We caught up with Travel Counsellor, Katie Dale, to find out what she made of the whirlwind first year of running her own travel business, and attaining ‘Gold’, which is the name we give to our top-performing franchisees.
Sonia Brobbin started a new life as a Travel Counsellor in May 2017. Here she tells us how it has completely changed her life.
Passionate about discovering the world we live in, Sonia started working in travel at the age of 16. Having travelled far and wide, one place still stands out. “My ultimate favourite place was India. Driving between Taj Safaris camps in Madhya Pradesh and coming across a small village who had just had a new fresh-water well installed. I will never forget their faces and smiles and sheer happiness.”
After many years gaining a wealth of experience in luxury travel and tour operatoring, and first-hand travel stories, it was a job she loved, but the time had come to make a change. Wanting to spend more time with her toddler, Hector, and 8-year-old step-daughter, Harriet, Sonia wanted to take her future into her own hands.
“I felt that working for company and being paid a wage had run its course; it was time for me to make my own money and try it for myself. My travel knowledge is excellent and was being wasted, I needed to use my brain.”
Work-life balance was something Sonia craved: being able to work flexibly around the kids alongside self-employed husband, Simon. So, she called upon the help of her friend and fellow Travel Counsellors Anita.
Sonia knew she had to bite the bullet. Anita put her in touch with the New Franchise team who told her everything she needed to know and put her mind to rest. Sonia made the most of the short journey between her home in Cheshire and Head Office in Manchester by popping in to see us before deciding Travel Counsellors was for her.
“I attended a Discovery Day at Head Office, which was great. I did come back a few times to speak to people face to face. I met lots of people, including the Digital Director, Waseem Haq, and Travel Counsellors at different stages of their journey. It was nice to hear it from multiple angles.”
In her own words, Sonia said: “It was a difficult decision (to join Travel Counsellors). It’s a big ‘what if’ situation.”
Sonia went on to join us in May 2017, and 18-months on, we asked her how her life has changed since.
"Now that I am my own boss, I have eliminated the daily stresses I used to experience with rush hour traffic, long hours, pressure to hit targets and having no time to see my little boy."
"Job satisfaction is so important in this industry and Travel Counsellors has created something that no other company could offer me: total happiness and flexibility. I love my life now, I do less hours with great clients and that is why I still love working in the industry."
Read the rest of Sonia's story here.
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Hayley O’Shea joined us in 2017 after the independent agency she worked for was taken over, and things changed. We spoke to Hayley, to find out how she took back control and set up her own business.
After joining us, Michelle challenged herself to change the way she worked; from selling third party suppliers to packaging together her own holidays and acting as the tour operator. Her life has changed unrecognisably since.