There isn’t just one way to scale to success. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all of the noise on the internet on using this, buying that, this is how to do it, everyone does that but, do what works best for you. Just because something works for one person, doesn’t mean it will work for you. Listen to your heart and stay authentic. Don’t be afraid of trying and failing until you find what is best for you.
The COVID19 pandemic has disrupted all of our lives. But sometimes disruptions can be times of opportunity. Many people’s livelihoods have been hurt by the pandemic. But some saw this as an opportune time to take their lives in a new direction.
As a part of this series called “How I Was Able To Pivot To A New Exciting Opportunity Because Of The Pandemic”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sahara Rose De Vore.
Sahara Rose De Vore is a Travel Coach and Founder of The Travel Coach Network. She uses her decades of travel expertise to help people have meaningful and transformative travel experiences that improve their overall wellbeing, personal, and professional life. Sahara Rose is a published author and has been in more than 60 media outlets including Forbes, Business Insider, Thrive Global, and Authority Magazine for the mission to reshape how and why people travel. Visit her at https://thetravelcoachnetwork.com/
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
I grew up as an only child to a single mom. We could hardly afford to keep food in the cabinets, let alone see the world. Therefore, travel seemed so far out of reach for someone like myself. Plus, no one in our family or community was a traveler. Our idea of traveling was family road trips from the north of the U.S to south Texas to visit my grandmother’s family near Mexico but, I was so young that I only remember bits and pieces of those adventures. I had a wanderlust soul and no idea where it came from.
I have always had an artistic eye so every time that I would see beautiful photos of lush green rainforests and colorful tropical birds in Costa Rica and other incredible places around the world, I was simply in awe. I saw movies with sky-high waterfalls and the most stunning white-sand beaches. I knew that there was a whole world out there that I needed to explore but, how could I ever make that happen?
Well, I was determined to and I did.
When I graduated over a decade ago from university with a degree in hospitality and tourism management, I was very underwhelmed by the lack of diversity in career options. At the age of 22, I was unsure of the life that I wanted to have and what my passions were. I was struggling with anxiety and bouts of depression and knew that whatever it was that I was going to do with my life, I wanted it to bring me happiness, purpose, and I wanted to make an impact on the lives of others and the world.
I decided to take a very unconventional route and ignored what pressures society and family were placed on me. I booked a one-way ticket to Europe, packed a suitcase, and set off to find the answers that I was looking for.
I wound up falling in love with how much travel was helping and healing me that I spent over ten years traveling on and off to over 84 countries by the age of 31.
This was the catalyst to creating my dream travel coaching business.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“The universe will only give you what you can handle.” This quote has never been more relevant to my life than when I started my business. When you try to do too much at once and don’t dedicate your energy to what needs it most, you are putting a limit to what the universe will provide for you. There’s a reason why you aren’t reaching your desired goals. You need to open your heart and put energy to where you want to thrive. Allow the universe to guide you. There is a reason for everything, it is up to you to recognize that and accept it.
Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
I absolutely love the book “Connected to Goodness” by David Meltzer. This book reassured the importance of being kind, being of service to others, and making a positive impact in the work that you do. In this book, David tells you how you can attract and manifest what is that you want in your business. This approach has helped me sculpt my business and better yet, how to maintain a positive mindset when things are seeming to go your way.
Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. Can you tell our readers about your career experience before the Pandemic began?
Before the pandemic happened, I was building my business as a travel coach for the everyday traveler and growing my second business, The Travel Coach Network, a global community of travel coaches. I was helping people have better and more effective travel experiences through travel advice, empowerment, and mindset work. I also was running a travel coach program that taught other passionate travelers how to start and grow their own authentic travel-related business. At the very beginning of the pandemic, I was in London for a business travel convention where I took part in the wellness area of the event floor and spoke with various companies on their approach to travel wellbeing.
What did you do to pivot as a result of the Pandemic?
Since the pandemic, although it putting the entire travel industry to a complete halt, it also opened doors for new opportunities in the travel space. At the start of the pandemic, companies were already toying with wellness programs or a travel wellbeing approach for their employees or consumers. What Covid did for this area of travel was push the topic of wellbeing to the forefront of the entire industry. Travel companies are changing how they speak to and attract the new type of traveler, studies are being done on what the future travelers wants and needs, and companies are looking to integrate a more in-depth wellness approach. What I did to pivot was focus my travel coaching approach into risk management and the wellness industry in terms of travel wellbeing. I am helping to redefine what travel wellness really means and reshape how and why people travel for their personal and professional life. The pandemic also inspired me to get my travel coach program accredited and turned into the world’s only certification program for international travel coaches because I knew that travel expert of all kinds will be pivoting their own approach towards more meaningful and transformative experiences centered around the traveler’s wellbeing, goals, lifestyle, and mindset.
