A Travel Career That Does More Than Book Trips Or Write About Travel (and I’m Not Talking About Travel Influencers)

There is more to a travel job than blogging and booking trips (or being an influencer).

Have you ever felt like your travel experiences, skills, and expertise are really helpful to people and that you wish you could find a way to make a meaningful impact on the lives of others?

Then this article is for you.

As travelers, we all know something different.  We have different experiences, backgrounds, stories, interests, and abilities.  We are all experts of something, whether we know it or not.

As a traveler myself for many years, I would have people constantly reaching out to me asking me how I was able to travel so much, how I stayed safe as a female, and how I afforded it.  

I would also get questions from people who I couldn’t relate to or answer.  

For example I had moms asking me about traveling with children and black women asking me for travel tips and advice.  

Other than what I could best relate to (budget, solo female travel, safety, certain destinations, etc), I couldn’t provide the best advice, tips, or answers.  

BUT! I knew that there was a whole world of travelers out there who did have these answers.  

Problem was that they just didn’t know that they were experts yet.

So, I knew that there must be a way to transform the lives of both the traveler and those who were seeking travel tips and advice.

This is why I’ve devoted my career to helping travelers as a wellness travel coach myself, and to helping other travelers become travel coaches.

You can learn more about me and my work with the Travel Coach Network here on my website.

But for now, let’s talk about why being a travel agent or travel blogger isn’t for everyone.

I think you’ll be excited by just how many options are out there once you become a travel coach.

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My Beginning: What I learned in my Tourism and Hospitality Program

Halfway through my college years, I decided to change majors to something that I was more interested in and truly passionate about; travel.

Who doesn’t like travel, right?

I joined a Hospitality and Tourism Management program at a university in Chicago and began learning about the travel, hotel, marketing, meeting and events, and non-profit organization industries.  I learned about the systems that help book trips and the hotels that people stayed at.  

I also learned about the industry’s tradeshows and conventions.

As graduation was approaching, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and confused because I hadn’t found a career path that interested me.

I had no interest in actually planning or booking trips (I have anxiety so the idea of that amount of responsibly of a canceled flight or an itinerary misshape caused me more stress) and I didn’t want to just find a company that “paid me to travel”, as many of my friends and family told me to do.

I Took an Unconventional Route

Upon graduating, I had that piece of paper in my hand and I was ready to tackle the world.

But, was I?  

I sure didn’t feel ready.

I was definitely feeling society and my family’s pressure to find a good paying job and climb my way up the corporate ladder (preferably with a company that “paid me to travel” for business so I could feed my desire to travel).

Little did they know that my hunger for adventure stemmed far beyond sitting in first class and going from meeting to meeting before catching the last flight home to help my company save money and reach their bottom line.

So, I took an unconventional route.

I bought a one-way ticket to Ireland and packed a backpack (a literal backpack).

Granted, had I ever been out of the country on my own? No

Have I traveled much outside of the states? Nope.

Am I going alone? Yes.

But, did I care? Heck no.

And off I went.

My Solo Journey Around the World

I spent the next decade hopping around the globe to over 84 countries solo.

I returned home to make more money doing random jobs and then continued on enjoying my worldly journey where I was learning about myself, who I wanted to become, what kind of life I wanted to live, what mattered most to me, and what didn’t matter in life.

I like to say that travel was greatest professor.

I learned much more through my travels than I had ever learned at a job or in school.  

Travel is raw.

It’s challenging.

It teaches you life lessons, faces you with difficult decisions, makes you a better problem solver, exposes your weaknesses, and shows you your strengths.

Travel is healing too.

Despite being a traveler with severe anxiety (which does not help with my fear of flying!) and droughts of depression throughout my life, travel was a great coping mechanism and helped me navigate my strengths when it came to my mental wellbeing.

A Prime Time in the Industry

I traveled during a prime time in the travel industry thanks to the internet, social media, and technology.

I began my travels with a paper map and a flip phone that didn’t turn on and today, there are countless travel apps and platforms that make traveling even easier.

