Travel expert Christina Paull was enjoying a much-needed trip to Paris this past spring with her husband, Tim, and sons Ryan and Jason when this lover of all things luxurious decided to make a little visit to the almighty Louis Vuitton store.
“Louis Vuitton is my all-time favorite,” gushes Paull, “and I needed a new strap for one of my purses anyway.” Paull was sipping champagne and basking in the magic of the famed store when an associate presented her with an offer she simply could not refuse.
“The salesperson was telling me they had a new coat that had just come off the runway, and she wanted to know if I would be interested in her going into the vault and pulling it out for me,” Paull remembers. “Suddenly, I’m wearing a Louis Vuitton coat costing 17,000 euros that just came off the runway in Paris. How many people get to go to Paris, go to the headquarters of Louis Vuitton, and try on a coat that just came off the runway? … It was amazing.”
Paull travels in search of moments such as this; her constant wanderlust transporting her to places she once could only dream of. Luckily for her, as the executive producer of Family Travel with Colleen Kelly, Paull has found a way to make her passion for travel an actual profession.
“We have our fingers crossed that we will be filming in some amazing new locales later this year, from Colorado to Sri Lanka to Suriname,” says Paull, who also hosts a radio show on WLS-AM 890 that offers listeners travel tips on everything from hotels to flights to gadgets. “I didn’t even know where Suriname was until I looked it up.”
“I now know it’s north of Brazil,” she adds with a laugh. “They literally had to show me on the map where they were located because I had no idea. I still must work on all the details of that trip.”
Paull’s love for travel began when she was just a little kid growing up in Park Ridge, Illinois.
“Every year my parents always took us on vacations,” recalls Paull, whose passion for travel led her to jobs at companies such as Walt Disney World, Hyatt, and United Airlines. “My parents were always taking my brother, John, and me to destinations from the Wisconsin Dells to Hawaii. Wherever we traveled, we always had so much fun. I had the best childhood.”
As a college student, Paull’s journeys took an international turn.
“I remember calling my best friend, Colleen, and saying that I was going to live in Salzburg, Austria to study communications and I wanted her to come with me,” Paull remembers of her childhood friend whom she met at 10 years old. “Luckily, she went. We studied abroad, traveled to countries all over Europe, and had the time of our lives.”
This enchanting time now continues, as it is this “Colleen” who Paull now works with on the show Family Travel with Colleen Kelly.
“These days, if I’m not traveling, I spend my days sending emails all over the world setting up the next adventures for the show,” explains Paull. “I’m sending emails to everywhere from Jordan to Idaho to Australia. It’s mind-boggling.”
Of course, Paull’s travels were affected by the prevalence of COVID-19 starting in 2020 but she refused to let it hold her down for very long.
“We were certainly on pause, and it was great to have so much family time,” Paull recalls. “But by October of 2021, we were filming in Poland. I did get COVID in Ireland and that landed me in my hotel room for 10 days but aren’t there are worse places to get stranded?”
Paull’s on-the-go lifestyle certainly adds spice to the life of a woman who has made the Barrington area home for the past 24 years.
“There’s not a single day that’s the same for me,” states Paull, who notes the only thing she doesn’t enjoy about traveling is packing.
“There are days when I come home, and I already have a suitcase packed for the next adventure.”
It’s a life she doesn’t take for granted.
“I don’t like to say I am lucky, but I am blessed,” Paull says. “I’m out there experiencing things in the world, and I love every minute of it.”
Of course, Paull admits that there is a sweetness to coming home.
“There is nothing better than sleeping in one’s own bed,” she says with a slight chuckle. “It’s a great feeling.”
For more information, visit familytravelck.com or find the radio podcast at lnns.co/45ucqxpatHP