I used to plan trips by air or car
With Hotels and motels never too far
Passports and Visas had their place
Among the tasks, I left a trace
I sat at my desk, in a seat
Wishing for the day I would meet
New and exciting travel sights
Go places, see things, and take some bites
Different worlds never did I see
A travel planner, I used to be
I know what you are thinking…don’t quit your day job and become a poet. Believe me, I agree. But in the middle of the night, I woke up and knew I had to write a poem about a job I used to have. Sorry to have subjected you to my mid-nocturnal rant.
It is actually true, though. I worked for many years being a Travel Coordinator. I started off basically as the liaison between a real travel agent and my co-workers who traveled. As the years passed, I learned more about the business through our agent and on my own. In a few years, with the help of a great travel program with Continental (when they had a hub in Cleveland), I was actually booking air, cars, hotels and trains myself.
The start was mostly conventions in Vegas or service calls in Phoenix. Trips to Chicago or LA, I could do in my sleep. Then came the international trips to Denmark, London, Paris and all over Asia. I learned about passports and Visas and what was necessary for traveling abroad. Many of my travelers were women who traveled alone and I tried to take special precautions to make sure they were safe.
I enjoyed the work very much despite the stress. Planning travel in the winter, in the Snowbelt, was a real challenge. Flights were constantly being cancelled or changed. Weary travelers desperately wanted to get home or not miss an important sales call. When I was neck-deep in it all, I learned to thrive on the chaos. Looking back now, I see a fondness for all my travelers and my desire to travel really took off then.
My husband was a road warrior for a long time. He traveled up to 75% of the time. He went to China, Mexico, Manila, Canada, and all around the United States. I guess I lived vicariously through him at that time. As I stated in a previous post, I was the one who kept the home fires burning.
I remember clearly that my desk faced a large window that overlooked a grassy spot surrounded by trees. It was an absolutely lovely spot. I would have my favorite music playing low on my computer and I dreamed of being the one taking the trips. I wished and wished I could break out of my life and see the world. I would look at the sun-soaked landscape and feel so alone. I knew I would never get to do those exciting things I helped others do. I was sad for a very long time.
But now I have the chance to do something really different. Although this trip has been done many times before by many other people, it has never been done by me. I have never planned such an undertaking before for something I would do.
I look back on those travel planning days and I am thankful for the knowledge I gained and the people I helped. I realize that I was not ready then to do what I am doing now. It was all part of the learning process. So here I am now, the traveler….no longer the travel planner I used to be.
Post Shout Out: Thank you to all the brave and wonderful women I worked with (you know who you are) who traveled alone. You are my inspiration and my courage. Love you all!!