Meet Donna Zabel, the owner and guiding light of DreamMaker Destinations.

Donna and DreamMaker Destinations are about a special kind of travel—not just getting from point A to point B but traveling to expand horizons and fulfill dreams. She knows how intimidating travel can be in today’s complex world and is committed to giving her travelers all the information and support they need for a wonderful journey.

Being somewhat of a “late bloomer” Donna didn’t travel overseas for the first time until she was in her 30’s. The dreams were always there, and now she has visited over a hundred countries. To order to explore the world Donna has stayed in accommodations ranging from a family’s living room to five star hotels, sailed on ships ranging from a small research vessel to an elegant ocean liner, and toured by trains, buses, and automobiles. Enjoying local cuisines is often an important part of travel, and Donna has tried her best to experience new tastes, though not always successfully.

For many years, Donna’s travel was limited to annual vacations while working full time as a research scientist. Although now able to travel several times a year, seeking out unique destinations and experiences, she understands how precious that annual vacation is. As a former scientist, she believes great travel memories, like good science, are a result of thorough planning. Being prepared saves time, money, and frustrations.

Donna believes at some point travel becomes about more than just seeomg another destination on the world travel list. It becomes about making connections and feeling a part of a world community. We can leave a positive legacy when we travel, and create wonderful memories for others as well as ourselves. Travel gives the opportunity to step out of the box for a little while, to fulfill a long cherished dream, to meet people and experience cultures totally different from our daily lives. Donna wants to encourage everyone, especially women, to take that fist step. There is no better time than now to explore wonderful little streets of Prague or Vienna that just ooze wonderful music, or nibble samples of chocolate truffles all morning in Brussels, or walk all day in the Cotswalds before sharing some tea and biscuits at a country inn.

Donna also believes we should not limit ourselves by age. Now is the time to hike the Annapurna circuit in Nepal (she was 50 when that dream was fulfilled), ride an elephant in Thailand, or explore the jungle in search of the mountain gorillas. The joy of accomplishing a dream far surpasses any initial hesitation or trepidation.

Donna enjoys reading the tales of travelers, from Freya Stark to modern bloggers. However, one of her favorite quotes remains an old one, attributed to Saint Augustine: “Life is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” She has become an avid reader of the book of life.