“Travelers are resilient” With Candice Georgiadis & Sahara Rose De Vore

Despite the massive impact that the pandemic had on the travel and hospitality industries, travelers are resilient and our desire to travel is innate. There will be a shift in these industries, just like there will be a shift in practically every industry but, this shift will be for the better. It will be a […]

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Despite the massive impact that the pandemic had on the travel and hospitality industries, travelers are resilient and our desire to travel is innate. There will be a shift in these industries, just like there will be a shift in practically every industry but, this shift will be for the better. It will be a fresh opportunity for companies to redefine what travel and experiences truly mean to consumers.

As part of my series about “developments in the travel industry over the next five years”, 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™. After receiving a degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management, she spent over a decade traveling to more than 84 countries by the age of 31. She is the founder and owner of the world’s very first certification program for travel coaches called the Travel Coach Certification Program™. Sahara Rose helps business travelers and corporate employees have more meaningful experiences that improve their wellbeing through her own travel coaching services. She is also a business coach for other travel coaches and entrepreneurs through her various programs, events, and courses. A published author and global speaker, Sahara Rose is passionate about empowering people to take control over their travel experiences and have trips that boost their overall wellbeing and give them the transformative outcomes that they crave. She is a pioneer in the travel coaching industry and has been featured in over 45 media outlets including Forbes, Business Insider, Thrive Global, Yahoo! Finance, Best Company, Corporate Wellness Magazine, USA Today, U.S World News & Report, and Skift. She is also the founder of the #ThriveThroughTravel initiative which inspires people to travel in a way that helps them thrive in all aspects of their life. She was a 2019 nominee by career-changing women in the travel industry for rising female leader, best female coach, and best innovative trailblazer. You can learn more about Sahara Rose and The Travel Coach Network at https://thetravelcoachnetwork.com/

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

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 ignore what pressures society and family were placing 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 a ten years traveling on and off to over 84 countries by the age of 31.

The first half of my worldly adventure was the most difficult. The amount of travel resources, tools, and technology was limited. I remember traveling with a flip phone, paying to use internet wherever I could find a computer, and using a paper map to navigate around new cities.

Throughout the years, I got hands on experience with shifts in the travel industry. Talking with other travelers and having my own experiences, I learned what travelers used, liked, desired, and didn’t like. I also learned what problems, voids, and shortages existed in the travel industry and for travelers. Being a millennial in the mist of the rise of social media, it shown a light on how and why people were traveling as well as the growing desire for more freedom-based jobs.

Despite having a degree in tourism and years of traveling under my belt, I struggled for many years trying to figure out what travel-related career I wanted. I was aware of what existed; travel agents, booking managers, working for a company that paid me to travel for business, becoming a blogger, or growing my social media to become an influencer just to get free trips.

I wanted to do and be some more. I believed that my travel experiences, skills, knowledge, and perspectives were far more valuable and impactful than what I was told I could use them for.

I knew that since I couldn’t find what I was looking for, I had to create it myself.

That is when I decided to become a travel coach and specialize in helping business travelers and corporate employees have better and more meaningful travel experiences while bringing a fresh take on wellness travel

I am also pioneering the path for other ambitious and passionate travelers who desire to become certified travel coaches. I founded The Travel Coach Network™ because I wanted a place for travel coaches around the world to connect with other like-minded travel coaches and experts, list their business and niche, and for people and companies to find and hire a travel coach. I designed and accredited the very first travel coach certification program to make their journey easier and clearer as a travel coach and entrepreneur.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

When I began my business journey, I never imagined that I would have created the world’s very first certification program for travel coaches. I started my business as a travel coach when the industry was at its infancy. I realized right away that there was no company or person to turn to help other ambitious travelers become travel coaches and start their own travel coaching business. So, I decided to pioneer the way. Almost 2 years to the date of registering my own travel coaching business, I became the proud creator and owner of the very first accredited certification program for travel coaches. It was only a few days difference, two years apart, to the date of beginning my business journey, a point when paving a path for other travel coaches wasn’t even a thought yet. It’s funny how the universe leads you to exactly where you need to be.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

One of the silliest things that I did when starting my business was when I launched a new group program and offered a payment plan, I accidently set it as a one-time payment which meant that I had to contact each client each month for that month’s payment until the three months were over. I learned to double check everything before making it available to my audience.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”? Can you share a story about that?

All entrepreneurs have a million ideas for their business. They want to do this, create that, add this feature, speak at that event, launch this program, etc. Starting and running a business, especially on your own, requires many tasks. In the first few years of any business, business owners wear numerous hats which can lead to burnout and overwhelm. The best thing that you can do to thrive and not burn out is to avoid spreading yourself too thin and staying focused.

