What a year it has been for Wandering Puffin LLC, for me personally and for the industry in general. When I first started writing these columns, I truly did not know where I would be at the end of the year. I certainly was much more pessimistic about business early on, but wow, what a change! When I started, the economy, although, still in bad shape, was in much worse shape. I had to supplement my business by not working one part time job, but sometimes two or three and we are certainly not out of the woods yet. The travel bug though is engrained in us and slowly but surely, business picked up and I was busy all year long with bookings and prospects well into next year. We also had to deal with the Icelandic volcano, civil strife in a number of different locations around the world and the British Airways strike just to name a few issues that affected the travel industry and my business directly. Certainly the fall and rebirth of Tripology had a major impact on my business.
I had not done any travel at all myself with the uncertainties, but I too, had the travel bug and opportunities presented themselves, first Iceland in October, and then due to a cancellation of a seminar to Sicily (and the long story that goes with that), I returned, to Central Europe spending an amazing week in Prague and Budapest in November and places beyond. Not only did I get to return to one of my favorite places in the world, but with this trip, I had both an amazing personal experience there, as well as excellent professional encounters as I go forward in creating my group for a special European experience I plan to lead in the spring of 2012. I was quite pessimistic when the year started and although, I am still cautious, I am much more optimistic about the business going forward. I also will be doing one more trip (a domestic one) out west to fill out the travel for the year.
I want to thank TRO for the opportunity to write these columns for Travel Agent Diaries. These articles have allowed me the chance to reflect on issues in the industry that have had an impact on my business. Being an independent, home based travel professional, these issues have tended to be magnified as the wealth is not spread around, as in an agency where there are multiple travel professionals. I also want to thank those who travel professionals and the public that have read my contributions and provided feedback and suggestions. The ideas of others are very important and continuing the dialogue would be most appreciated. We are in an amazing industry that is ever changing and in a world economy where one little event in one part of the world can set off a series of events in other parts of the world. Not only do I have to be on my game all the time, knowing what is going on in the places to which I arrange my client’s adventures, but know what possible issues in other parts of the world may affect my client’s travel.
Most of all, I want to thank all of my clients who have stuck with me through thick and thin over the past three plus years of Wandering Puffin LLC and before when I worked for the other agency, with 14 plus years in the industry. Without you, I would not be able to work in an amazing industry that offers the chance to experience the most amazing places and meet amazing people. I make each trip unique to each client. Travel and travel planning is a passion for me and after having been an educator and a chef, I know that I have found my niche and will continue to refine it. I have very much enjoyed writing these articles. If you want to keep in touch, the Wandering Puffin will always be flying.
Jamison Bachrach is better known as the Wandering Puffin for the way he likes to travel. Jamison has been in the travel industry for almost 14 years and has been home based for a little more than 2 years and specializes in independent European travel planning, specifically, central and eastern Europe, as well as Scandinavia.
Jamison has traveled to over 35 countries, including most of Europe. Wandering Puffin LLC. Is located in Plymouth, MN. Jamison can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at 763-244-0669. www.wanderingpuffin.com.