I just got back from Sydney, one of the most visually stunning cities in the world. It was the last stop on a two-week Australia jaunt. Several of us made the trip in preparation for what is shaping up to be an incredible AFAR Experiences event we’ll be hosting in Sydney May 6–9. Reflecting at the end of our journey,

I couldn’t help but think, “How did we get here?”

I wasn’t pondering an existential question. I was referring to the actual planning that went into the trip. Before we left, we talked to friends and colleagues who had been to Australia recently. We browsed AFAR.com for Highlights from experts, locals, and fellow travelers, and for articles from AFAR magazine. We collected ideas from Tourism Australia’s website. And we connected with Amanda, a travel specialist based in Sydney.

Travel specialists can be a tremendous resource. They focus 100 percent of their time and effort on arranging trips. They network with locals and outfitters to make your experiences memorable. In short, they are experts.

Amanda helped us book a stay at a unique property called Arkaba Station. It is an 1850s homestead on a 60,000-acre sheep ranch and wilderness conservancy in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia. The managers of the property, Brendan and Kat, shared with us their deep understanding of the land’s history, geology, and animal and plant life. We greatly enjoyed exploring this beautiful, peaceful land.

At AFAR we recognize the importance of leaning on travel professionals to help take your experiences to another level, and that has inspired us to work with some of the world’s best. Our first step was to form a group of 12 independent travel agents who believe in our mission of inspiring and enabling deeper travel. The members of the AFAR Travel Advisory Council share our belief in the power of travel to enrich our lives and make the world a better place.

And now they’re helping make it possible for you to read about something in the magazine or on AFAR.com and then experience it yourself.

Since AFAR launched in 2009, we have been inspiring travel. I like to think that we are the best in the business at this. Now, with some of the things we are doing on AFAR.com and with the launch of our advisory council, we are helping to enable great travel. Of course, it’s still up to you to bring your curiosity, an open mind, and a willingness to embrace the serendipity that travel always brings.

When you come back from your next trip, please record some of your Highlights on AFAR.com so other travelers can share your experiences (it’s good travel karma!). And message me on AFAR.com to let me know how AFAR and our agents have helped you and how they can help you more.

Good travels,

Greg Sullivan

This appeared in the March/April 2013 issue.