Hello! My name is Sarah and I LOVE to travel! On top of that, I also love to learn -particularly about the world- and I would love to share with you how I’ve come to this.
In Th Beginning…
Growing up we never did much traveling. My mother never liked venturing too far from home, and with a single-income household and three kids, the funds just weren’t there. This doesn’t mean that we never went anywhere, quite the contrary, we just never went too far. When we were really little my parents would book a hotel for the weekend, maybe 30 minutes away from home, so that we could experience the indoor pools, the vending machines, and the eating out (which is another thing that we rarely did.) Those little trips were the highlight of our summers! We didn’t have to go anywhere special, just somewhere we weren’t familiar with.
As we got a little older, I can remember spending days on the beaches of Lake Erie, building sand castles and playing in the waves for hours. There was always a picnic and a visit to the ice cream stand for dessert. When you’re 8 years old you can’t tell the difference between a lake and the ocean, so as far as we were concerned, this was the high life! We did, however, once make it to the Virginia Beach, and the biggest difference that I noticed- More people. Oh, but now I did have bragging rights to say that I’ve been to the ocean. But honestly, I’ll take the lake.
As we got older it only got harder to take these trips. We now had to contend with school projects, friends, gymnastics, cheerleading, piano lessons, voice lessons, boyfriends, learning to drive, part-time jobs, and the innumerable list of other things that comes with having teenagers in the house. We were still able to squeeze in an occasional trip but it was significantly more difficult. We never went to Disney, but 6 Flag/Sea World sure did see a lot of us in my high school days!
My First Plane Ride
I was in my 3rd year of college and looking for an upper-division Geography course to take (I was majoring in Social Studies at the time). To me, all of the courses seemed interesting, but there was one that stood out from all the others: Geography of the Bahamas. This was a class that met once a week for an hour to talk about actual information, and then the final was a group project on San Salvador- the Eastern most island in the Bahamas chain. It was not hard to decide that THAT was the course I would be talking, nor was is difficult to talk my youngest sister into taking the class with me. All semester we planned the best we studied and planned as best we could for this trip. It would not only be our first time out of the country, but also our first time on a plane! This was my first real encounter with any kind of research planning in the way of a trip. Of course, most of the trip was already planned for us. The airfare and accommodations were all booked through the school, so that made it easy… but there was still so much more to know! What foods were we likely to try? How much spending money should we bring? What’s the right wardrobe to pack? Oh, and passports! We both needed to get our passports! Up until this point my mom had usually packed all my bags. Was I too old to ask her to do that for me now?
By the end of the semester and after all my other finals, I was more than ready to spend a week in the sun! My sister and I loaded our bags into the car and were dropped off at the airport where we met up with the rest of the class. This was my first time in an airport and everything seemed so strange to me. When we got to the desk to check in we were told that our flight was grounded due to a blizzard. This was my first ‘oh no!’ moment. I hadn’t planned for this! Thankfully our professor had been through this before. This was a trip he did with students annually for over 20 years, so he had been through it all. Calmly, he spoke to the ticket agent and was able to secure the entire class accommodations for the night, as well as seats on the first plan out in the morning. I will never forget how calmly he handled the situation. It has left a lasting impression on me.
The next morning we were back at the airport at the crack of dawn and happily boarded out plane with our classmates who were now more like family. This was the first time on a plane for many of us. I was excited to take off. I was excited to see the world hundreds of miles below me. I was excited to watch the flight attendants vacantly walk through the ‘in case of emergency’ instructions. I was excited for everything! It all lived up to my expectations.
We had a brief layover in Charlotte where we barely had time to grab a snack before jumping on the next plane, and then within a couple of hours we finally landed in Nassau! We would stay here for the night and then hop on one more, much smaller plane into our final destination: San Salvador!
The Travel Bug…
My first experience with flying on a plane and being outside of the country was amazing! The trip was more than I ever imagined it could be. So much so that I went back the next two consecutive years with this class to continue working on projects.
After the Bahamas I knew that I had to see more. I started saving (a hard thing to do these days) and started running off to new places every chance I got. Sometimes with family, sometimes with friends, and sometimes alone. Sometimes I even plan trips that I don’t even intend to take. What is (almost) as exciting to me as going on adventures is planning them. It consumes my life! I’ve planned honeymoons for friends, vacation for family, and gave high recommendations to past customers.
I have notebooks full of lists detailing popular attractions from different places, airport codes, cheapest places to visit, things to know before you travel, currency conversions, and facts upon facts about different countries! This is something that I just love to do!
At the beginning of 2020 Covd-19 took the world by storm. No one could have predicted the lasting effects it would have on our lives and how dramatically the world was going to change because of it. For the first part of the year I was considered an ‘essential employee,’ but then in July I lost my job. I was both relieved (to be done with all the stress) and also terrified (what as I going to do now?) This ended up being a blessing in disguise as when the new school year started in August my daughter would be going back completely virtually. Of course, this still left me with the existential fear of having to pay my bills. As I sat at my computer day after day trying to find remote work one thing became quite clear to me: I was not the only one in this boat. EVERYONE was trying to find remote work. This was going to be harder than I thought. With persistence and determination, I continued looking every single day to no end. It was exhausting. Looking for work became more tiring that actually doing work.
I eventually came across a posting for becoming a Travel Agent. What? Why didn’t I think of that before? Sure, it’s something that I’ve thought about in the past, and something that others have suggested to me after they come back from the amazing trip I planned for them, but I never gave it any more thought than receiving a nice compliment. But now, what did I have to lose? So I jumped.
Now, I’m sure you’re thinking the same thing I was at first… with half the world shut down, is there really work for a travel agent? Surprisingly, yes! Sure, international travel is very limited, and the thought of getting on a plane is still a little unnerving, but domestic travel is booming! If you’ve ever wanted to take a road trip, now is the time to do it. You will still need to plan out your route, book hotels, and make reservations at attractions you want to stop at (this is especially important because most places are only allowing half capacity or less.) There is also still everyday business travel taking place. There may not be any company retreats happening for a while, but businesses still need to send employees out to other sites for training, repairs, and meetings. All of that requires booking and planning. And, of course, the world will eventually open up again, and when it does, who doesn’t want to be ready to get back into it?
The world is huge, diverse, ever-changing, and amazing! Each place has so much to teach us, and I believe we should never stop learning!
If you’ve made it this far…
Ok, so my story was lengthy and I might be a little long-winded, but if you’ve made it this far I want to thank you for hanging in there with me. I promise that not all of my posts will be this verbose. If you are looking for a good, informative, travel blog you need to look no further. I promise to keep the fluff to a minimum and stick to the stuff you want to know! Please like, follow, and leave feedback so that I know how I’m doing!
And if you are looking to make traveling easier by booking through and agent, please reach out to me, as I would be more than happy to help you create your adventure!