Where should I begin? A life as a travel consultant was certainly not something I ever dreamed of as a little girl. A flight attendant, yes! However, in my day they had very strict physical requirements and being only a whopping 5-foot tall… well, a life in the “Friendly Skies” was out for me. Now owning or running a company, that was a dream.
I was always inspired by my father. You see, by the time I landed here outside of Memphis, TN, I had already moved 19 times, and Tennessee made my 9th state. A military brat you ask? No, most of our moving was a result of my father being really good at business. He worked for a company, at the time known as Globe Union. Every time they promoted him, we moved. His job also had him traveling quite often Monday-Friday. I wanted to be in that business world. I even started working in a bank at age 16, a job which carried through college.
When I headed off to University of Wisconsin-Madison, my goal was to graduate with a degree in business and become a powerful mover and shaker in the corporate jungle. Well, as they say, “best laid plans…” It turns out I was a bit of a party animal. Those grades needed for business school didn’t quite happen, but not all was lost. I honed in on my social skills and graduated with a BS in Sociology with an emphasis in marketing.
Despite meeting what I thought was the man of my dreams, a US Army Paratrooper, and getting married shortly after college, I didn’t quite lose my business dream. I made plans to open my own yarn store in Bennington, VT with my dad’s backing. Little known fact, I am quite the crafter: crochet, needlepoint, plastic canvas, sewing, knitting, etc. You name it, I can make it. I even crocheted all 3 of my children’s baptismal outfits, but I digress. Anyway, the supply company went belly up and the store never opened. Married life turned into family life and I became what is referred to as the “stay-at-home” mom. For me, that meant being involved in all my children’s activities, book clubs, boards, and more. I even decided I had to work at least part-time, becoming a fitness instructor and personal trainer.
I was not very good at staying home, and my husband at the time traveled a lot with his work. So as the kids’ activities evolved, so did my involvement. I evolved from a fitness instructor to a gymnastics coach, so I could work where the kids practiced. I became the dance mom and the baseball team mom. My husband at the time recognized my restless nature, and began speaking with one of the mom’s at basketball games. Naturally, when you have kids, your circle of friends becomes the parents with whom you spend every practice and game. And so it was, that one of the mom’s had recently opened her own travel agency and my husband saw fit to convince her she needed to hire me.
In 2008, I went to work for my friend Sandy Brewer at The Travel Agency, Inc in Arlington, TN. Sandy was a good friend and great mentor, teaching me the ins and outs of how to book spectacular trips for clients. I truly did love working to build vacations clients would remember. I loved learning about new destinations and having the opportunity to visit them. There was one destination though that had been my dream since a child, Australia. In 2011 I became an Aussie Specialist and took my first of several FAMs to Australia. The trip truly changed me. It reminded me of that girl who had such a passion to succeed in business. In 2013, Boomerang Escapes was born.
Now getting ready to celebrate our 3rd birthday in May, Boomerang Escapes has become so much more than a travel agency. It has become a vessel for me to live a life of passion. I say “when”, and I say “how.” I have gone from solo entrepreneur to owner of a company. Currently with 6 independent specialists, Boomerang Escapes offers a full range of leisure vacation packaging. And this last year we incorporated a fitness component into the business with two of us offering fitness coaching to keep our clients “fit to travel.” Probably the thing I love most is I can continue to volunteer and donate to my other passions, namely animals. I currently adopt a koala each year from Save the Koala Foundation, have become a Wombassador to support Australian wombats, and locally I have been working with The Tennessee Safari Park and New Day Children’s Theatre. I am so excited this year to be able to take my passion for writing and share with you my fellow agents. Thank you TRO and Travel Agent Diaries for this opportunity!
Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Memphis, Tennessee. She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds. Her agency’s focus is on creating itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind. She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember. With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide ride of leisure vacation planning.