Why Grace

“Once the travel bug bites,
there is no antidote. And I know that I shall be
happily infected until the end of my life.”

Comedian Michael Palin

The travel bug bit me at a young age. One of my fondest childhood memories is taking the train with my family to visit my grandparents. I still remember the hustle-bustle in the enormous train station, all the exciting sights and sounds, even the delicious-tasting bento lunches we had on board. To this day, the rhythmic movement of riding a train brings me great comfort and joy.

My love of travel has taken me to places around the world, but no trip was more significant than when my family immigrated to the U.S. when I was eight years old so my father could pursue his doctorate degree in Mississippi. Though I’ve been a Southern California resident for over five decades, I can still easily slip into a twang when talking with southerners.

With travel as a side passion, my work career included executive positions in healthcare and community-based social services. My background in strategic planning, business development, marketing communications and public relations dovetails well with what’s needed to be a successful travel leader. While president and CEO of WISE & Healthy Aging, a nonprofit serving older adults and caregivers in Los Angeles, I created and launched a group travel program that is still thriving after almost 20 years. As a group leader, I researched, organized and accompanied tours to countries in Asia, Europe, South America, Canada and within the U.S. Think of me as a concierge when it comes to travel.  And if I don’t know the answer, I am resourceful enough to know where to find it!

After completing my work with WISE & Healthy Aging in 2022, I continued organizing group tours and became a certified International Travel Management Institute (ITMI) tour director and guide. Destinations with Grace is my way of presenting exciting tours where people can come together, socialize, make new friends or reconnect with dear friends and spend quality time with family. And, of course, there’s the thrill of seeing and learning about new places. I have the best of both worlds, leading tours as well as organizing group trips that my husband and I can go on for pleasure. And we have made many friends along the way!

I find that when traveling around the world, I gain new perspectives – insights into other people’s cultures and lives that leaves a rich, depth of appreciation that comes with experiencing different communities and seeing history in person. And I always discover that we have many more things in common in our values around family, respect and responsibility than we have differences.

My goal is to create precious moments that you will remember from our travels together, and that these memories bring a smile to your face when you think of them, along with a chuckle or two over the fun stories.

Ready to go?

Grace Cheng Braun