Interview with Shelly Williams, Vacations Manager at Adelman Vacations
Shelly has been in the travel industry for almost 30 years. She is also a mother to 2 daughters and a new grandmother.
YOGA & SPA: What made you want to join the travel industry?
SHELLY WILLIAMS: I come from a travel industry family; my father was the Station Manager at Forney Field in Ft. Leonard Wood, MO with Frontier Airlines. In the late 80s, he opened his own agency and my sister and I both started our careers there. My sister is currently employed as a corporate agent specializing in government travel. I have a passion for travel and I love to explore cities and really submerge myself into the local culture. I have been blessed with a wanderlust soul!
Y&S: What excites you about the travel industry?
SW: I love that I can help people make memories with their loved ones. I believe that when we look back on life, we remember the experiences and moments, not possessions.
Y&S: What destination do you like to visit most often?
SW: I travel to Mexico about 6 to 8 times a year. I love the area, people and culture and I hope to live there one day. In my heart, I am a beach girl, but the colonial cities are my favorites. There is something magical about the cobblestone streets, the history and traditions of the locals.
Y&S: What are some of your favorite spots in Mexico?
SW: Puerto Vallarta is a beautiful city that sits at the base of the Sierra Madres Mountains and overlooks the Pacific Ocean. The Malecon is the ocean front boardwalk area that hosts local art galleries, boutiques and shops. There are great restaurants and night clubs for those looking for a little more nightlife outside the resorts.
There are also some great areas off the beaten path for those looking to make a more authentic vacation. Yelapa is an area that is only accessible by boat. After a hike through the small village you make your way into the mountains where you can visit the waterfalls.
Sayulita is a great little artist village full of shoppers and surfers, located about 45 minutes from Puerto Vallarta. There are some nice options for dining here along with higher end boutiques for shopping but the best thing to do here is surf. There are a lot of options for beginners to pros and one of the few places in the area to surf nice waves.
Another one of my favorite spots is the Penovia Spa at the Now Jade in Riviera Maya. They offer indigenous spa treatments that are specific to the Riviera Maya.
Y&S: What is your vision for Adelman Vacations?
SW: I love that we can be part of our clients’ lives during those special moments like weddings, honeymoons and anniversaries. Multi-generational travel is very popular now and I enjoy seeing everyone taking part in the planning process, especially when the younger kids are helping to make decisions on destinations and activities. It makes the experience so much more meaningful.
There are also a lot of community involvement and volunteer opportunities in different destinations. I have had clients that have helped paint a school in the Dominican Republic and another that have adopted a baby elephant at a reserve in Africa! I get excited when I see my clients out there making a difference and being global citizens. It makes me proud to that they allow Adelman Vacations to be part of that.
Shelly enjoys traveling, meeting new people and experiencing new cultures. She spent two weeks exploring Myanmar where she waded in the Irrawady River and explored the ruins of Bagan. Her travel bucket list destinations include Cambodia, Vietnam and Colombia. When she isn’t traveling, she enjoys spending time with her two grown daughters, Shelby and Shannon, and her new grandson, Waylon.