Friday, July 13, 2018

5 Years old and growing!

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine this blog taking off like it did, or having the staying power and relevance it does.

When I started this blog back in 2013, it was with the intention of making this a springboard for my opinions in Travel, the Airline Industry, and Luxury.  I dropped the Luxury bit real quick and focused on everything travel related.  It was a very slow start, the first posts were averaging a total of about 20-50 reads.  Pitiful really, but hey, you have to learn to crawl before you can learn to walk.  

When I shut down my first agency, Vintage Travel, and started working for Egencia (I refuse to say I worked for the third party contractor, I represented Egencia, not them, to the folks on the phone), my posts started gaining traction, but still, maximum reads were in the 250-300 range.  At the time I was thrilled, as I thought I was finally on the uptick.  More and more entries were made, and by the time I left Egencia to start my second, and final at home travel agency, the Gold Standard Travel Co., I was drawing around 500 reads per post.  Having never been at that level, I was thrilled.  Then I met author, thespian, and all around great guy Thorman Hulse, and he helped me hone my writing craft.  I owe a HUGE amount of gratitude to Thorman, without him, I more than likely would've given the writing game up for dead, especially since i was getting no support from my wife at the time.  So Thorman, if you get a chance to read this, thank you, dear sir, from the very bottom of my heart.  I owe you and Kathy immensely for the friendship and support.

The jump happened when I was caught up in the self-made implosion of the fly-by-night scam airline SkyGreece.  I was working for a shady faux travel agency in Salt Lake City and I had been watching with growing alarm that planefuls of travelers were stranded in Athens, Greece, Budapest, and Toronto, due to the grounding of this airline's sole aircraft.  I managed to help get a few travelers back across the Atlantic home, and followed up and got caught up in the unfolding drama of this scam.  My following write up of the drama  (The Perils of Pride)  caused a windfall of reads, and then kept bringing them in, averaging about 1100 to 1200 reads per post.  That post, along with a writeup I did on the actual downfall of the first airline I ever worked at, TWA (Setting the Record Straight), boosted my daily readership higher.

It wasn't too much longer after that, and after a bitter and bloody divorce, I was invited to become an Agent with the American Automobile Association (AAA).  It was no secret I had wanted to be an agent for them since I first became an agent back in 2009.  From what I know, I was the 3rd or 4th Agent in Utah hired by AAA to help them open up their Travel operation in their huge new Member Service Center in Clearfield, Utah.  Thanks to several trips and multiple postings every quarter, and support from quite a few folks in AAA's Travel Dept, my postings have reached more people and further away than I ever imagined, so a HUGE shout out goes to my incredible employer, and my amazing and fabulous clients.  Thank you, one and all, for making this blog reach an average of 25,000 reads per post!!  Another huge shout out to 2 people in my own office, Rolene and Angela, for pushing me when needed, and pulling the reins in as well, you have shaped me as an agent and I look up to you too and consider you both mentors in every sense of the word, and hopefully that has come through in my posts since being hired in 2016.

Well, that was the first 5 years, let's spin the globe and see where the next 5 will take the Jetsetting Globetrotter.  Thank you, one and all! 

Shortly before the beginning of FL310, on top of the Acropolis with my Dad.

5 years of refinement as a Travel Agent, photo credit AAA.

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