Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Following the Dream (Conclusion)

So there I sat in the office of my local travel agent hearing options for various vacation ideas before finally settling on the idea of taking our first Caribbean cruise. We were excited. We had never been on a cruise before and the more I researched the ship and its itinerary, the more I watched the clock hoping time would go by quicker and quicker.

But something else was happening as we planned for this trip. The light bulb of destiny started to shine a little brighter. It was becoming clear again that I was doing most of the research. I may not have mentioned this, but one of the reasons I also chose to get into real estate was that we had a bad experience when we bought our first home and we were not informed or educated about the process of home buying by our Realtor. The Realtor we used back so many years ago was more interested in getting her commission than she was helping us through the process. I sensed that and I knew that I could be different and make sure clients never had to feel the way we felt. Well...the same sort of thing was happening with our first experience with a travel agent. She got the booking and we were left feeling somewhat on our own. I had to initiate all contact even though she knew quite well that we had never taken a cruise before in our life. I knew things could be different.

Then an event happened that I will never forget as long as I live. One sunny summer day, a friend and myself were enjoying a visit. He and I were discussing our jobs versus our career dreams. We both had good jobs, myself still in real estate and he was an insurance claims processor. We were making good livings but we both realized that they were simply jobs to us now. They were not what we dreamed of doing. So he simply asked me the question..."what is your dream career?" Without hesitation I said..."travel agent." I had never said that out loud before. But then I said what I had always felt..."but I don't think I could make a living at it." make a long story short, he questioned me on why I felt that way and talked about my travels and where I was raised and my experiences helping others with their trip plans and he could tell that there was some passion in my voice. I also listened to myself and how I was answering. I never said nor would I say today that I got into the travel business because I like to go on vacation just like I never said that I got into real estate because "I like looking at new homes" which some new real estate agents unfortunately had vocalized.

Traveling and the desire to learn about people and cultures and the desire to help people achieve their vacation goals all combined in my answer to why I had always wanted to get into the travel field. So that day, that afternoon even, I went home and started a search into what it would take to get involved in the travel industry. I researched...I studied...I trained...and here I am today. Now I am at the point that clients trust my experiences and knowledge which in turn makes me referable to their friends and family. I continue to achieve the necessary certifications that distinguish me from those who simply like to go on vacation and then tell others that they are "travel professionals." I am following the dream that I had so many years ago. I now feel that I am on my path and my career is no longer just another job. I feel it was what I was meant to do all these years, but had been afraid to try. I am now on my path and my wife and I travel as frequently as we can so I can continue to gain first hand knowledge of various destinations and experiences which better equips me to serve my clients.

So I am thankful for that friend who challenged my thinking and encouraged me to follow my dream and I encourage all of you to do the same.

1 comment:

dream and imagination said...

Emma goldman onced said: keep dreaming, or you better die. Nice blog, I added u in my link, would u add me too. thanx