Kempf - Theme travel, it's happening right now

Sunday, August 15, 2004

"I have a dream" is one of the most recognized statements made in American history. History is filled with people who had big dreams even farther back than Joseph in biblical times. My years as a travel consultant has taught me that every person has been born with a dream, some dream big and some dream small.

I have dreams as well, of course my dreams will never carry the magnitude of some of history's grandest dreamers, but they are important to me regardless. I am sure everyone who walks through the fourth decade of their life will stop at some point to do some deep soul searching. This soul searching has many names -- but the most common is "the mid-life crisis."

Don't panic, my mid-life crisis will not include platinum blonde hair and high heels and a red Corvette. But I did discover that relationships were the things that were important to me. Especially my relationships with my creator, my family and my clients. This is why I love being a travel consultant and a business owner -- quite frankly it helps me reach my dreams.

First, having my own business allows me to be free in my faith. What a glorious country we live in where any woman can live out her dream career and walk freely in how she was created. To speak life and hope in her business without fear or persecution. As you travel the world, you see this is not found in most other countries.

Secondly, my career has allowed me to travel with my children and even take them, at times, to work with me. The deep dark truth is I am crazy about my family. I love my husband and my children and they bring me the greatest joy. I thank each and every customer who has ever allowed me the privilege to serve them because it blesses my family.

What I love about most about travel is the challenge. Every day I get to fulfill people's dreams and I get some self worth at doing a job well done.

One exciting thing going on in the world of travel today is theme travel. Theme travel is joining activities or people who share the same dream. There are so many options -- bicycle riding, rock climbing, history, art, music. If you have dream, a good travel consultant has the vacation to match it.

For example, I know many women who are now into "scrapbooking" with their photos. These women have to practically donate a kidney to pay for their habit. If my photos hit a box in storage I'm doing great! However, there are now cruises with scrapbooking parties.

If you are a poker player, guest what? There are poker cruises. We now have "Fun in the Son" Christian cruises, with guest speakers and music. Even Disney has understood the desire for people of the same faith to fellowship and has offered us the opportunity to sell packages to their "Night of Joy" with some of the world's top Christian entertainment.

I just got a call from a cruise line that is having a '70s rock fest with Styx, REO Speedwagon and a bunch of other top '70s bands. In short, if you like "cross-stitching on one leg every Tuesday, wearing a pink spotted hat," I guarantee you there is a vacation with others who like to do the same!

So if you have a dream, don't wait, tomorrow may never come. Grab that pink spotted hat and give your travel agent a call and ask what theme trips they have, and you may be surprised. Oh by the way, I don't recommend you cross-stitch on one leg wearing a pink spotted hat at the '70s rock fest cruise. Any of us alive in the '60's has already wore it!

Carolyn Kempf is president of Elite Travel in Cape Girardeau. (334-1234, 1-800-999-6003 or elitetravelinc.com)

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