Episode 85:

Lessons learnt from taking a break - Burning the candle till it goes out

You can listen directly here. 

Ever wondered about the hidden lessons from travelling to Malaysia and India? In this episode of 'Travel Agent Achievers,' I'm pulling back the curtain on my family's incredible journey, diving into the insights we stumbled upon. It wasn't just a trip across countries; it was a deep dive into ourselves, cherishing every moment with my loved ones and the thrill of stepping into the unknown.

I'm all for breaking away from the daily grind to find renewal and fresh perspectives, pushing you to find your own escape routes too. I'll share stories of learning patience, appreciating the simple things, and a special moment that hit home for me—a warm, heartfelt chat over chai with a local Indian family. This encounter highlighted the beauty of connecting on a human level and the importance of being in the moment. That simple hospitality taught me to slow down and value real, human interactions.

Motivated to create more meaningful connections, both in person and online, I'm looking at 2024 with hope in my heart. I want to inspire you to find quiet in the chaos, to plan with intention, and to rekindle lost connections, emphasizing the power of personal ties.

This episode isn't just a travel log; it's a guide for anyone looking to find balance, explore new places, and forge deeper relationships. Come along as I share how stepping away can truly transform your life.

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Links Mentioned in the Episode

50 Things to Get help with in your travel business

2024 - Travel Agent Achievers Blank Calendar

Quotes from this Episode 

"You really can't plan, organise, be efficient, or effective when you are coming from a place of chaos."

"We need to slow down sometimes in order to speed up."

"Life is short. So make sure you make the most of it."


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"Lesson learnt from taking a break - burning the candle till it goes out"


Ros: Hi there Travel Agent Achievers. It's Ros here. We are already into February 2024. And so I don't know, am I allowed to still say Happy New Year? Is that still kosher? I'm gonna say it. Welcome to 2020 for everyone and, and I hope that you are doing really well today. There's a couple of things that happened over the Christmas break for me. And so I wanted to just share with you a few lessons that I learned from this recent trip that I had, I took my family away to Malaysia and India, it's not destinations that I thought we would travel to. But as we approached halfway through last year, I really felt the need for me to be able to connect with my husband and my son. And I just wanted to really spend some time together as a unit. And also together just to experience something differently. I think in travel, I get the most beautiful opportunities to travel the world. And we create and curate experiences for our clients. But it was a massive, massive, yeah, so for me, I just asked my husband, whether it was okay if we took off over Christmas, and just have some quality time together. And it's definitely been one of the most important things that I think that I have made the decision to actually do. So today, sharing with you a few different lessons, there are definitely three key takeaways. But there's a whole lot of different things that came up for me as we traveled. So if you haven't had a holiday, and I've been having conversations around this over the last few weeks, definitely all throughout January, as I returned to the office and returned to enter the business. If you haven't had a holiday in a few years, I really want to encourage you to have a look forward for 2024 and even for 2025. And see what you can block what you can book in what you can plan and prepare for to have something that just gives you life and gives you energy, but also fuels you up so that you know what you can look forward to. There are great agent deals out there. If you look for them. If you connect with your favorite suppliers and wholesalers, you need to ask, obviously, and one of my preferences and what my clients say to me all the time is well rules do you get the most amazing deals. And for me, in my business, I really like to be able to travel the way that my clients would. And so more often than not, I do not tell a hotelier or a property that I might be going to because I want to see how my clients would be treated. When booking, you know, their experiences, I don't want necessarily some special treatment or upgrades or bonuses, I want to see what they're actually doing for my clients. So, you know, when I did go to my first hotel,

I wasn't overly impressed, to be honest. And I thought if this is where my clients are being treated, and these are the rooms and experiences that they're getting, I don't know whether I would be 100% happy. So I did have to speak up.

But I think everybody does their own thing. So if you haven't had a holiday in a few years, or even if you did take a short break over Christmas or the holiday season, then what are you going to do for 2024? And 2025? Are you doing things differently? Are you going to do the same thing? Are you booking something now? Are you planning for it? But what are you going to do to give yourself that time to wind down and really just take a break and disconnect? The word disconnect doesn't really work for me because I often I always think oh, that means that I can't have my phone with me. For me, I do I have my phone with me. I do check my emails on a daily basis. But I'm not necessarily jumping on the computer to be booking things or getting back to people straight away. It's more about for me that just the connection in case anything is, you know, happening that I need to be there for but it did take me I want to I want to say about a week to string a sentence together and I don't think it actually hit me. You know how the year had affected me until I arrived in Malaysia and I was sitting by the pool. And a famous couple came and spoke to me and said you know what do you do like what what's your life like? And I was surprised at that they would come and talk to random strangers but be I thought they saw me at 

