President - Owner
The most successful people are those who are good with Plan B. James Yorke, 1941 – physics professor.
Today is November 2, 2021 and I just realized that the last time I updated my travel profile was six years ago. Where has the time gone?
For those of you who know me and those that don’t I have now been employed at the same place – Sunflower Travel - for 35 years, 11 months and 2 days– but who’s counting? I guess that gives me a lot of experience in this industry. Some people might even consider me a go to travel professional!
When I was a kid I helped my mother escort groups to Hawaii and Europe and that’s pretty much what started it all. My life plan did not include nor did I anticipate being employed at the same place for this long but I have to admit this is a pretty sweet gig. I get to travel a lot and I have friends and travel contacts literally all over the world.
Most travel profiles that agents put out there are about how much fun and glamorous it is working in the travel industry and places they have visited. I’m here to tell you most of that is true, but what I do in actuality is very detailed and personalized to those that put their trust in me to set up their vacations. At any time I can be working with 100 plus clients going all over the world. This adds up to a lot of checks and balances to ensure my clients have the best travel experiences possible. I also like to think I do a very good job of work and life balance and that's part of what makes me extremely good at what I do.
If I were to list all of the places I have visited my profile would be very long. In contrast there are so many places I have not been to that I can’t wait to see. One of my favorite questions I get is “where is your most favorite place you have ever visited?” My response is always somewhere I haven’t been to yet or New Zealand. Please keep in mind just because I may not have visited a certain place doesn’t mean I don’t have that destination knowledge.
Throughout the years I have served on a lot of local non-profit boards and a lot of travel related advisory committees. I really enjoy volunteering and helping out in the Wichita community. My last profile listed a lot of these organizations but this time around I decided to leave them out. Anyone who knows me knows that I give a lot of my time to help others.
Current favorite activities are pickelball – don’t laugh – it’s a great sport. I sometimes play five times a week and I have met so many really genuine and great people. I still have my private pilots license although I don’t get to fly as much as I used to. Then there is that other activity I love to do and consumes a lot of my time – travel. I do get to do a lot of that too and I think I already mentioned that earlier.
One of my favorite social groups I belong to does a “mystery” trip every year. Basically they give me a budget then I book a trip and they don’t know where they are going until departure day. Another favorite is our annual couples trip that was started a few years ago. It’s now upwards of 30 couples traveling together and we actually get along.
To sum all of this up – there are a lot of great travel agents out there and I am one of them. My advice to someone looking for an agent would be to find a good one and stick with them. You will know right away if they are a good fit or not. If they are not a good fit then you can always go with your Plan B.