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My name is Irene Melnick, the founder of Porthole Art and TravelDaydreamers.com. The passion for travel has been in my blood since I was in my early twenties. As exciting as it was to spend my honeymoon in a suite on the SS Norway, I had no idea that winning a cruise on a scratch card would chart the course of my future. I opened the Expedia Cruises location in Ajax, Ontario in 2000, grew the location to a "Diamond Center" and I expanded to open another location in Pickering in September 2019.
Then came March 2020 and the world changed. Always having trips and cruises booked in advance, my plans, as well of those of all travellers were halted. Plans of finally taking my husband to Zagreb, Croatia, my father's birthplace, in May 2020 were crushed but I knew all travellers were affected. My Expedia Cruises Consultants worked tirelessly changing plans of their clients, not once or twice but in some cases many times over. I went through my many travel photos to feed my passion and all the while I reminisced about all those wonderful cruise and travel memories and the chaos in the world around me temporarily dissipated.
I quickly realized that there were many people in similar situations. Special celebrations, bucket list destinations, long awaited multi-generational vacations were all put on hold. Not seeing travel bounce back quickly, I asked myself, how can I help travellers to "Daydream for Now?" I imagined having a picture on my wall where I could stop and daydream for a few minutes each day to magically transport me to a better time and place or to my favourite memory - the iconic back of the ship, watching the ship's engines churn the water as we made our to a new adventure. Alas, the concept of Porthole Art was born.
I commissioned a top art company to produce oil paintings of my travel photos and include some acrylic and canvas prints as well. Currently, there are almost 1,200 oil paintings available in our initial offering with 49 different, iconic cruise and travel scenes. There are an additional 800 acrylic/canvas prints for you to Daydream with as well.
My intent is to grow our selection with regular photo contests where you can submit your personal photos to be replicated into an oil painting. Winners will receive their oil painting for free to display proudly in their home or office.
Our special membership club, Travel Daydreamers, will be formed of travellers, who so miss exploring the world or just their one week beach escape every winter. My intent is for Travel Daydreamers to provide you small doses of memories and future anticipation of All Things Travel to escape today's current events. Please subscribe to become a member.
The year 2020 definitely made history. So many plans were cancelled, diverted, or postponed. So many times I wonder, "When will we ever be able to travel again?" but I know memories last forever and new ones will be made soon. For now, let Porthole Art allow you to daydream and recall all those wonderful travel memories with your family and friends.
Daydream, Travellers, Daydream! Travel will eventually return to its former glory but for now, let's Daydream!