On my computer breakfasts. So they were curious. But it did take me a while to string a sentence together. And I picked it up because we started talking about travel. And we were talking about our experiences and where they'd been over the last few months and what they done and what they liked and what they didn't like. And I, when I was replying to them, it was in my head, the sentence was in my head exactly what I needed and wanted to say, but it came out all jumbled up. And it wasn't just that I was, I got the name wrong of a river in Europe that I could see it, I knew it. And I knew the word and the name, and it came out something totally different. And I felt really silly. But it made me realize that I had just been going and going and going. A lot of travel last year, a lot of different things on the go. A lot of big groups that we handled, Travel Agent Achievers, that podcast, I was trying to do a whole lot of different things. And I think my brain just said, You know what, enough is enough. So we're going to jumble things up for you.

So I wasn't really able to be effective, or relax into the trip until about a a weekend to the holiday. And one thing that came up for me in that moment was that you really can't plan you can't organize, you can't be efficient, you can't be effective, when you are coming from a place of chaos, when you're coming from a place of busyness when you're coming from a place of distractions. And so I was thinking, how can I do things differently for 2024, 2025? What can I do to make sure that I take care of my own health, my brain capacity, and also still show up and serve, you know, my clients both as Travel Agent Achievers, but also in my travel business as well. So there was a lot of thinking that happened for me and one place that we visited. So I then we had Malaysia for Christmas. And then we traveled on to India for New Year's and we joined a small group tour. I had some friends that came with us as well. And it was surprising. I've been to India a few years ago. And I that was for a client of mine on a big scoping trip. And so when I returned to India, this time, I knew some of the people I had a bit of an understanding about what to expect. But the reason why we went was for the experience and to really immerse ourselves in the culture and the destination. And so one of the big things that I took away from India was culturally the patients. And when I say patients, it for me, was slow down. It was be ready for anything. 

It was everybody there was doing their thing. I didn't find personally from my experience this time. And this is the second time that I've been, I didn't find that it was filled with the 1.4 billion people. I didn't feel the chaos, I felt a lot of calm. And I felt quite a lot of patients as well. And it's probably because I didn't spend, you know, a week or two weeks in Delhi, we spent a couple of days. But the patience for me was everything will happen.

Everything will happen. Some things take time. Consistency is key. And it's okay to allow things to take their cause. You don't have to do everything right then and there. You don't have to be a certain person. You don't have to do things that everybody's saying, Oh, wow, you should really do this, you should do that. And so for me, patience, gave me the freedom to relax.

