Crafting a wonderful vacation is analogous to a chef masterfully transforming ingredients into gourmet dining.  It's the skill and technique of the professional that imparts value.  There's no substitute for Experience, Creativity and Ingenuity.  That's where we excel -- Travel by Travellers.

For each of us, 'Time' is our most valuable commodity and our most precious time is our vacation.  Shouldn't you entrust that investment to a professional?

Over the years we have become more focused on the destinations we prefer to emphasize.  Consequently, Safaris & Sojourns evolved from Sapphire Travel which began as a private consulting practice in 2004 following my ten years owning and operating a full-service travel agency in an affluent Chicago suburb with loyal clients from across the USA, Canada and Europe.

My foray into the travel industry followed a successful career in international sales and business development during which I travelled extensively throughout Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.  My background includes ten years operating a retail travel agency and nearly five years with preeminent luxury tour operator Abercrombie & Kent consulting with clients and designing custom African safaris and explorations of Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and South America.

I have personally traversed 70 countries, hundreds of destinations, and a variety of cruise ships.  I haven't been everywhere (yet), but I've been more places than most, often multiple trips.  My knowledge and wisdom flows from that firsthand, "been there, done that" exposure.

However, I can't be traveling all the time, so I bolster my knowledge through Continuing Education studies and participation in Travel Trade Associations.  I hold numerous "Destination Specialist" certifications for places to which I have traveled and to those which I aspire to visit.

I have served as President of the APTA Midwest Chapter and on the APTA National Board of Directors (Association for the Promotion of Tourism to Africa).  I also served as Chairman of the PATA Midwest Chapter (Pacific Asia Travel Association).  In 2002, I was inducted into Skal International which is the International Association of Tourism & Travel Professionals with a worldwide network of approximately 20,000 members in 450 Clubs throughout 85 nations. 

Click here for Michael's profile by Illinois State University

Travel by Travellers


Safaris  &  Sojo​urns

Travel by


Personally Exploring more than 70 Countries and arranging journeys to dozens more.

"Price is what you pay; value is what you get." -- Warren Buffet

"A great Travel Agent's value today is not in booking travel.  It's in advising clients and making the right decisions on their behalf." -- Bruce Tepper