Go Away! – from corporate to leisure in 6 years
Hello! My name is Crickett. Yes, really. I’m an independent, home-based travel agent, and while I do specialize in cruises, 2015 has me branching out a little bit into other territory as I find suppliers that offer a good product and are willing to work with my tiny little one-woman company.
I didn’t spend my youth saying, “I want to be a travel agent when I grow up.” It’s just something that I sort of fell into. I started out in a multiple-client, offsite agency in New Jersey as a receptionist at the tender age of 20. The owner noticed that I was being under-utilized (actually, “you’re bored – let’s fix that” is how he put it), and sent me to training in Manhattan to learn Apollo. That launched me on an almost 10-year career in corporate travel – everything from huge offsite call centers handling multiple accounts, to small two-person VIP travel offices for Fortune 200 companies. During that time, I always said, “There’s no way I’ll ever do leisure travel. Those people have no idea what they want.”
Fast-forward to March of 2009 and my mother says she wants to finally take a real family vacation, and it’s going to be on a cruise. I was petrified at the idea. Trapped at sea with 3200 strangers and my entire extended family? I was positive that during the week someone was going overboard. I couldn’t have been more wrong. By the end of the week, I was convinced that this was a product I could sell, because I was absolutely in love with it. Later that year, when booking a birthday cruise for some friends, the agent I worked with talked me into sending my resume to her company.
That was six years ago. Now I’m home-based and independent, rather than working for a brick-and-mortar agency, and my host agency is also independently owned. It’s a nice change from the giant companies for whom I used to work, but it’s also a challenge. In this business, though, it’s all about the journey. I’m excited to see where this year brings me.
Crickett Lancaster is the owner of the home-based agency Go Away! in Brooklyn, NY. She’s an avid knitter, a karaoke fiend, and loves the freedom of being able to work in her pajamas if she so chooses. She occasionally posts travel-related rants and reviews at http://www.crickett.net, and can also be found on Facebook or email.