I remember in the first year of my business, I was trying to bring all of my ideas to light. I was spreading myself so thin doing too much at one time that I was not focusing on the most important things that needed to get done. At the end of the first year, I knew that I needed to make changes. I decided to prioritize my ideas for my business and focus on what were more important to do first and what could wait for a later time.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

One of my mentors, Minna Whitman, the Global Knowledge and Collaboration Lead at American Express Global Business Travel, is someone who has helped me tremendously in my business. I connected with Minna through the Global Business Travel Association’s Women in Travel organization because I was seeking someone to help and guide me through my own business journey. My favorite thing about having Minna as a mentor is how open she is to hearing my ideas and helping me break through my mental blocks. I also love hearing about her beautiful location of Nova Scotia, a place that I have always wanted to travel to.

Thank you for that. Let’s jump to the core of our discussion. Can you share with our readers about the innovations that you are bringing to the travel and hospitality industries?

Those who are passionate about travel and want a career in the travel or hospitality industries are limited. When I graduated with a degree in hospitality and tourism management, I was very underwhelmed by the lack of options for careers. I then traveled around the world for the next ten years. During that time, I became aware of the “new” options for those who loved to travel. Still, I wanted more than to be a travel agent or advisor, travel blogger or writer, an “influencer”, a freelancer, work for a company that paid me to travel for business, or any other jobs that existed.

When I realized the potential and growth in the online coaching industry, I knew that travel coaching was exactly what I had been searching for but didn’t know existed, yet. I knew that based on my thousands of discussions that I held with other travelers around the world and online, that others were unknowingly seeking a dream travel career as a travel coach.

This is why I founded The Travel Coach Network™, a community of travel coaches and like-minded travel experts who help people travel better and more effectively while having an authentic business based on their specific niche and area of expertise.

I designed the world’s first Travel Coach Certification Program™ (TCCP) which certifies travel coaches internationally and is accredited by International Coach Federation (ICF). This program is an all-encompassed business and coaching program. I wanted to incorporate the business fundamentals aspect in it because of how important I know it is to have all of the information in one place and brings clarity and focus. The TCCP also shares my unique signature travel coach approach that focuses on empowerment, experience, education, mindset, intuitive travel, transformation, and more, everything that ensures that my travel coaches get a well-rounded training.

Which “pain point” are you trying to address by introducing this innovation?

Travel coaching brings more meaning and purpose to travel experiences. Travel is meant to help us improve, change, or transform in some way but that can only happen with intent and purpose. Travel coaches help travelers acknowledge their deeper reason for travel and have the experiences that they need in order to have the outcomes, results, transformation, or improvements that they seek. They do this through empowerment, education, inspiration, guidance, planning, and support.

Travel coaches also emphasize the wellbeing of travelers both in and out of the workplace. Something that business travel and corporate employees need to perform better, feel better, and thrive more.

How do you envision that this might disrupt the status quo?

Travel experts are used to staying within the mold of what is possible and travelers are use to handing over their entire travel experience to a booking agent. Travelers will be empowered to take control over their travel experiences and achieve the transformations and wellness benefits that drive their urge to travel in the first place. Business travelers and corporate employees will benefit from their enhanced and empowered experiences by reaching specific goals and improving their wellbeing while combating burnout, boosting work performance, and putting paid vacation time to best use.

As you know, COVID19 changed the world as we know it. Can you share 5 examples of how travel and hospitality companies will be adjusting over the next five years to the new ways that consumers will prefer to travel?

It’s no secret that COVID19 took a huge hit on all industries, especially the travel and hospitality industries. Despite the devastation that the pandemic caused, we need to find some positivity and hope for the future. The silver lining for the travel and hospitality industries are the shifts that they are making for the better. Here are five examples of how travel and hospitality companies will be adjusting over the next five years to the new ways that consumers will prefer to travel.

There will be a focus on traveler wellbeing

Yes, companies are going to address the concerns over traveler’s health and safety post COVID19 but there will be a new found focus on wellness. Before the pandemic, the wellness travel industry was on the rise as well as the start or shift in wellness programs in the corporate world. Companies are realizing that travelers and employees want to feel understand and cared for. They want to have experiences that are tailored specifically for their wants, needs, and desired goals. Travel agencies, booking managers, human resources, and other travel or wellbeing-related sectors will be taking a more human-centered approach to their services and programs that ensures that the individual meets his or her goals, outcomes, or transformation, whether that is in their personal or work life.

There will be a new definition of “experience” which will include more location, culture, and people.

