Loyal readers, I know it has been 4 long months since my last blog post. I must apologize. But to be fair, a lot has happened since then that I can’t wait to tell you about! In this time my husband, Jake, and I have completely uprooted our lives, moved halfway across the country, changed careers, and are finally starting to settle in.
Now some of you are probably wondering how I managed to go from my Travel Leaders of Tomorrow program to my new-found career. The last time I had written about my travel agent journey I was only part way through the online program. So allow me to fill in the gaps. Since then I have finished my program with flying colors when I passed my TAP (travel agent proficiency) test. From there I was put in contact with MAD Travel through the Travel Leaders of Tomorrow’s program director. It started out as just talking, and allowed me to ask some questions from someone in the field. Then as I got closer to the end of my program, I reached out to MAD Travel to see if they might be interested in taking me on once I finished. They agreed to let me interview and job shadow. I did let them know in advance that it would take some time for us to pack up our lives. MAD Travel was very understanding and willing to work with me. After meeting everyone at the agency, doing the interview, job shadowing, and taking in Naples both parties were in agreement that it would be good fit.
Let me first express my utter excitement, I am officially a travel agent!!! For real, legit, have my own desk, business cards, and everything! This was the reason behind our road trip to Naples, FL. Then came the stressful part: saving, planning, and coordinating a cross-country move. It sounds about as fun as actually was… But thankfully it is behind us.
Jake has also started a new career as a Direct TV service technician (technically an independent contractor). He was hired on almost immediately a week after we moved into our apartment. He gets to play outside with the lizards and satellite dishes. Plus he will be able to set his own schedule, which will work great when we travel!
I have been with MAD Travel for just over a month now. I honestly have to say that it is been very intense! There is so much to know and to learn. The hardest part has been learning their computer system (aka Global Distributing System or GDS). It is basically learning computer code, which might as well be another language! But “to whom much is given, much will be required” (Luke 12:48). As intense as it has been, it has been just as thrilling and I have learned more than I could have imagined! I have booked flights, hotels, researched Cuba a lot, learned of a place called Scrub Island, I helped book a trip that was more than I make in a year for a 6 night stay, learned about Australian E-Visas… And the list goes on! I really do love each part of it.
As for my personal travel, I have been many places in Naples of course, back to Bonita Springs for their Flamingo Flea Market, we spent a brief day in Miami, and another brief day in Marco Island. There hasn’t been much time to travel yet with our demanding careers, and settling into our new life. But I do have 2 mini work trips planned in the next few months: I will be going to Travel Leaders National Meeting at the OMNI Resort in Orlando. And in early November I will be going to Cruise World in Fort Lauderdale, which has several workshops to help me learn about cruises. The cherry on top will be that I get to do a ship inspection aboard the Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas! This will be my first time ever on a cruise ship.
Jake and I are still getting settled into our new lives. It is weird not really knowing anyone besides the people you work with. But it has brought he and I closer together. I know I love trying the new restaurants and finding our old favorites here! It is feeling more and more like home as we go along. Until next my fellow travelers, Безопасные путешествия (safe travels)!