Can you tell us about the specific “Aha moment” that gave you the idea to start this new path?
I wouldn’t say that I had an exact “aha moment’ but rather, a deep understanding and belief in the travel industry as a whole. Travel is innate in us humans. People crave and need travel to heal, connect, learn, grow, transform, and develop, meaning that travel isn’t going to go away. So much of the world depends on tourism as their driving force for their economy. Companies depend on business travel for more effective relationships and growth. Therefore, it never worried me that the travel industry was put on pause. Instead, I saw it was as a reset, an opportunity to rethink, change, create, and innovate.
How are things going with this new initiative?
Since my new approach, I have been getting great feedback and much interest from companies to help educate and equip their employees and consumers with the necessary information and resources to have more purposeful, intentional, and effective travel experiences that will improve their overall wellbeing, boost productivity, or provide specific desired results or outcomes. I was even invited by a global organization for business travel to join their risk management committee to bring in fresh ideas and a newer approach to the meaning of risk management.
Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My mentor David Melzer from Sports 1 Marketing and the podcast The Playbook. David has been my mentor from the very beginning of my business journey. He has been such a positive inspiration on me and helped me reshape my mindset around entrepreneurship. When I began my mentorship with David over two years ago, I was still a backpacker hopping around South America trying to find a place with decent Wi-Fi to hold a call with him. Now, David is one of my biggest supporters and is the prime reason for the growth and direction of my business because of his encouragement to think bigger, be strategic, ask questions, ask for help, and to be of service to others.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started in this new direction?
I have had several wellness consultants, health organizations, and risk management professionals show great interest in my ideas with brings a lot of hope to my mission to redefine wellness travel.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my organization” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- You can’t do it all alone. I have always done everyone on my own and had to figure things out but there comes a point in business where you need to learn to delegate. It was hard for me to hand over control in areas of my business but the more that I was holding off on doing so, the more overwhelmed with everything going on got. I needed to realize the importance of building a team that you love and trust and focus my time and energy on what was most important for me to keep growing.
- Don’t be afraid to invest. I grew up in a lower-income household and I come from a background of a budget backpacker so letting go of money was difficult for me, especially when income isn’t where you want it to be when starting off. I needed to quickly learn how important it was to not only invest in my business but also in myself. I realized that when I finally learned to let go and to trust the process and invested, I always got a return which enabled me to grow even more. Invest in mentors, coaches, personal growth, your mindset, a team, networking, and your business overall. It’s one of the best things that I did even though it was one of the hardest to. Investing doesn’t only mean financially though. Be sure to invest your time and energy into your business to nurture and grow it as you envision.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. When I first started out in my business, I quickly found myself comparing my success and growth to that of others. What I realized that I was doing was hindering myself from reaching my truest potential because I was giving time and emotional energy to what others were doing. That’s when I decided to regain my power and my focus and trust in my own journey.
- Trust in your own journey and process. Everyone’s process is different. You don’t know everyone’s truth, only what you see put out there, yet you compare yourself to them. Take your power back and believe in your own process. When I regained my focus on myself and my own business, things began to take off! Everything is meant to happen when it happens, how it happens for you. Embrace your journey.
- There isn’t just one way to scale to success. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all of the noise on the internet on using this, buying that, this is how to do it, everyone does that but, do what works best for you. Just because something works for one person, doesn’t mean it will work for you. Listen to your heart and stay authentic. Don’t be afraid of trying and failing until you find what is best for you.
So many of us have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. Can you share the strategies that you have used to optimize your mental wellness during this stressful period?
I have expanded my online community of like-minded people. It’s important to never feel alone, not only in business but also during these unprecedented times. The support, encouragement, and friendship that I have gained from them has been invaluable this year. I also began taking more time for myself by doing things that I wanted to do and that I needed to do. These things include taking better care of my health, getting more sleep, turning off my laptop and work-mode on the weekends, and doing things that make me happy like being creative and art.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
A part of my mission is to grow a movement in my Thrive Through Travel Initiative. This movement is about the acknowledgment that travel has a powerful impact to improve the mind, body, soul, and work-life. My goal for this movement is to inspire people to share how travel has impacted their lives and why they turn to travel for their own unique reasons as well as encourage companies to take travel off of the back burner and move it to the forefront for thriving in wellness and in the workplace.
Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!
I would absolutely love to have lunch with Arianna Huffington, the founder of Thrive Global. She has always been an inspiration to me since the beginning of my business journey. It is a dream of mine to collab with Thrive on a future project for travel wellbeing.
How can our readers follow you online?
Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!