People often ask me how I arrived at becoming a Travel Advisor. If you haven’t heard of Simon Sinek’s “start with why”, you should really look it up. He states the following:
Every person knows what they do:
Your job title, function, the products you sell or services you offer.
Some people know how they do it:
The actions you take that set you apart from others.
Few people know why they do it:
The purpose, cause or belief that inspires you.
After many years of working in the entertainment industry I needed to find something that I really wanted to do, where I could be present with my kids but also fulfilled in my own adult life. I held a responsible position, assisting very successful entertainment industry executives. I knew “What” to do and “How” to do it but, once we started a family, my purpose, cause and beliefs for what inspired me to do this job changed, and I needed to move on.
After years (about 8 to be precise) of trying to get out of the industry I finally took the plunge. I meditated and dug deep to uncover my real passion in life and how I could turn it into a career.
Ever since I can remember, travel has always been a part of my life. My father worked in the sugar mill industry and often traveled to exotic places such as Africa, Indonesia and the Caribbean with the family in tow. Growing up in the UK, where languages are taught in school, I spent many a Summer on foreign student exchanges, immersed in the local family life and culture, sometimes at first barely speaking the language, but always coming away with such great life lessons about how other nations live. At that time I very much disliked being thrown into these experiences but this is definitely what shaped and defined me as an adult and the appreciation for what my parents did for me did not come until much later in life.
I went on to study languages at university and obtained a BA Honors degree in French and Hispanic studies. Part of this degree involved living in France and Spain for a year where I immersed myself fully in the life and culture discovering amazing history, beautiful locations, new foods and lovely people, many of whom became lifelong friends.
During the long summer breaks from studying, I often took jobs in France and Spain to fund my love of traveling. I worked as a waitress in a local restaurant/bar in Nice, South of France and even worked promoting and selling the drink Red Bull on the Spanish island of Ibiza.
Following a heartbreaking split from a college boyfriend in England, I once again turned to travel to heal me. I packed up and flew to Prague, Czech Republic, where I ended up staying and working in entertainment for a big production company, for many years. It was here I met “my American boy”, now husband, who whisked me off to La La Land for the next chapter of my life.
So there I was, in La La Land, working on blockbuster movies, traveling the world and loving life. Then came the kids…. And everything changed… working long 16+ hour days was not so appealing anymore. Even though our kids got to travel with us and see the world, I wanted to be involved in their daily lives, to enjoy the experience with them and not have to rely on a nanny for that.
Watching the kids grow, and seeing how they actually benefited from traveling and being immersed in different cultures and new experiences was so amazing for me and the memories of my childhood travels flooded back. I would often share our stories and pictures with friends and families who soon started coming to me for advice and recommendations on where to go and what to see with their kids. It was then that the light bulb went off for me. I could actually have a job, specializing in something I was so passionate about.
I understand that those working hard want to be assured that every minute away from the workplace is spent in the best possible way. My aim is to address that need and bring truly unique and innovative travel experiences to my discerning clients. I help busy people make the most of their precious time off with a range of the best cutting-edge travel around.
It’s not just about the WHERE. Travel is more than that. I always start by understanding WHY you are taking the trip and the experience YOU seek. This in turn leads to the perfect choice of destination. These trips span the world and range from stylish city breaks to around-the-world adventure trips but the unique thread in all of these experiences is that they are innovative, educational, boundary pushing and tailor-made for YOU.
I believe that tolerance is created through travel. The world will become a better place when we do not fear other countries and cultures but fully understand them. Our children are our future and traveling the world is the BEST lesson you can ever give them. Don’t wait till it’s too late.
Start planning your adventures now. You only have 18 or so Summers (depending on the age of your kids) till they leave home and won’t want to travel with you anymore. Hopefully they will want to embark on their own adventures, but that’s another story! The world is vast and the opportunities are endless.
Jessica is luxury Travel Advisor based in California. She is a Mother and experienced traveler who is passionate about curating travel experiences for adventure-seekers who want to explore the world in style. Read what it's like to work with Jess.