Here are a few things about me:
- My favourite hobbies are travel, kickboxing, and reading novels
- I’m a full service Travel Agent from Canada / Online English Teacher
- Spanish is my second language
- I’ve been to over 20 countries
- My favourite countries visited are Spain, Mexico, and Costa Rica
- I believe travel is the best way to educate yourself and learn about others
When I was 16, I started working in the tourism industry at a local Vistor Information Centre as a summer job. Everyday I would meet people from all over the world who came to visit my little town of Lockeport in Nova Scotia. I never really thought about Lockeport being a good place to visit. But to tourists, it is the perfect little island escape with beautiful beaches, friendly people, and great seafood. I didn’t realize how lucky I was to live in such a place until I started listening to how others appreciated it and got a different perspective. Now when I visit my parents, I appreciate how safe it is to live there, the friendly people, the beautiful scenery, and great food.
The view from my home where I grew up in Lockeport overlooking the harbour
During my time in university, I was studying a Bachelor of Tourism & Hospitality Management. For 3 years I was located at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax and then during my last year I spent my time doing an exchange in Murcia, Spain for a year. I knew I wanted a career where I would interact with people. I thought that my goal was to be a Hotel Manager but then towards the end of my education, I wanted to get a little bit a travel time in which afterwards changed my mind in my career choice. The best and most affordable way to get some travel time in when comparing options was an international exchange. I chose Spain as I wanted to learn Spanish and the option of living in Murcia was presented to me. Choosing to live in Spain was one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life. I was able to travel all over the country and other places in Europe. I also learned a new language, and gained a lot of worldly experience. While studying I worked at a hotel and taught English. When my time in Spain had come to an end, I knew that I wanted to not work in the hotel business anymore and work within the travel industry where I could travel and make a living out of it. I went back home to Canada and worked on a plan. Back in June 2014 when I returned, I knew that my plan would be delayed as I was broke and needed to get a job. I wanted to find a way to continue to teach English. I discovered that I could do so online. By the time my graduation in November came around, I had secured a decent job working for a cottage rental company managing the Canadian market. Once I saved up enough money about a year later from my return to Europe, this is when I started my business venture where I would invest my funds into a Canadian host travel agency as a self-based travel agent. Since becoming a self-based agent, I’ve been teaching English full time. Having both jobs where I work for myself, has allowed me to become very flexible with my schedule and vacation time as well as my quality of life.
Exploring the Alhambra in Spain
A self-based Travel Agent works as an office-based agent would but from home. The big difference is that self-based or home-based agents are commission based and office-based are salary + commission. There are pros and cons to both but for me I wanted to work for myself and set my own hours. When I first started my business back in July 2015, I had no client base. I did a lot of networking to build up my business. Once I started networking and meeting potential clients, the bookings started coming in and their friends and family started to refer my services. Since then, I am continuing to grow my business and sometimes travel with clients. For the past couple of years, I have worked with my suppliers to create private groups and sell them for people to book into. In 2017, I did groups going to Costa Rica and Iceland.
Rappelling in Costa Rica with G Adventures – March 2017
The market for travel agents is extremely competitive. There are many travel agents and also the Internet where it has been made so conveniently for travellers to book online. I wanted to differentiate myself from the competition. After about a year into business my sister and I came up with an idea. At the beginning of 2017 I launched my travel blog No Ordinary Adventure. No Ordinary Adventure is a niche travel blog focused on guided travel experiences. Having one niche instead of promoting all different kinds of travel, has made me known as a guru for guided travel. What I offer that the Internet does not is customer service. I treat clients how I would want to be treated when it comes to planning and booking vacations giving them the best booking service possible. When I’m not in my home office, I travel with my suppliers testing out their products. With the help of social media, I’m able to promote the trips I’m on to clients while I’m travelling and when I come home.
Travelling in Cinque Terre with Intrepid – April 2017
I encourage travellers to try something different and experience a guided adventure. There are many kinds of trips to choose from whether it’s a food tour, a young-adults only group, or a wildlife safari. Guided adventures have given me the opportunity to bond with other people from around the world in the groups I’ve been in. There hasn’t been a single trip where I haven’t made a new friend along the way. I also like that the logistics are taken care of but also an adventure that gives me a bit of flexibility where I can have some free time.
I look forward to sharing my passion of guided adventure travel with you!
Exploring Skogafoss Waterfall in Iceland with Collette in October 2017