I sold my franchise shops & became a Travel Counsellor
Nickey is a successful business owner. Travel is her passion and she owned 2 travel shops, one in Cape Town and one in George. Being part of a franchise took her away from the things that she was most passionate about. Most of her time was being consumed with managing staff, running an office, endless admin.
Nickey discovered Travel Counsellors business model. She chose this as she would still run a travel business, but it would enable her to focus on servicing her clients.
Travel Counsellors head office remove the business risk. The support and technology that Nickey has access to, means that she can focus on her customers.
Nickey has completed her induction - we caught up with her to learn more about her travel journey.
What is your background and where did you work before becoming a Travel Counsellor?
I wanted to do something in the Travel Industry for as long as I can remember. I studied Tourism Management after school. When it came to my internship, I decided to do this overseas.
At the time, this had never been done before, so I needed to get special permission. It was more challenging but so worth it. I went to the UK to work at The Old Swan Hotel in Harrogate. It is a picturesque and quaint little village in North Yorkshire. I worked as a receptionist.
This was a BIG learning curve for me, as it was my first job and being on my own meant that I had to fend for myself.
My 6 Month Internship in the UK became 2 years. 2 Years became 5 years and 5 years became 9 years with a husband, house, dog and a baby later! We lived in London and I worked as Reservations Manager at a Hotel in Piccadilly Circus, in HR. I was also an Office Manager at a Private Equity Company as well as at Investec’s London office.
My husband was transferred to Lucerne, Switzerland and we moved to the land of cheese and chocolate. I Loved the three years there. I had the privilege to be a full-time mommy and tourist. Each day waking up in a postcard, every day with many travelling opportunities on my doorstep.
After 13 years abroad, we returned to South Africa and I bought into a Travel Franchise. I owned and managed 2 offices in Stellenbosch and George. I specialised in organizing GAP Years for students, who wanted to work abroad. I also organised everything else related to travel from ticketing, visas, leisure etc.
Although I loved this challenge, it grew to a point where my family life was compromised. I decided to get back to the things that I loved most – working with people (which I love) and staying within the Travel Industry (my other passion)
Tell us a little bit about yourself
I am fortunate enough to raise my family in the beautiful Winelands. I am wife to Rian, who has a Financial Background and owns a small E-Commerce company. We have an 8-year-old daughter, Caitlin and a 4 year old son, Thomas. They keep us busy enough on most days! We also have two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Max and Bailey. We love visiting markets over weekends and socialising with friends. Travelling as a family is a priority for us we prefer to spend money on experiences.
I have been fortunate enough to have travelled to over 20 countries and yet, there is still so many places on my list!
I am an avid foodie and I love cooking and reading when I can find the time.
What does becoming a Travel Counsellor mean to you?
I want to get back to the things about my job that I love the most – people and travel. To sharing my travel experiences and to help people to create memories of their own, is what fulfills me. I will never get tired of doing it.
I also want to strive for a better work - life balance. Life is short, and we need to spend more of our time doing what we love, with the people that matter most to us.
What motivated you to start your own travel business?
Having flexibility and the freedom to run my own business and to manage my day in a way that suits me and works best for me.
What are you looking forward to most about being a Travel Counsellor?
Going the extra mile for my clients and helping them create memories that will last a lifetime.
Have you set yourself any goals or milestones for what you want to achieve in your first year?
I would love to become a Gold Travel Counsellor during the next year.
Have you started planning how you will grow your business/find new customers, and if so how?
So many ideas... #WatchThisSpace
Being active on social media, networking events and shows etc.
What do you love most about working in the travel industry?
Making people’s dreams come true and sharing my love for travel. Seeing how people change, once they have travelled for the first time.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
One of my big dreams is to visiting Lapland with my kids during Christmas and to see the Northern Lights.
__What does your future without limits look like? __
Hmmm…being a part of a travel show on TV, writer of a popular travel blog and having a few thousand avid followers!
If you can identify with Nickey's story, then please get in touch with us. We would love to show you how we can help change your life too.