Partner of the

Paul Klein

Russell A. Wagenaar

bio russBorn in California and raised in Orange County, Russ enjoys childhood memories of spending time at Southern California beaches, Disneyland and family camping weekends in the San Gabriel Mountains and the San Bernadino National Forest. At the age of 7 his family relocated to Homewood in the southern suburbs of Chicago. Russ graduated from Homewood-Flossmoor High School where during his high school years he took his first trip abroad with a German language class to the Netherlands and Germany. From that time he knew he was hooked on travel. 

After graduating from high school Russ enrolled in a six week travel course in Chicago and upon completing that was hired by Paul Klein Travel Service in 1977. His first trip was two weeks in the South Pacific to Tahiti, New Zealand and Australia in that year. Since then travel has included visits to China, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Hawai’i, Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Argentina, Ireland, England, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Hungary, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Austria, Greece, Turkey, Morocco, Egypt, Kenya, South Africa and United Arab Emirates. Russ’s latest favorite destination is India which he has visited many times, most recently to Khajuraho and Varanasi in April of 2012. On other trips to the Sub-continent he has been to Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Jaipur, Agra and Kathmandu in Nepal. The people, the food, the sights, the history, the stories, the traditions; there is always something new to discover on a trip to India.

Passionate about opera Russ has attended performances in major opera houses the world over including Vienna, London, Paris, Prague, Budapest, Verona, New York City and Buenos Aires to name a few. On a plane as often as possible, Russ has been known to spend many weekends in London or Paris and even India! Always staying in and visiting Virtuoso properties along the way to keep abreast of the best accommodations for clients’ needs.

With roots in the Pacific Coast area Russ is always in search of a beautiful beach (Hamoa Beach outside of the town of Hana on the Island of Maui is one of them!) and enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking and biking.

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