I have discovered a new nerve racking part of my world – sending customers on a trip and being worried the whole time they are on vacation, that they are having a great time. This week was extra stressful – I had 2 trips out at sea at the same time. And when you are on a cruise – you are on cell phone restriction. You are wonderfully cut off from your life on land for a few days.
Working for the “bulk reservation” travel agency I used to, I was not allowed to have contact with customers whose trips I booked once we hung up. I was unable to help them continue to get excited about the vacation I had just sold them, nor did I received any feedback upon their return. I was an anonymous voice on the phone. I have to be honest – I HATED it! That is why I resigned and started my own travel agency. I want contact! I want to be there for those last minute questions and be there for the great stories upon your return! Why help someone go to an amazing new destination for vacation or for a competition and not know how the story ends? That makes no sense at all to me.
So – I got my wish! I got to help all the way to embarkation this week – and it was amazing! Watching my customers – who happened to be my brother and sister-in-law – step foot into the Carnival cruise terminal in Port Canaveral with the widest eyes and biggest smiles…priceless! That is what this is all about!
But then came this funny new stress…I hope they are having fun! I hope they remembered to ask for multiple desserts! Did I tell them the stairs on ships go up and down! (yes – when I worked on board the Disney Cruise Line, I was asked that more than once by confused land loving passengers!) It is the kind of stress that I can live with. I love that I cared enough about my customers on 2 separate ships this week to be worried. That means I truly found what I want to be when I grow up! I am happy!
Shortly after college, I was offered a job to move to Germany and coach the German National Champion Cheerleading team. Since I had grown up over there and had cheered thru college, I jumped at the opportunity. Although I was back in the country I grew up in, I was far away from my little village and my best friend. I remember feeling scared and alone at times…wanting to go out and explore this new part of the country, but nervous to do so on my own. My curiosity and adventurous nature were no match for the nerves! Away I went!!! I made sure to see as much as I could, learn as many new things as possible and meet as many amazing new people as I could find. I ended up staying for 3 years.
So, here it is, a few (ok – a lot) of years later, and I have met a new friend who is visiting America for the first time on an exchange program teaching Judo – from Japan. I was flooded with memories of being the new kid in town and wanting to explore my new surroundings. I know exactly how he feels. Wanting to do so much, but being limited by the availability to do so. Not so much out of empathy, but more from “there is way too much to do here”, I have been trying to help my new friend see and do as much as possible here in Orlando. A day at Wet ‘n Wild – the best water park in Florida, a day trip to Anna Maria Island and Coquina Beach, and random new food experiences – Mellow Mushroom pizza, Sweetberries Custard (so yummy), and chicken and waffles!
Yes, this is a combination of tourist and locals experiences, but they all need to happen! I am busy planning this weeks adventures. And as soon as I find a hook up – we have to take him to Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure! Can’t leave Orlando without a visit to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry!
Enjoying the magic of 5 million lights!
So – what do my nephews have to do with my Travel Agency? A lot! They are my inspiration! They are the reason I chose the path I did. I want to be able to see them and spend time with them whenever I can. I want to be able to share the world with them. They are amazing little creatures who show me the world in a new and hillarious light. A couple of quotes from James – who is 5, who until recently always called me Susie.
“James, why do you call me Susan?”
“Because it is your middle name.”
“What is my first name.”
I love it! And the fact that he had a perfectly rational explaination for it was priceless – and consistent. Told his papa the same thing when he asked.
And then, as he was trying on my Eeyore slippers, there was the, “Susan, do these slippers squeek? Are they Stompeez?” I said no, just Eeyore. “Oh”, he says, “they are ordinary.”. James, what does ordinary mean? ”It means that they don’t do anything!” Again, brilliant!
And the reason I love them so – “Susan, we have to look if you have any cool toys at your house. But you don’t because you don’t have any children. When are you going to get some children so you will have cool toys?” How do you explain to a 5 year old that he is the love of my life and I don’t need any children of my own, because I get to share him and his brother! Simply amazing. :)
And not to leave Tyler, his 3 year old little brother out… While having a fun time with nerf dart guns, Tyler askes James to “load” his gun. And as James is telling him not to shoot yet, Tyler turns around and tries to fire at James point blank. Only challenge is – he had the nerf gun facing the wrong direction and shoots his own cheek! James falls to the ground laughing! Brothers!
And so – for more moments like that – I am proud to be an entrepreneur. I want to work harder than anyone else – for myself and my clients! I want to be able to show James and Tyler and my customers how amazing and awe-inspiring the world around us truly is.
Do you ever feel like you can’t keep up with the thoughts in your head? Not in a bad way – but in a – I have so much I want to do and see and go to and make happen… That is how mine goes – constantly. Ooooh – I love what Dove is doing for women and girls, I need to find a way to help spread the message of self confidence. Ohhhh – my moms birthday is coming up. I need to get the website up and running in her honor. I want to create a place where those who have been affected by spinal cord injuries can find one another and support and help each other. But wait – maybe a facebook page is a good place to start. Hey – there are all sorts of promos going on for cruises right now. I need to get the word out so people can save money. Sweet – I have a marketing seminar tomorrow. I hope it answers my questions, like – how to do I like and follow those of you who have so kindly liked and followed me?!?! (In case you missed that – it is an appology/plea for patience while I figure this all out! :) )
And that all just happened in about 3.7 seconds in real time! Focus – that is what I constanly have to remind myself of. Make a list – or 3. Try to realize that I can do it all, just not tonight! So, as another day comes to an end, I will write my late night list of thoughts down, so I don’t stress out worried I will forget one of them..and then see what I can tackle in the morning!!!
I am an entrepreneur and a gypsy - and these are not bad words! :) I enjoy life and have found my happy place. I have the pleasure and honor of owning my own travel agency - so I get to help others discover the world and I get to explore more and more of it! And I love to laugh!! Enjoy!