Travel is something that excites many people. It moves the world and inspires industries and everyone who discovers a love of it dreams to make this wonderful hobby into a full time job! I’m one of those success stories in the making. I went from the dream to the reality and my reality is called TL Travel. Before there was TL Travel there was just a traveler. When I started my travels 7 years ago I was just like every other first-time traveler; I packed far too much, carried an entire pharmacy in my pack, kept my passport on me (even when I slept) & left home having absolutely no idea what I was doing (while thinking I had it all figured out.) I wound up sleeping in a train station (& fast food restaurant) twice due to budget miscalculations & got lost around six times, but I also learned so many valuable lessons that first time out & developed a wanderlust that would inevitably shape my future.
When I returned home I went back to business as usual but something was wrong. All of the sudden I had this nagging feeling that everything I was doing, and trying to be, was nothing that I really wanted. I got restless & found myself browsing for Round-The-World flights when I was meant to be screening job applicants at the office where I worked. I knew back then that I had to do something to change my path, but my “aha” moment wouldn’t come until 5 years later from the bunk of a wooden cabin on the border between Chile & Argentina.
Until I took the plunge into starting TL Travel, I would work as much as I could in order to get away for as long as possible, but I always knew that I wanted to integrate my work & travel life together somehow (as does any true wanderluster!) The idea was to give other travelers like myself the gift of balance. A company that could give backpackers some added luxuries without sacrificing the backpacking culture & give that added culture to resort travelers looking for a unique, off-resort experience without the luxurious price tag.
Deciding I could do it was one thing, but deciding that I WOULD do it was completely another. There are so many things to consider when you decide to drop it all & follow your dreams … but at the end of the day it has all been worth it. you may want to make this your own story, but first here are some of the questions that you need to ask yourself before you can follow your dreams & start the travel business that you’ve always wanted!
Do You Have A Support System?
It’s important to have a positive support system (in my case, an understanding spouse) when it comes down to getting things started. There will always be more work involved than you think, the hours will start off long & possibly with little pay-off, so it is important to have positive people in your life to keep you on the right path & support your dream. If you have the kind of family that’s likely to say “Oh ya, business is hard, you should just go back to the office” then you are more likely to give up when times get tough. Find yourself a network of like-minded entrepreneurs to bounce ideas & experiences back and forth with, and who will offer some support to keep you working hard!
Do You Have Passion?
In most cases, when you are working to start a new business you are bound to find yourself in a situation where you’re ready to pull your hair out. In my case, I was only one person so whether it was design related, accounting related or media related, it all fell on me. Had I not been as passionate as I am about travel I’m not sure I would have made it through those first few rough months. Be passionate about your project & you are more likely to succeed.
Have a plan. Whether things take longer than expected to get started or blow up (in a good way) faster than you thought, it’s important you know ahead of time how you will handle it. Talk with other business owners & make an appointment with a financial planner to ensure that you are equipped to handle either situation if things don’t go quite as you planned.
There is a huge sense of accomplishment that comes with taking the plunge into following your dreams & an even larger sense of freedom that comes with watching that dream come to life! It is a scary thing to put security on the line & go for it, but you truly only live once & as TL Travel grows in its success, I get to smile & know that all of my hard work was worth every exhilarating, hair-pulling moment!