Throwback! New Faces: Welcoming Rachel Sullard to Our Team of AgentsPosted on 01/19/2021
Contrary to popular belief the travel industry is booming. With a rise in the economy more people are traveling – and that means more opportunities for new agents. At the end of 2016 Sunflower Travel hired our third new agent. Since 2013 we have hired 1 new agent per year.
Rachel joined our team of agents in December of 2016. During the interview process her wanderlust was a striking quality alongside her travel experience and strong capability to learn. Travel and Tourism schools are difficult to come by these days, making it even more difficult to find experienced agents. Our offices have turned travel lovers into travel professionals and we are thrilled to add another millennial to our team.
Keep reading for a Q & A with Rachel!
Rachel Sullard, 25
Travel Consultant since 2016
Originally from Bel Aire, Kansas and a graduate from Wichita State University.
Q1: What interested you about being in the Travel industry?
Rachel: Thanks to my spectacular mother, I have been fortunate enough to have already visited 6 countries at such a young age. Traveling is my true passion and I can tell you the exact moment I decided the Travel Industry was for me. I was having quite a lengthy phone call with my mother, feeling like I was stuck with no direction in my life. At this point, I had already received a Degree in Criminal Justice, a path laid before me with a future job in mind. But every time I pictured myself in 5-10 years, all I could see was unhappiness and living in a world of despair and difficulty. This drove me to having a ¼ life-crisis, if you will. Torn between what I had worked so hard for in college and what I truly wanted to do – see the world.
It was this moment that I realized all the college classes in the world were not going to give me the happiness I was so desperately searching for; I began digging for any and every travel-related job around, just to at least get my foot in the door and see if this was the path for me. As it turns out, it was the best decision I have ever made, and I finally feel like I’m in the right place and on the path I need to be!
Q2: What do you hope to specialize in?
Rachel: With some background in the bridal industry, I hope to bring that over and specialize in Destination Weddings/Honeymoons! However I am also a big advocate for student travel, so specializing in educational travels is also something I look forward to!
Q3: Any tips for first time travelers?
Rachel: Something I was surprised to discover during my worldly travels – how often you will get solicited for anything and everything, even the smallest of things. During my visit to Costa Rica, for example, my airport pickup was not there upon arrival. After about half an hour of lingering around solo, I decided to ask a stranger to borrow his local phone to call the company, and of course he was willing to help! Little did I know when I was finished with the call, he stuck around badgering me for money since I used his property. I had the phone for barely 2 minutes…hello culture shock!
Q4: Best travel memory?
Rachel:– My favorite memory has to be when my family and I were in Paris.We had just watched the Tower come to life with sparkling lights when a native Frenchman brought out a boom box and put on an energetic Tango melody. Anywhere else, this would bring about strange looks and judgement but in this friendly community, couples and strangers alike began pairing up and moving to the music. An elderly man who was very light on his feet could see I was excited about the new dance party, but no partner. He convinced me to join him and learn a few basics of this sassy dance, and I was so amazed by this community and how much fun so many strangers could have in such an amazing place!
Q5: Worst travel memory?
Rachel: This takes place during my second trip to Mexico with family. My first day in Puerta Vallarta and the only thing I could think about was how (within 24 hours of leaving the US) badly my leg was hurting/bothering me. On the second day, there was even more pain and my leg was beginning to swell up. At this point, I go to my A-team, medically-trained parents for advice and discover that it is a bite of some sort, nothing too worrisome (wait for it). A few days and many waddles later, my leg is so swollen around this mysterious bite that I can hardly walk. After another look, the conclusion is that this crazy thing is some sort of spider bite and was eating up my leg. Unfortunately, the bite was turning so severe we had to work with hotel personnel and have a doctor quickly administer a shot in a not-so-fun place! All I can say is that I am overjoyed I came back with both legs!
Q6: Favorite food while traveling?
Rachel: During my travels in London, we had dinner at this cute restaurant titled Sherlock Holmes (we may or may not be HUGE fans) on the corner of Northumberland St. They had their English version of Shepherd’s Pie, and I have to be honest: it beat my family’s recipe. It was the perfect comfort food and really felt like I had a bit of home with me!
Q7: What destination is at the top of your bucket list?
Rachel: Is everywhere an acceptable answer? Ha Ha! Okay but if I really have to choose, I choose two: New Zealand and Africa. New Zealand draws me in because of the GORGEOUS views (I’m a sucker for nature), and Africa because I am not only an adventurer but also an animal lover; I cannot wait to go charging through a Safari and be one with the wild!
Q8: What sense do you value most while traveling and why (sight, sound, smell, touch, etc)?
Rachel: In-person SIGHT – without a doubt. Pictures do not do the world justice! I have always been a very visual person. My favorite thing about traveling is finding the most wondrous of views. I prefer something large like Chichen Itza, because then I can become a part of it while feeling both the vastness of the world, and how small I am in comparison – all in one moment.
Q9: Must have items in your carry on?
Rachel: SNACKS. I am a food lover, and have been on planes expecting food to be provided but have discovered either they don’t pack enough for every passenger, or what they do pack is something I would rather not be a part of (haha). Also making sure to bring something to occupy my time if it is a lengthy flight like cards, a book, magazines, or my personal favorite (no judging please) Sudoku.
Q10: What’s your travel style?
Rachel: Traveling is my style, there is no one way for me. I have traveled by way of moderate luxury, but also via hostels and with a more laid-back feel. Each has its own benefits. However I am looking forward to true luxury one of these days because let’s be honest – who doesn’t like a butler service?
Throughout the year we will introduce you to our other agents. If your anxious to get to know our team though you can visit our website at http://www.sunflowertravel.com or stop by one of our offices!