Welcome to the Colture Travel blog, written by the Girls Vacation Club Founder, Vanessa. Now that we got that out of the way, I want to tell you a bit more about myself, how I got into travel, and why I want you to too.
Let’s start with the formalities. I am a wife and mother of two who lives in the Washington, DC suburbs. I have lived in DC and the DC area my whole life, except for a stint in Baltimore for both my undergraduate and graduate careers. For my fellow Bears, I send a loud and hearty “M.S., U Know!” (and if you don’t get that reference Morgan State is accepting applications, I highly recommend the well-rounded and beneficial educational experience you will get while there). But I digress.
While at Morgan State, I started planning group travel for my fellow classmates. We went to Florida, on Caribbean cruises, and other fun destinations; but it wasn’t until a conversation with my mother that I realized travel was my passion. While sitting in the airport waiting for a flight to take us on our first cruise together (my first, and her second), she mentioned that she wished she traveled more, but that she just couldn’t afford it. That. Broke. My. Heart. I have traveled with my mom, a single mother, most of my life, but it wasn’t until then that I realized most of that traveling was to our local beach for a week at my Godmother’s cottage. We did have a great trip to Paris and Belgium, in which I had a ball at Disneyland Paris, but I didn’t take spring break trips to Hawaii and Jamaica like my private school friends, but she made sure we traveled in our own way (I also remember this HORRIBLE trip to Disney World as a kid that scared me until I was in my 20's - but you'll hear about that later). It was then that I realized she wished not only that she had traveled more, but that she had taken ME to travel more. That was it, after that trip – in which I had an amazing time – I started my journey to becoming an actual travel agent, not just a college student that dabbled in international travel.
I knew a woman at Morgan who in passing mentioned she was a travel agent. Thrilled, I asked if her agency was looking for more agents. Luckily for me, they were! I scheduled an interview with the owner, and a week later I received my official travel agent welcome packet. That sounds much more formal and glamorous than it was, it was just a flimsy blue binder with passwords for vendor sites, instructions on setting up my credentials, and the official travel agent booking number so I could call vendors and receive commission checks. There was no training, no guidebook, no guidance on how to start, but luckily my Morgan education taught me to be a self-starter, and I registered for every complementary course I could find for certifications through each vendor.
After a few months of fumbling around with the systems, I finally found someone who trusted me to plan their well-deserved vacation, and the rest is history. After almost 10 years in the travel business I can tell you why you should travel, where you should travel, and whom you should travel with in my sleep, but to be honest, I am just going to keep it simple. Travel to broaden your knowledge of other cultures while making time for yourself. If you’re like me, you work TOOOOO much! Not only am I a wife, mother, travel agent, graphic designer, and business owner, I also work at a very busy non-profit organization in DC. To be honest, if I didn’t travel for a living, I wouldn’t travel.
Taking your vacation days, and using those days to travel and broaden your world view, is an important part of keeping your sanity. I am lucky to say that my son, who is currently 19 months old, has been to six US states and six countries outside of the US. I understand that isn’t a reality, or possibility, for some people, but I also know that once you take that first step to traveling you will make the time, and find a way, to keep traveling and will share those experiences with the people who matter to you most. That’s what I did with my mom years ago, I wanted her to see the world, and I knew that with proper planning she could.
That’s also why I created Girls Vacation Club. I wanted our members to have meaningful vacations with their closest friends while not having to worry about the planning or logistics. While some of our members can, and do, travel frequently, others may be taking their first international trip with us, and we thank you for trusting us with that. You will see that we offer an array of trips for our members, and we are also listening to you and your suggestions on where YOU want to travel. Make sure you check out Girls Vacation Club, and we hope you join us soon.
So travel often, travel far, and travel with confidence knowing we’re right there by your side.
Oh yeah, don't forget to follow my travels on social media