Can you remember a time when a trip you took changed your life?

I can…

I had just turned 16 years old and my parents had just divorced. My dad owned his own business and had a meeting in Washington D.C., he asked me to attend with him.

I’d never been on a big trip like this with just my dad. In fact, I rarely spent time with just him. The fact that he asked me made me feel very special. He told me I would need to bring special fancy clothes to wear to the dinners and meeting receptions.

We went to my closet and I had very little to choose from, so he took me shopping one afternoon for a proper suit and a nice dress. I remember feeling so special, it was the first time I remember feeling so grown up and I loved the attention.

When it came time for the trip I was mesmerized by the adventure of it all. We had been on a couple previous family trips to California and once to Florida, but this was different. We arrived at the Four Seasons in D.C. and wow, I couldn’t believe how fancy it was and how everyone was so nice.

Our room was beautiful, and I hurried to put on my new dress and went to the cocktail reception where all the other attendees were. Dad introduced me to his colleges and while on the inside I felt awkward, Dad reassured me I was doing great.

Later we went to dinner at the hotel restaurant. The host escorted us to our table, and he pulled the table out so I could sit down, I couldn’t believe he would do such a thing! And then, before he put the table back he placed a cloth napkin in my lap! I had never seen anything like this before. Was my dad a VIP? I didn’t understand what was going on.

As the night progressed, we had a lovely dinner and the waiter answered all my questions about food I had never heard of. At dessert the waiter brought a rolling tiered gold cart to our table and told me I could have anything I wanted. I looked it all over and didn’t find anything I liked. He then asked me, ‘what would you like?” I replied, “Blueberries and strawberries with whip cream” He replied, “as you wish” and my wish was granted.

It was an amazing evening spending that time with my dad, seeing our nations capitol and being spoiled by the wonderful staff at the Four Seasons. I thought to myself, I wish everyone could feel this special, and if travel makes me feel this special, then I want to do it all the time!

From that day on, I plotted all the places I wanted to go, who I wanted to go with and how happy I would be knowing that they might feel as special as I did on that trip with my Dad.

My life was never the same after that trip, it inspired me to go on to travel agent school and work at several agencies before creating my own. Now, after 30+ years, I’m helping others create that very special excitement for their trips. It’s an honor to do this work, and a pleasure to serve.