And when we mixed up our travels, you know, always it just reminded me that we need to slow down sometimes we need to slow down in order to speed up. That gratitude is absolutely crucial in life. And I am so grateful not only for our community with Travel Agent Achievers, but my friends, my family, you know, the people that support me, our travel business, our team, I'm so grateful for that. And I also wanted that for my family and in particular my son. When we travel, he gets beautiful luxuries and you know, our clients do lots of different things and I want him to be grateful and not have have ego in a sense, which is what we talked about in India, and that life, life is a journey and life can be hard and to be grateful for what we have? No, everybody has a different way of life. And everybody experiences things differently. And there is no right or wrong there. In my eyes, there is no judgment, it is around, that's your life, that's how you want to live things, is that in line with my values, is that in line with who I want to be is that in line with who I want to work with, and making decisions based around my values and who I am, and who I want to be in order to show up for other people. So it just reminded me to to have those things. And I think, as we come into 2024, and being February now, like, really, the year has started so quickly, the amount of people that I've spoken to over the last six weeks already have shared how busy they are, that they are already feeling as though things could potentially over the next few months get out of control? How are they going to manage the things that they really want to achieve. And so, for me, it's bringing back that simplicity. It's bringing back the steps and the slowing down, to be able to breathe, in a sense as well. I'm like you guys, I have a huge to do list every day, I have a team of staff to take care of. I work incredibly hard in our business. But I'm also very intentional with family that I am there to pick up my son from school if he needs me to take him to his sporting activities to be there for dinner if I can, or if I'm in the country or around home. I want to be intentional with that because life is short. But it also reminded me of the simplicity, as I said before, and one of the most simple things that happened for us in India was our toolbars got a flat tire. Now this was after our bus driver took a wrong turn. We ended up off the highway, traveling down some back street to get to a small town called min Dalloway. And it was like we were lost. But then we were lost on a dirt road. No houses or anything around it was very much farming community. And we got a flat tire. And so we came up to a house and the bus driver pulled over. They said all everyone just stay here. We're just gonna check it out. Well, we for me, I was like, No, I'm getting off. I want to see what's going on here. Because I'm curious, I want to learn not that I want to learn how to change a tire. But I'm curious as to what goes on. And so we we got off the bus, the flat tire was definitely there. And so I encouraged my son and everybody else on the bus. I'm like, Come on, let's all get off. And our tour guide Ravi shout out to him. He was amazing. He, he said tomorrow's let's let's go for a walk. So we went for a walk up to the farmhouse. And he went in and spoke to them. There were cows in the yard. They had a beautiful small vegetable patch. Inside Outside living a separate shower bathroom toilet like it was it was like what I felt I remember growing up living on a farm, probably a little bit more rustic though, and they definitely didn't have the luxuries that I had as a child. And with that, Ravi spoke to the homeowners and whilst our bus driver and his assistant were fixing the bus and changing the tire, the homeowners, the daughter and the mother made us chai tea from scratch. Now this was making and building a fire. They'd run out of gas so they didn't have gas to boil the milk and the milk was straight from the cows that were on the property. So they boiled it all up, they ground the ginger they put the TN they did all the things the sugar came out it was it was all there and all made beautiful directly for us. And it it was such a precious experience. And the reason why it was so precious was it reminded me of how here in Australia, I used to say to a friend like I'd just pop in for a cup of tea. I mean you just go and have coffee with somebody. It didn't have to be a big two hour meeting or catch up session or anything like that. It was just let's just pop in for a cup of tea. It might have been 20 minutes and a half an hour and then you move on with your day. And so for me sitting there and having Chai with a local family. You know, Ravi was explaining things to me to the family, how we, who we were what we did, and learning about them. It, it was such a beautiful experience, reminding me of the simplicity of life and human connection, that it was something that I was very intentional to bring into 2024 Whether I am able to pop in and have a cup of tea with you, or see you around and be able just to stop for five minutes and check in that is what I want to be more intentional about this year and the simplicity. So it was it was around this, this stopping. And as we say, on the saying goes, you know, stop and smell the roses. That was really important for me. The other thing that was really important is I you may not know this, but I get carsick when I travel. So I'm not the best passenger. And often when I am the passenger, I get frustrated, because I want to work. And so I will then drive. So my husband and I take it in, in turns, most of the time he prefers to drive, but I do get carsick. So, whilst I was on the bus, I was also able just to watch the scenery and life, there were no iPads, no phones, no computers, for me, I was able just to be very present. And that was important for me to allow my brain, you know, to relax, to find the words, to appreciate what was going on around me to see the surroundings, to experience India in a way that I hadn't experienced before and enjoy it. It was really, really cool for me to be able to do that, because life is short. And I am hearing as well that a lot more people are intending to do their bucket trips. They are wanting to plan for the experiences now that they thought they do in later life. But oh, look, let's just organize it and do it now whilst we can. Life is very short. And I think we're seeing that more and more now. And as I get older, and I'm not I don't think that I'm old. I just think there is more hurt, disappointment, sadness going on. And I want to bring happiness into the world. And so where are you at with that? Are you feeling as though life is short? You feeling as though you you want to stop and smell the roses or do things differently, being able to reform human connection and check in with those friends that you haven't spoken to in a while or be able to spend time having a virtual coffee, if you can't see somebody in person, are you able to just to organize to catch up with somebody and have a cup of tea while you're on the phone. There are lots of different ways that we can do this. And I often find that even my own family won't call me because they say but you're always so busy. And that makes me really sad. Makes me really sad because I love my family. But if they feel as though I'm so busy that they don't want to interrupt or disturb me, that says something more about my life than it does about theirs. And it also means that I need to flip the switch on that if I want to have a relationship with people, then I need to be the one that reaches out. And so I'm going to be much more intentional about that this year.

Now after my first week, and then the travels through India, the anxiety disappeared, the headaches, totally disappeared. I didn't have any headaches in the world could have also been the foods you know, with preservatives and stuff. I don't know. I haven't thought about it that much. But there I think that there was definitely a lot of stuff going on in my own mind to say you need to slow down. And all of those worries and anxiety and pressure and stress and thoughts really just disappeared for me. 

