Born to Cuban and French Canadian parents, Irene Quisenberry grew up immersed in different cultures and lifestyles. Irene has always been interested in the world and studied in Spain while in college. When she travels, she loves to experience all that each destination has to offer, from food to history to customs. It was only natural that her career path led to the travel industry and the Brownell Hosting Program.
Irene shares her travel advice, best meal while traveling (foodies beware: you’ll be green with envy!), and the inside scoop on destinations below.
1. What is the best travel advice you have ever received?
Keep a journal – even if it’s just a few jots after a long day. That tucked away restaurant you stumbled in or funny, unexpected encounter can be forever recollected!
2. What was the best meal you’ve ever had while traveling?
Back in the mid 90’s some girlfriends and I spent a night in NYC before our departure to the Greek Islands. We were newly-minted career gals who scrimped and saved for such a spectacular trip. We blew a sizable piece of the budget at Restaurant Daniel but the most memorable part of the night was a personal tour of the kitchen from Chef Daniel Boulud himself! Autographed cookbooks were waiting for us upon our return home so we could recreate his signature dish: Crisp Paupiettes of Sea Bass in Barolo Sauce.
3. What popular destination lives up to the hype?
London is timeless. The cityscape and culture are both remarkably historic yet cosmopolitan. It gives off this vibrant, British energy while being a truly international city.
4. What is your travel motto?
Be willing to go off the “script”. Mix in some unplanned experiences with pre-arranged plans to create a trip that is uniquely yours.
5. What is your travel extravagance?
I invariably buy a few new outfits than pack what I already have in my closet. Will my husband be reading this?!
6. What’s the up-and-coming destination right now?
Myanmar. For now, the pace of development is not overpowering this once isolated civilization so go before the Starbucks triple lattes beat you to it!
7. What has been the most inspirational destination?
When I was a student at the University of Salamanca, my late father wrote me a letter detailing our Spanish heritage with notes on where our ancestors had once lived in Spain. It was a marked realization that my place in the world extended beyond my small town in Florida.