There was also social media and the influencer craze. Social media has a powerful impact on how and where people travel but I personally was always interested in the “why” for travel.

Through my own travel experiences and through the conversations that I had with the thousands of people who I met throughout the years, travel is transformative.

I Struggled to Find my Travel Career Path

So, when I was still trying to figure out what my career path would be, I struggled because I wasn’t finding the depth in the travel industry yet (just like when I graduated almost a decade before).

I knew what travel jobs existed and I knew which ones were new.

I still didn’t want to be a travel agent, travel advisor, or a travel designer, all which are very much the same. 

I already knew how to get great travel deals so I didn’t need a job for the perks.

I didn’t want to build a travel agent team (is team-building really a travel job or just money-focused?).

I didn’t want to be a travel blogger (they struggle way too hard to make money and I wanted to spend my time enjoying my journey not writing).

I didn’t want to be a travel writer (again, I’m not much of a writer and I didn’t want to alter my voice to land jobs or stress over money), and I definitely didn’t want to become a travel influencer (I wanted to make money and not get free stuff or stays and I didn’t want to just take travel photos or videos to create content).

I also had no interest in being just a freelancer.  

I was already a freelancer during college which was how I managed to make money and save (I worked 5 various jobs at once).  

Plus, the freelancer jobs were not of interest to me.  

I’m not good at graphic design, I don’t like managing my own social media so I didn’t want to do it for others, and I didn’t want to do marketing.

Note: I am not saying that there is anything wrong with these jobs because there isn’t! There is something for everyone.  They just did not interest or resonate with me.

I knew that there was more to a travel career than blogging and bookings.  

There had to be.

The industry was far too big to be put into old-school boxes forever.

Travel is Transformative

There is a lot of depth to traveling. We travel for really personal reasons.
Here are a just few motivating factors for travel:

  • To heal from a bad break up or a divorce
  • To self-discover
  • To relax and feel refreshed
  • To figure out your next steps in life
  • To find your purpose
  • To meet new and interesting people
  • To spend time in nature which heals our mind and soul
  • To spend quality time with your friends, children, or loved ones
  • To work on your relationship or marriage
  • To show your children the importance of travel

And so much more.

Travel is transformative but only when done with intention.

So many people returned home from a trip and felt the exact same way than when they left.

I wanted to help people reach their specific goals when it comes to travel and apply that to their everyday life.

I wanted to Empower People to Travel

You know, all of those people who say “I wish I could go there” or “I wish I could travel like that but…”, “one day I will” or “I should have done that back in my day”.

As a traveler, I know that travel is possible for anyone and everyone on any budget but it takes a little bit of thought, courage, and action.

I knew how much travel shaped me and my life and I believed in the power that it had on everyone’s life and wellbeing.

I Created my Dream Travel Job

I hadn’t found a job that allowed me to go that depth, so I created it myself.

That’s when I decided to become a Wellness Travel Coach and help people from individuals to corporate level travel with purpose and improve their wellbeing doing so.

A travel coach focuses on the mindset, empowerment, transformative, and depth to traveling while incorporating what you know and love most about travel.  

As travelers, we all know something different than one another.  

Some people are experts at couple’s travel, are parents who travel, are black female travelers, travel with a health condition or a severe allergy, are adventure travelers, are solo female travelers, are eco-friendly travelers, and so much more.  

The possibilities are endless.

Can You Relate to my Entrepreneurial Wanderlust?

As a pioneer in the travel coaching niche, it is my passion to empower other travelers to really tune into their personal travel stories, experiences, skills, knowledge, and interests to either shape their current job or start something new so they too can help people travel in a way that is the most authentic to them.

It’s easy to do what is already being done or what has been proven “lucrative” or “achievable” but, to live a life with true passion and purpose, you have to do what is right and exciting for you. 

So, think outside of the box when it comes to a travel career and add or create what you’re best at so you can be a part of the newly reshaped future of transformative and meaningful travel.

Remember, there is more to a travel job than blogging and booking trips (and being an influencer).

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