A few weeks ago I posted a lengthy testimonial from a very satisfied travel client. It got me thinking about why I became a personal travel planner. Sure I love to travel myself. But, I have to admit, it gives me immense satisfaction to know that I’ve helped someone create memories that will last a lifetime. Isn’t that a huge part of travel – to create lasting memories?
Think about it. Your first memories of traveling probably go back to the family vacation as a kid. You may not have gone far, perhaps just a couple of hours by car to an amusement park, a neighboring city or a state or national park. Maybe you drove a bit further taking a long day or even two days to get to the seashore or that park. Perhaps you even took an airplane to your destination. The family vacation wasn’t just a break for mom and dad to get away from work. It was also the chance to spend time together as a family without the day-to-day chaos. It was the opportunity to make memories. How many of us can remember building sand castles in the sand, getting that family photo taken at the scenic overlook or standing in a long line to ride the latest and greatest roller coaster? I know my favorite memories of childhood vacations include walking on the beach at sunset with my family and getting my picture taken with my favorite Disney characters.
I like to think that I’m not just a travel agent or a personal travel planner, as I like to call myself. I also like to see myself as a memory creator, assisting my clients in designing trips they will remember for the rest of their lives. That client that wrote the glowing testimonial was celebrating his and his girlfriend’s 40th birthdays. In ten years I have no doubt they will bring up their fabulous trip to Portugal where they celebrated this milestone. Memories.
You know, I became a personal travel planner because of my love of travel. I wanted to share this love of exploring this wonderful world with others. It makes me happy to hear someone’s excitement about an impending trip or to hear them gush when they return, telling me and their loved ones about the awesome experiences they had. Sure, I’d like to make a decent full time living at this gig. But, I’m realistic that I’ll never get rich from it. What is more important to me is to have happy travelers. For folks to come back and talk to me for an hour on the phone (as the man who wrote the testimonial did), telling me about all the wonderful things they did, they saw, they ate. For them to tell me about the incredible people they met. For them to rave about the amazing experiences they had. This makes me happy. And this is why I do what I do.
My mom always wanted me to be happy in all parts of my life – as any mom hopes for her child. She encouraged me to follow my heart and my dreams. My dream has always been to travel the world, photograph it and write about it – sharing my experiences with others in hopes that it would inspire people to get out and travel, explore and experience. Now my dream includes planning travel for others, assisting in making their dreams come true. Helping them create memories. I’d like to think Mom is proud of me…
PS I truly love what I do!!