The word “experience” was beginning to lose its true meaning but things are about to change. Travel and hospitality companies will take a closer look at their definition of experience. People want an experience that makes them feel something, inspires them to do something, helps them achieve something, or transforms them in some way. No longer is the expected. Instead, people will want something more meaningful and goal-driven. Companies will be tuning into the location, culture, and the people. What kind of experience can someone have based on the location? Are there great hiking spots? Is there clean calming beach air? How about walking around the city’s main center? Is there a hidden gem that will put them in awe? How about the culture? What kind of experience can they have that gives them a taste of what the local culture is all about? Is there a local market to try new cuisine or fresh local treats? Now, what about the local people? Human connection is a key ingredient to travel and hospitality. By having experiences where the surrounding environment, culture, and people are involved, consumers are more likely to have the mindset, professional, wellness, personal, or other goals that they seek.

There will be more control put back into the hands of the consumer

Consumers are use to travel and hospitality companies taking full control over their experiences beginning at the planning phase. The more involved that consumers can be in their overall experience, the more likely they are to have the desired outcomes and experiences that they want and need. What you will see companies doing is creating resources, tools, and guidance that focus on empowering the consumers to take control over their experiences, tailoring them towards their specific needs, and have the skills and knowledge that is needed to simplify the process.

Topics like budgeting, destination, accommodations, including family members or loved ones, travel hacking, personal or wellness goals, and professional goals are only a few areas that consumers will be able to be more involved in.

Companies will hire a travel coach

To help put control back into the hands of the consumer, companies may hire a travel coach. Travel coaches are travel experts who specialize in their own area of expertise or niche, whether that is family experiences, couples travel, solo adventure, work-life, employee vacations, female travel, cultural experiences, or any other specific niche. Travel and hospitality companies will seek the services of a travel coach to help gain a deeper understanding of the consumer and have a more traveler-centric approach to the experiences provided depending on what exactly that individual is looking for.

Travel coaches, depending on their niche, may focus in business travel, employee travel, wellness travel, transformative travel, family travel, adventure travel, travel photography, remote work, work-life improvement, women empowerment, solo travel, or any other unique area of expertise based on their personal experiences and training. If a company has a travel coach available or in-house, consumers will have the opportunity to have an expert to help them achieve the personal, professional, or wellness goals that they want through travel.

There will be more intention and purpose behind travel experiences with desired outcomes.

People traveled for more meaningful reasons before COVID19 hit but they didn’t always acknowledge their true purpose for travel. Whether it was to heal from a tragic life event like a loss of a loved one or to cope with a divorce or a breakup, to spend time alone doing some soul-searching or to do self-reflect, to find inspiration for your future or work-life, or maybe to reconnect or strengthen a relationship with your partner, children, friends, or family. Whichever reason drives you to travel, there is an underlying purpose. People crave a change, outcome, transformation, or result during and after a trip. Post COVID19, there will be more meaning behind why people get on a plane, train, or other mode of transportation to get away and have the kind of experiences that they desire.

Despite the massive impact that the pandemic had on the travel and hospitality industries, travelers are resilient and our desire to travel is innate. There will be a shift in these industries, just like there will be a shift in practically every industry but, this shift will be for the better. It will be a fresh opportunity for companies to redefine what travel and experiences truly mean to consumers.

You are a “travel insider”. How would you describe your “perfect vacation experience”?

Have you ever gone on a vacation and returned home feeling even more exhausted or unsure of things than before you left? We travel for deeper reasons than to just get away and relax on a beach. We travel to heal, seek, restore, refresh, connect, and more.

My perfect vacation experience would be to return home with the transformation, changes, results, or revelations that ignited my vacation in the first place. In order for this to happen, I must acknowledge the real reason for why I want to travel and then be intentional and mindful on my trip.

Can you share with our readers how have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I know how hard it is to start a business from complete scratch. I know what it’s like to struggle with what direction to take my ideas in and how to lay the fundamentals down in a business. Therefore, I am passionate about inspiring, helping, empowering, and guiding other ambitious travelers and entrepreneurs, especially women, to create and build their dream travel coaching business. I believe that you can’t give away too much free value so I highly enjoy doing my free trainings, providing free resources, and creating programs, opportunities, and events that truly make an impact.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

It is part of my mission to inspire people to use travel as a way to thrive in their personal and work life. My movement is called the #ThriveThroughTravel initiative and represents the idea that travel can be used to help people do and be their best in all aspects of their life, work, and wellbeing.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SaharaRoseTheTravelCoach
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thetravelcoachnetwork/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sahara-rose-de-vore-4b8bb394/

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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