Buffet

My foray into the travel industry followed a successful career in international sales and business development during which I travelled extensively throughout Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.  My background includes ten years operating a retail travel agency and nearly five years with preeminent luxury tour operator Abercrombie & Kent consulting with clients and designing custom African safaris and explorations of Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and South America.

I have personally traversed 70 countries, hundreds of destinations, and a variety of cruise ships.  I haven't been everywhere (yet), but I've been more places than most, often multiple trips.  My knowledge and wisdom flows from that firsthand, "been there, done that" exposure.

"A great Travel Agent's value today is not in booking travel. It's in advising clients and making the right decisions on their behalf." -- Bruce Tepper

However, I can't be traveling all the time, so I bolster my knowledge through Continuing Education studies and participation in Travel Trade Associations.  I hold numerous "Destination Specialist" certifications for places to which I have traveled and to those which I aspire to visit.

I have served as President of the APTA Midwest Chapter and on the APTA National Board of Directors (Association for the Promotion of Tourism to Africa).  I also served as Chairman of the PATA Midwest Chapter (Pacific Asia Travel Association).  In 2002, I was inducted into Skal International which is the International Association of Tourism & Travel Professionals with a worldwide network of approximately 20,000 members in 450 Clubs throughout 85 nations.

Click here for Michael's profile by Illinois State University