How Did I Get Started In the Travel Industry?

Many people have asked how I got started in the travel industry so here are my thoughts.

entrepreneurial travel journey

As a Child

My grandmother was one of my biggest inspirations. She traveled all around the world. I remember her bringing my family pairs of Reebok shoes from China, which she purchased on the cheap. Some things that stand out in my memories are her bringing back a boomerang from Australia, which we played with for weeks.  Grandma rode an ostrich in South Africa. Then there was the time that my mother and grandmother sailed down the Amazon together. My grandma was starting to get dementia and packed a whole suitcase full of bras and no clothes.  So funny!

When I was 8 year old my grandmother took all of her grandchildren on a 3 week van trip from Utah to the New England states and back.  Some of the highlights were seeing the Mayflower in Boston, visiting Gettysburg, Niagara Falls and getting lost driving in New York City.  7 grandchildren and 2 adults in a van with just the 8 track tape of Neil Diamond makes for some crazy adventures.

In high school I saved my money for years to go on a high school trip through England, France and Spain. That was my first venture out the country and the travel bug hit me hard. I thoroughly loved everything about travel.

A few days after I graduated high school, my brother and I left Utah and flew to Alaska to work in the Aleutian Islands. It wasn’t glamorous working in a fish factory, but we had a great time. My brother even met his future wife there.

Working For Airlines

College brought about a few interesting jobs. In 1992, when Morris Air, a local airline was hiring, I couldn’t resist.  I worked for Morris Air for a few years booking flights. Talk about a fun job. I flew all over the west coast on my days off exploring as much as I could.  Eventually I ended up in the department that booked airfare and hotel packages.  Southwest Airlines purchased Morris Air and so I worked for Southwest. This opened up even more possibilities for traveling around the country.

Eventually I was smitten by a tall, dark and handsome man and we married and moved to Colorado thus ending my time working for the airlines.  After a few jobs in Colorado, the travel itch came again and I worked for a travel agency in Glenwood Springs, CO.  A few memorial trips I booked there included:

  • Booking a couple on a year long honeymoon trip around the world. They would call me every few weeks to book the next leg of their trip.
  • I believe I booked one of the first river cruises in Europe. It was a river barge through Germany. They also booked add on nights to the Salzburg Music Festival (picture the Sound of Music) and had first class airline  tickets and tours, etc.
  • A month long luxury trip camping through the Australia outback.  That year Australia had 100 year floods, so not the best year for a camping trip, but my clients had a wonderful time.
  • I also booked trips for VIP movie stars living in Aspen.

When I started having my children, I was able to work out a deal with my travel agency owner to work from home. I had my own clients and basically became an outside agent crafting my own tailored travel business. I sent out a weekly fax to my clients with travel deals and was quite successful. Yes, that was in the days of fax machines. LOL!

After a few years I had 2 small children and my naughty boys learned they could turn off the power cord to my computer and phone while I was talking to clients. I decided it was time to take a break from working and became a full time stay at home mommy.

However, I never stopped booking travel for my friends and family.

Journey into Travel Entrepreneurship

Fast forward to Jan 2007, I decided to try my hand at creating a website. I self-taught myself and created Tall Clothing Mall. This was basically out of necessity as I needed help finding tall clothes and saw the need to help others.  Shortly after, I started The Hawaiian Home – to blog about all things Hawaii as I was traveling there frequently and I am obsessed with all things Hawaiian.

I’ve started several other blogs – some were flops, some became successful and I sold them, but I have kept my two original websites as they are my babies.

I also created a website where we rented out one of our homes when we ended with with owning 2 homes when the 2008 recession hit.  We had just purchased a new home and couldn’t sell the first one. So we moved back to the first home and successfully rented out the new home, a large log cabin.  I believe my background in travel gave me a leg up and we successfully rented out and maintained our Colorado vacation rental for 3 years through the various online vacation booking sites.  We even rented it out for an entire ski season to an airline crew. The entire family cleaned the vacation home and mowed the yard, etc. It was truly a labor of love and we enjoyed visiting with our guests. But, we were thrilled to finally sell the home to 5 nuns in 2012. Yes, you read that right!

colorado vacation rental

I started heavily researching the travel scene again in 2013 and in early 2014 I officially jumped back into the travel industry. I figured if I was still booking trips for people, I might as well get paid for it.  I dipped my toes in to see if people were still using travel agents and yes, there is still a need for personalized attention to travel.  I own two offical travel agency sites:

Travel is my true love – well, next to my wonderful husband.  It has brought me amazing memories and my some of my greatest joys – including my daughter – who we adopted from Taiwan.

At this point, I have two employees – one for my websites and one independent travel consultant.

God is great and faithful and has led me through this journey.  He has always provided for us and I give him the glory.

So there is my long winded travel story.  If you’re still reading this, hope it wasn’t a snoozer.   You’re all caught up on the last 24 years. Whew.  Have a great day and thanks for reading.

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