“If you are here it is because you also want to explore the world. I want to help you do it by sharing travel tips.”
When I made this blog, I started researching other travel blogs and I saw that everyone told the same story “I quit my job and went to travel forever”. Yes, this sounds very romantic in theory, but in practice, how many people really want or can do it? Most of us have family, mortgages, jobs and other things that tie us up. But what if you could improve the balance in your life, work a little less and travel a little more. Sounds interesting?
My parents are a bit exotic and when my friends from school went to Disney in Orlando, I went to Disney in Paris or Tokyo. Of course, this was not normal, but in my head it was.
“I didn’t quit my job to go traveling … I turned my passion into my career.”
I did not study tourism. I graduated from Florida State University with a degree in human resources and multinational business. Upon graduation I moved back to Panama and started working with my dad in his sausage factory. I immediately realized that it was not what I wanted to do. My dad was used to doing things his way and there wasn’t much room for change. Also, the notion of working in a closed factory was something that killed my spirit.
I soon became independent and went to work on my own. I sold insurance because I had the license and it went very well. But selling tragedies did not fulfill me even though it produced a good income.
One day I received a call from my uncle Richard who is a dentist. He told me that he had opened a company to promote medical tourism. That was my entrance to the world of tourism, but the company did not last long. When I was selling insurance, I met an American who later became my partner. He was dedicated to buying domains and developing web pages. It was like the master degree I never did.
The domain network was called The Panama Network and was based on keywords about Panama. People wrote asking for two things: real estate and tourism. I tried to sell real estate but the clients used me as a tour guide. Therefore, that topic did not interest me. We decided to open a travel agency called Panama Travel Group.
Then we broke up and put the agency on pause. I went to work doing marketing for different hotels and with Air Panama. We worked in campaigns with the government of Panama, Honduras, Colombia and Costa Rica. Air Panama Viajes was created to sell packages for the airline and Panama Travel Group was used to make the Panama Sale Travel Show, a tourism discount fair.
Make your work stop feeling like work
If you love what you do, you will wake up every morning (well, most) happy not with lazy. I know so many people who hate their jobs, who feel slaves to their wages and accounts payable. I always knew that it would be the worst employee in the world. I get depressed about the idea of having to work on a schedule from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. tied to a desk. So I decided to be my own boss, although I have collaborated with many companies, I have never had to go to an office every day.
My work schedule is flexible. If I have to run errands, I do them; if I want to travel, I travel and if I want to spend time with my family or friends, I do. The hours are compensated whenever, it can be at night or during the weekend. As long as you have your work up to date, everything flows.
Being independent or entrepreneur is risky, you are the last one to get paid and you always have to be looking for new projects. But with experience it becomes easier, because people and companies start looking for you.
A new travel blog
I have always liked to write, although I am probably not the best writer in the world (I apologize for any grammar / spelling errors on the web). I worked with The Visitor (a tourism newspaper) and I am currently writing for La Estrella de Panama. As a journalist, I am not paid much but the jobs are fun and have excellent benefits.
Governments, hotels and tour operators invite travel agencies to “fam trips” so they know what they are going to sell. Just as they invite the media and bloggers to “press trips” to write about the sites. I manage my networks myself and in principle, I DO NOT buy followers or likes. This practice is very common and many companies are deceived. Therefore, I have a real number of followers, not millions.
I started this blog Yo de Viajes in 2017. I hope it serves as motivation and also as a tool for anyone interested in working in the tourism sector.