"After being at home with my three girls for nine years, starting up my own business with Travel Counsellors has allowed me to find my identity again."

My name’s Lindsay, and I’m from a travel background, having previously worked for some well-known Cruise companies in the UK. I’d been out of travel for nine years while my children were small, and like many women, I found myself in Dubai when my husband’s job moved here. With a young family to raise - we’ve got three girls; twins Zara and Layla, and six-year old Georgia - I had my hands full for a while!

But there came a time when the girls were all at school full-time, and I found myself wanting something back for myself. I needed to find my identity again. I wanted to work, but I needed flexibility for the family. I knew of Travel Counsellors from my Cruise days, and I knew they were set up here in Dubai. So, I got in touch and went along to a Discovery Day at the Dubai office, and felt immediately inspired by Holly’s talk, and in fact, by the whole event. I knew it was the opportunity I’d been looking for and I joined as soon as I could!

"I’m comfortable with what I’m doing now and it’s getting easier all the time. Ultimately, this is my business and I run it how I like"

The induction course was fabulous; I got all the training I needed to set myself up. I’ve had brilliant support from day one from Nga and Catherine in the Support Team. I can always call them if I have a query on Phenix, our integrated booking platform, and I’m confident to reach out for help, rather than spending ages on my own trying to work things out. I can also access lots of brilliant product training if I choose, via our online Coach system, and I use our Yammer boards for tips and advice from other Travel Counsellor colleagues all the time.

My first big booking was a honeymoon in Bali for a friend of my husband’s - I really remember the feeling when that one confirmed! My business has grown organically, through friends booking with me, and recommending me. I’ve found the market in Dubai quite different from the UK. There are lots of last-minute bookings to be had; lead times are often short, as public holidays can be announced at short notice. People want to travel when that happens. They’re used to travelling a lot - people here think nothing of taking a six - or seven-hour flight if they suddenly have a four-day break to fill. And bookings went crazy during a recent Eid break! It makes work quite exciting!

Now that our kids are in full-time school, I’m available during the business day for my customers. But the beauty of it is that I can do the school pick up too, so all the family are benefitting from my flexible business. There’s no doubt that running your own business is hard work, but I really love what I do; I’m passionate about it, and it’s absolutely working for us.

Returning to travel with Travel Counsellors has been the best move I could have made for all of us, it allows me to be Mum and a business owner, and I’m really excited for what the future holds!

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