Vanessa Massey

Product Manager - South Pacific

Australia New Zealand Travel Agency - Vanessa Massey - Travel Agents

My Story
I am an Aussie born and raised in Sydney, where I studied and worked as a dietitian. In 2014, I decided to take the plunge and move to Chicago. I then got into the travel industry after seeing the job posted on the Australians in Chicago Facebook page. Now, I’ve been at DUE for 9 years!

My Style of Travel
Definitely laid back! I love a good beach holiday to relax and recharge. There is nothing better than meeting the locals and going to a bar for some good food and drinks.

Favorite Destinations
In Australia: McLaren Vale for the wine, Orpheus Island for the food and access to the Great Barrier Reef, and Port Douglas Wildlife Habitat to snuggle a koala and see the native wildlife. I also love New Zealand for the snow season, Fiji just to lounge on a hammock all day with a cocktail in hand, and Aitutaki in the Cook Islands for its crystal blue water and amazing sunsets.

Travel Tip
When in Sydney be sure to carve out a day for the Coogee to Bondi coastal walk. Winding and bending with the curves of the coastline, the walk links some of Sydney’s most famous beaches. Bronte Beach is the mid-way point of this six-kilometre coastal trek and I recommend stopping here for a dip and some lunch. One of my favourite cafes is Bogey Hole Cafe, you cant go past their avo on toast.

Most Memorable Experience
A Horseshoe Bay picnic is a must do for anyone traveling to Matangi in Fiji! The resort will pack you a picnic basket and transfer you by boat to Horseshoe Bay, which is situated on the untouched western coast of the island. (This secluded bay is listed in 1,000 Places to See Before You Die.) Here, you can spend the day on the beach with your own waterfront bure containing snorkeling gear, kayaks, stand up paddle boards, and a day bed. I also did an island hike with views of Horseshoe Bay and it was unbelievably beautiful.

I don’t leave home without…. My noise cancelling headphones – Total life saver on those long haul flights.

When I’m Not Traveling, I…
Am usually outdoors! You can find me running along the lake, picnicking in the park, or relaxing with a few beers in a beer garden. (Can you tell I’m not used to the Chicago winters?)