I went on my awesome cruise in September, and I had THE BEST time. It was a perfectly perfect vacation. You can read about it here if you missed my review. How could anyone possibly have missed my review? I think I posted it everywhere! I must admit I am a little excited (but yet also nervous) that my review has had over 30,000 clicks over on a cruising website that I am a member of. That's a lot of people reading my words and looking at my pictures.
I came home from that trip feeling very refreshed and suntanned, but I also came home knowing that I won't be able to take gigantic vacations like that all the time. The amount of money and energy that went into planning that trip was HUGE. (it was totally worth it though)
Realistically, I know I need to tone it down on the gigantic vacations. That said, I will still be planning and talking cruises and other vacations, but on a much smaller scale. At least for a while ;)
So, as I was saying, I came back to reality after my 16 day Caribbean vacation last September, and within a week of being back at work there were rumors that my department "might" close. It was a very frustrating few months leading up to Christmas as we all waited for the official word. By December, I was pretty sure I was going to lose my job, and I began to empty out my office and desk of my personal things. I was pretty upset and maybe even getting a little depressed by this time.
In January I was really sad, but prepared, when the word came through that my department would definitely close. I have been at this job for 8 years, and I enjoy it very much. It has been the perfect job for me, and I'm good at it. It's an easy job and I'll admit I am over qualified for what I do. But.............this job has allowed me a lot of time to do other things such as my genealogy, my PI work, my blog, and anything else I could think of to do from my desk.
So I found myself at the crossroads of life. The time when you have to make a life changing decision and you really don't know which way to go. (Does anyone have a crystal ball I can borrow??) This is not a fun place to be and I wasn't taking it well at all.
One good thing, I found out I was going to be able to continue working my job until mid-may. This gave me a few more months to look for a new job. I searched the job boards on my work website, and there were only a few jobs listed, and really none I am qualified for. It looked pretty dismal and I was getting just a little worried about what I was going to do.
Timmy and I talked about different types of employment I could pursue, and one of the ideas I liked the most was to become a travel agent and work from home. This subject has come up more than once in the past.
Over the last few years, I have had several people tell me I should look into becoming a Travel Agent. I sure do enjoy traveling and planning out vacations. I'm really good at researching and dealing with the details.
I had already spent some time looking at exactly what it takes to become a TA, and it's not easy to just open up a Travel Agency. I would need training, certifications, and references for the suppliers (hotels, cruise lines, etc...) to acknowledge me as a TA and work with me so I could get commissions.
I found out it's much easier to become a TA if you go to work for an established Travel agency, rather than try to do it on your own. I checked with a few agencies, and I will admit I was really intimidated. It seemed like it was going to be really difficult for me to become a travel agent, with or without an agency, and I was just about to give up on the idea for good.
One day I was complaining on facebook that I was sad I was losing my job. I got a message from a travel agent friend, Reba, asking if I had ever thought of becoming a travel agent?? (Yes, I sure had!) She thought I might be good at it, and she explained a bit about the agency she works for. Her timing was perfect, and I was very interested!!
We exchanged more info, and within a week or two I had a phone interview with the owner of the agency she works for, Travwalla.
My interview went well, and I was accepted into the agency as a new Travel Agent!!
So this must be my new path!
Everything just seemed to fall into place at the right time.
I started my Travel Agent training in late January, and I'm working hard to learn all about the travel business. There is a lot to learn and I still have a lot of training to do.
I have already been able to book a few things for friends in the last few weeks, and I am working with about 6 potential friends/clients on upcoming vacations. So far so good!
I named my company "Andrea's World Travel". I am working on a logo, and then I'll have some nice business cards printed.
I want my logo to have a simple design, maybe something like this sun with my company name next to it:
For now, I had some generic business cards printed so I could at least have something to hand out to potential clients.
I also got a good start on my new Travel Agency website. If you haven't seen it yet, please take a look. I still have a lot of work to do on it but I really like the way it's coming along.
My website is here:
If you are planning to take a trip or a vacation, get in touch with ME and I'll help you with the planning and booking FOR FREE!
Small weekend trips, HUGE vacations.............I can help you plan and work through the details of your trip, and you can help me as my little TA business gets off the ground (WIN/WIN!!!)
I only have about 11 weeks left at my day job. My last day at work happens to also be my 48th birthday. Maybe I'll have a party!
Since spring is on it's way, I think the next 11 weeks will go by pretty fast for me.
I am so ready for summer time, aren't we all??!!