Luxury travel advisor ALYSSA PAZDAN lives with her family of five nestled between Barrington Hills and Lake Barrington. She’s been married to husband Dave for nearly 20 years and feels blessed to have three wonderful children—Carson (16), Lucciana (12), and Francesca (9), and their lovable Goldendoodle, Reagan. After moving around a lot as a youth and living in Chicago for ten years, Pazdan and her husband picked Barrington to settle down and build their home 14 years ago.
“I can’t think of a better place to raise my family. Barrington epitomizes a traditional family-oriented community with Midwest values,” says Pazdan. “I like the fact that within Barrington, I can find myself hiking through a prairie in the morning, taking a trail ride in the afternoon, going to lunch in the village with friends, and then attending a fundraiser that night.”
Pazdan is passionate about her work as a luxury travel advisor, which allows her to plan everything from a river cruise on the Nile in Egypt to exploring Patagonia in Argentina, a private chauffeured tour of Ireland to seeing the Northern Lights in Scandinavia, a multigenerational vacation in Turks and Caicos to skiing the Swiss Alps.
She manages to juggle family, career, and philanthropy every day. Her kids are involved in volleyball, soccer, dance, and two travel softball teams. She helps with Kids Feeding Kids Club, a charity founded by her son. And she is actively involved with Barrington Junior Women’s Club, Barrington Children’s Charities, Countryside Cares, the PTO, and Barrington Women in Business. She also supports the ALS Association and the Les Turner Foundation after losing her mother to ALS.
Visit the Land of the Gods, Bali, for a holistic wellness “girls trip” retreat where the focus is on the body, mind, and spirit. I’d stay in one of Bali’s boutique luxury resorts nestled in the jungle to appreciate Bali’s sheer natural beauty of looming volcanoes, lush terraced rice fields, waterfalls, stunning beaches, and magical temples.
After designing a trip for a client recently who proclaimed his trip to Israel deeply changed him, it has moved to the top of my list. I’d like to experience the Holy Land retracing the footsteps of Jesus and visiting places like Bethlehem, Nazareth, Jerusalem, and the Sea of Galilee—and also swim in the Dead Sea.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
With its exotic opulence, I feel that Dubai must be seen to be believed. I’d love to visit this city and see a manmade island with ultramodern architecture, resorts, and luxury shopping. I would want to experience a desert safari with off-roading, sand boarding, barbeques, and of course camel rides! My kids would surely want to hit the slopes on the indoor ski mountain.