“Just Go!” Fia Bauer Finds Exploring the World an Amazing Gift

Fia Bauer, a personal travel planner for Pavlus Travel, believes in exploring the world and soaking in all its eco-beauty and culture. Here's she's shown in an ice cave. Photo by Fia Bauer.

“Travel truly changes people, particularly journeys or expeditions that are focused on wildlife and nature,” says Fia Bauer, a six-year personal travel planner with Pavlus Travel, Albuquerque, NM. In essence, exploring the world is an amazing gift of discovery.

“Seeing much of the world untouched by humans is a powerful, beautiful thing that we should all be so lucky to experience,” she emphasizes. “It’s both humbling and enriching.”

(Shown in the photo above, Fia Bauer explores an ice cave in Iceland. Photo by Fia Bauer.)

One unique facet of Bauer’s background? Prior to her shift into the travel industry, Bauer had a different type of  job — one of the “glitzy and sparkling” nature.

She served as the diamond department manager for a local Albuquerque jeweler. There, she prided herself in helping clients select that perfect diamond ring, necklace or other exquisite jewelry piece for a special occasion. Perhaps it was an engagement, wedding gift or anniversary present.

Bit by the Travel Bug

Then it happened. “Well, I was ‘bit by the travel bug’ when I would win annual incentive trips for excellent performance with that jewelry company,” she says. She immediately fell in love with personal travel, and what exploring the world can mean to one’s soul and mindset.

Today, Bauer is a skilled travel professional who enjoys expertly crafting the perfect vacation for her travel clients. That’s the case whether they’re taking a weeklong getaway or a longer, one-of-a-kind “bucket list” journey.

And while jewelry and travel are different kinds of products, she tells us that the emotions they create can be similarly powerful.

Fia Bauer, a Pavlus Travel personal travel planner, helps clients fulfill their dreams of exploring the world. Photo by Fia Bauer.
(Fia Bauer of Pavlus Travel, is shown in Walt Disney’s former private apartment in Disneyland. Disney offers exclusive dinner parties here twice a week for a maximum of 12 people. Photo by Fia Bauer.)

Exploring the World: Exotic and Expedition Travel

That said, Bauer’s prime specialty is expedition — cruises, tours and one-of-a-kind journeys — and the more exotic the better. So, she’s now helping many clients set out on an African safari, a polar journey to the Arctic or Antarctica, or an eco-intensive Galapagos adventure. 

Bauer, a University of New Mexico graduate, was Pavlus Travel’s top Viking sales producer for 2023. Viking operates enticing, upscale expedition cruises on the 378-passenger Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris. But even on its other ocean voyages with larger, classic ships, “Viking offers many options for their itineraries, so guests can be as active and adventurous as they desire, or not,” she explains.

Many of her clients also travel on both Tauck and Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic. “Lindblad’s unique itineraries take guests to remote places across the globe,” she says,  mentioning The Kimberley region of Australia, or a Northwest Passage journey to spot narwhals (a whale with a single long tusk) and other polar region wildlife.

Bauer’s “Bucket List” Next Trips?

Tauck escorted tours to East Africa deliver a superb wildlife experience and a chance to straddle the Equator too. Photo by Tauck.
(Let’s go! A Tauck escorted tour in East Africa delivers a superb wildlife experience. Photo by Tauck.)

Three of Bauer’s past favorite personal travel destinations have been East Africa (Kenya and Tanzania) on a Tauck safari; the end of the Earth in Antarctica with Tauck and Ponant; plus the Galapagos Islands with Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic.

A Magical Place

But she also reveals that her “favorite place on the planet is Disneyland!” In fact, in the photo shown earlier in this blog, Bauer posed on the balcony of Walt Disney’s private apartment in Disneyland!

“It’s been left in the original style that he and his wife designed,” says Bauer. “But it’s now converted to a space for exclusive dinner parties.” So, twice weekly, Disneyland can accommodate a maximum of 12 people for these dinner parties. From her perspective, “it’s a very cool spot with a connection to Walt Disney himself.”

So, where would this world adventurer like to go next?

Australia or Bust! The Last Continent

Moving forward, “Australia is my last continent, so I am really trying to get there soon,” she emphasizes. In fact, she’s already picked out the trip of her dreams – Tauck’s fully escorted, expertly guided “Grand Australia and New Zealand” escorted tour and cruise.

“I love that this itinerary covers so much, from Australia’s Uluru (formerly known as Ayer’s Rock) to the Great Barrier Reef and Fjordland National Park and Milford Sound in New Zealand,” says Bauer. “It’s a true chance to immerse one’s self in oceanic culture.”

