Last week when we turned the clocks back an hour, it hit me that we are already in November and within a few short weeks, we would be saying goodbye to 2015. And, I got a reminder that I will be saying goodbye to the Travel Agent Diaries… or at least for 2015!
When I started to write for this column back in January, I was excited and scared all at once. I was excited at the opportunity to share my thoughts, my struggles, and my successes, but scared that no one would be interested, that my writing skills were not up to par, and of course the list goes on and on when you are your worst critic.
Well, fast forward to today and I am at the end of an exciting year. I can hardly find the words to express the honor and sense of accomplishment that I have experienced writing this column. Sometimes when you write (well, may be all the time that you write), it forces you to look deep within and find a way to articulate your message so it is of value to your readers. It also helped me, as a writer, to come to grips about some of the very points that I was trying to convey. For example, one of the columns I wrote was about a Bridal Show that we did and how disappointing the results were. Writing that column forced me to look at what we did right, what we did wrong, and how to formulate the improvements necessary to get better results at the next show. In all honesty, before writing the article, I was looking solely at the results and not even entertaining the possibility of participating in another bridal show. Sharing that message wasn’t just about the readers who could glean something from it, but also for us as a company – how we could to use it as “lessons learned.” Thankfully, I had this column to help me put those thoughts on paper.
In our industry, there is so much to learn and so much to share that this journey gave me the opportunity to learn from others and use the lessons to grow in areas I didn’t even see as areas of deficiency until I read what other writers had to share. One of the things I am reminded of each time I write a column is the quote by Maya Angelou: “When you get, give; and when you learn, teach.” Writing the articles and reading what others had to say is a classic example of this quote. As much as I would like to think I know a lot, I don’t know everything and the opportunity to develop even further because of others who share their stories in this column is of tremendous value to me… a lesson I will take away and reference for a very long time.
Many thanks to TRO for allowing me to be a part of such a great community. We work in a very glamorous and sexy business, but behind the scenes it’s not always glamorous. Sharing the uphill climb allows us to encourage and lift each others’ spirits during the times when we feel like our strength and passion for what we do is failing.
If you are passionate about what you do, if you like helping others and if you are willing to learn from others, I would encourage you to get involved and share your story. TRO is looking for you!
Thanks so much again. Have the best rest of 2015 and the most amazing and prosperous 2016!
Judith White is the owner at White Sand Travel in Stone Mountain, Georgia. The full service agency specializes in destination weddings, honeymoon and romance travel planning for busy couples that want an incredible vacation experience without the stress of planning it. You can find Judith online at whitesandtravel.net