Meet Alana Schubert, a Travel Counsellor based in De Kelders, just outside Gansbaai. She says she only has one goal - to make travel dreams come true.
What is your background?
My travel retail experience spans 22 years. Even though my most recent job was in corporate consulting, my heart has always been in the leisure sector as this is where I have most of my experience. I've organised basic trips like flights and hotels as well as exotic ones like honeymoons to the Galapagos and trips to see the Northern Lights. I've always found the most satisfaction in helping clients plan their dream holidays. I enjoy working with people, it definitely keeps me on my toes. My most recent position was a temporary one for a previous employer. This experience taught me the importance of taking charge of my own life and career. I had considered it for a long time, but I was always too afraid to take the next step. I had attempted it once before, when Covid struck, but I stopped before I really got started because of the second lockdown.
Tell us a little bit about yourself
I've been happily married for 22 years and have three wonderful children. We have two golden retrievers, Bentley, who is around three years old, and a rescue puppy, Harvey, who is six months old. We're a real outdoors family, so if we're not at the beach, we're probably out discovering our new neighbourhood of De Kelders, just outside Gansbaai. We've only been living in the Overberg region for approximately 18 months, but we've already seen and done a lot since moving here from Cape Town. We're roughly a 40-minute drive from Hermanus, so we get to experience whale watching at its best.
What does becoming a Travel Counsellor mean for you?
Becoming a Travel Counsellor allows me to be more in control of my life and to take charge of my future. I am building my client base from the ground up. The previous 22 years have been dedicated to raising my family and I wasn’t able to travel that much. If I now start putting in the time and effort and am successful in accomplishing my goals as a Travel Counsellor, I will be able to save more money and travel more. The aim is to have a successful business and then take the family abroad on well-deserved holidays.
What motivated you to start your own travel business?
I can only thank an ex-colleague, Lynne Du Toit. I have seen first-hand the joy Travel Counsellors have brought her. I first heard about the company from her many moons ago and it's something I've thought about for a long time.
What are you looking forward to most about being a Travel Counsellor?
I want to have financial freedom, with existing clients that keep coming back to me.
Have you set yourself any goals or milestones for what you want to achieve in your first year?
It will be the best in the world to take my kids on an overseas holiday next year.
Have you started planning how you will grow your business/find new customers, and if so, how?
I’ve started spreading the word, speaking to friends and family, and anyone else that is willing to listen. It’s been a slow start as I’m not that well-known yet. I’m also engaging on social media more, building a presence on various platforms. This has pushed me out of my comfort zone, but I’m eager to grow.
What do you love most about working in the travel industry?
I love that there is something new every day. We are constantly learning, and it keeps things entertaining and interesting.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I have a few places on my must-visit list that I want to tick off. London is one of them. One of my dream destinations however would be to go to Norway to see the Northern Lights. Before Covid struck, I was helping my last client plan the trip of her dreams. She had stage 4 cancer, and this would’ve been her last trip. Then the pandemic got in the way, and she unfortunately passed away a few months later. She was such a special person and I truly believe God sent her to me for a reason. I pray the day will come when I can take the trip to honour her memory.