Pricing for that extensive Tauck South Pacific itinerary starts at $14,990 per person, double occupancy. But since Pavlus Travel is the world’s top seller of Tauck, Bauer notes that the agency will provide an added incentive for guests.

So, if readers find the itinerary intriguing, we’d suggest giving Bauer or another personal travel planner a call (see the agency contact information at the end of this blog).

Exploring the World on Viking’s Northern Lights Cruise

Viking Venus in Montenegro. Photo by Susan J. Young
(Viking Venus operates “In Search of the Northern Lights” cruises this year, and while those are sold out, there are others planned on a sister ship for 2025 and 2026, Photo by Susan J. Young)

The personal travel planner also tells us she’d enjoy Viking’s “In Search of the Northern Lights cruise. While she has previously viewed those colorful, wintertime lights in the sky from Lapland in Finland, Bauer would like to see the lights from a shipboard perch.

That 13-day journey with five included guided tours starts at $4,999 per person, double occupancy. While that itinerary is sold out this year, Viking will offer it in 2025 and 2026 as well.

An added perk? Pavlus Travel will offer an onboard credit for all guests who book Viking through Bauer or any other Pavlus personal travel planner.

Cruising the Nile

But the top “must do” adventure for exploring the world? For Bauer, that’s Egypt. “I’d love to cruise the Nile with Uniworld Boutique Luxury Cruises on one of their new ships. She particularly likes Uniworld’s 12-day “Splendors of Egypt and the Nile,” roundtrip from Cairo.

Ancient monument in Egypt. Photo by Susan J. Young.
(River cruisers will discover prolific ancient monuments during their Egyptian river cruise. Photo by Susan J. Young.)

Pricing starts at $5,699 per person, double occupancy, and Pavlus also provides an incentive, according to Bauer.

Among other top spots she’d like to explore? They’re truly remote! One is Easter Island (Rapa Nui) in Chile, the other the Tigers Nest Monastery in Bhutan. “The more exotic the better” is her personal philosophy.

Exploring the World: Assessing Travel Styles  

On vacation, Bauer definitely isn’t a “sleep-in-late” and just relax kind of gal. Instead, she wants “to get up and go – to experience absolutely everything that the destination has to offer.”

That includes the local cuisine, culture, shopping, geography and wildlife. “I want to do it all,” she quips.

She also likes traveling experiences that offer “private access to attractions so our small group can really be present and soak it in.” And she tells The Meandering Traveler that she can definitely assist in finding upscale, small group vacations for guests who desire a similar approach.

On the cruise side, she recently sailed with the new Explora Journeys, and says “the food was fantastic and the number of hot tubs and pools on the ship was outrageous (in a robust and good way),” given the ship’s small size.

But although Bauer is a whirlwind of energy on port days – out and about exploring everything, she also has advice for those who like to do the same but truly wish they could relax a bit more: “While traveling on a cruise ship, I find that sea days force me to relax and slow down. So, you can find me in the spa!”

So, if that’s you too, she suggests picking a cruise itinerary with one or more days spent at sea.

Making the Right Match

Bauer is also keenly aware that there’s a different personal vacation style for everyone. It’s an individual choice. So, as she did in the jewelry business, as a travel professional she always strives to match the client to precisely the right product.

That includes asking the right qualifying questions. That way, the planned vacation for exploring the world will fit precisely with the traveler’s personality, comfort level with different types of activities, and their overall vacation style and how they like to explore.

So, one customer might seek 100 percent relaxation and lounging, while another 100 percent exploration. Or, the client might have a 20 percent, 80 percent mix or a 60 percent, 40 percent mix. Different strokes for different folks!

Exploring the World, Relishing the Journey

Fia Bauer holds a lion cub at an East Africa rescue center. Photo by Fia Bauer.
(Fia Bauer and a lion cub at an East Africa animal rescue center for orphaned animals. Photo by Fia Bauer.)

In her free time, Bauer enjoys spending time with friends and family. “I also see a lot of theater. High on her list of best activities for free time, though, she says: “I just love planning my next global adventure.”

Giving an inkling of why she loves expedition and adventure travel, she cites these cherished memories:

  • Being on a Zodiac sunset expedition within the Galapagos Islands  while hundreds of dolphins were jumping and playing.


Her advice to all travelers. “Just go! Life is too short for the ‘what ifs’ to stop you. The world is big and has so much to teach us!”

Important Notes from Pavlus Travel

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