I wanted to make sure that it was an experience where I was able to slow down and stop. My team were also able to take a break. So I wanted to make sensible choices. I wanted to listen in on what was happening on the tours. I wanted to read up and do research. I didn't do any of the research and read up on on the experiences before I actually went. So I was intentional with listening at every available moment, listening, learning, understanding, asking questions, and I felt so much more informed at the end of the trip and also much more appreciative of the culture and the experiences that we were able to have whilst on the ground. You know, with the team in India, it was really different for me. But I think some of the biggest lessons learnt throughout the experience were definitely to be able to slowdown, that in business, you need systems and processes and structure, if you want to be able to take a break. Now I didn't have to do a whole lot of work whilst I was away, I allowed and wanted my team to take a full break. So I did the banking every day and just checked all of that and made sure that that was all working. But we were also very intentional to say, we knew when final balances were due for clients, if there were people that were traveling, how was that all going any alerts that came up. And we were very fortunate to be able to make sure that everything was covered with who we had on deck and the things that needed to be done. But without having systems and processes in our business, we wouldn't have been able to step away and I personally wouldn't have actually been able to take a break as such.

The other thing is when it comes to planning. And so for me, I am a big planner, I like to know what's coming. But I've also learned that things that I like to plan for are often also in my head. And so when it comes to my team, we do planning sessions together, we do catch up sessions together, we have team meetings, we know all our processes and systems and who's doing what, but we also I want the team to know where we're going as a business and where I'm going to be. So I often think oh, it's alright, I will work wherever I am at any time of the day on I will still work. But the reality is when you are traveling, when you're off on a famil, when you're at a conference, when you're on a site inspection, you cannot be working. So how are you going to manage that? And with the planning, then comes also knowing what's next? And so do you know what sales you want to achieve for 2024? Do you know what marketing activities you need to work on to make sure that you achieve the sales that you want to do? Do you know who your clients are that you want to speak to connect with? Do you have your customer journey there. So planning is really important. And what I have also done and I will pop it in the show notes as well for you is a special link to a 2024 Canva template that you can print out your own 2024 calendar and just mark on it, you know, cross off the days, the things that you're going to be away for. And one of the most precious things that will come up for you is when you see how much you might be traveling or how many days off you specifically need or whether you've got any family trips, for meals, conferences, any of those sorts of things, you will look at your yearly planner and say, Wow, there's so many things that are going on, what am I going to do in order to get through it? What do I need to do to have something to look forward to? What team do I need? What support structure am I going to need in my family life and also my work life, and what's next. So the 2024, calendar Canva template for you, if you go to travel agent achievers.com, forward slash 85, you will be able to get all of these resources that I'm also going to talk to you about. So the other thing that I learned was around team and having clarity and really good communication, who's doing what, in our team, we do have a number of staff and support people. Now that helped us within the travel business. So they are doing the administration, they're looking at the customer service, they are looking at our client journey. They might be following up things connecting with hotels, sending out letters, welcome home things, there's a process and with the processes and systems also needs to come communication and clarity around roles. And so one thing that we've already worked on this year for 2024. And we will continue to do so as well is really have a look at our team and see who's doing what, where we need support and help whether the role needs to be adjusted at all. And this is a continual process. The reason why I bring this up is because often as business owners were doing everything, you're doing the sales, you're doing the marketing, I was just talking to an advisor today. And she was saying, oh my gosh, I need to get on social media. I don't know how to do it though and comparing themselves to other people. And comparison it is is one of the biggest ways to stress yourself out because you're looking at the front end of somebody else's business, which is the image that they portray, and you're comparing it to the back end of your own. So I'll say that again. Comparison itis is where you are comparing the front end of somebody else which is the image that they're portraying to the back, back end of your business, which might be the admin or the clients, you've got to get back to, or that you haven't done social media in a couple of months, it doesn't matter, any of that sort of stuff. The real facts are in who you are and how you want to show up. And so getting clarity in your message, your marketing and understanding what it is that you need to achieve in order to reach the goals that you want to this year, how are you going to make it all work? Do you know what sales you want to achieve? With marketing? What's important to you? Is it showing up and doing Instagram stories and social media? Or is it having human connection and real life conversations one on one with your clients, not everybody needs to be on social media, I do think that we need to have some form of presence there. But I don't think that you need to be there every single day posting about your whole life. And if that's not who you are, and not how your business is, then don't force it. But have a look at what you can and can't do and what works for you. Do you need to get somebody to help you with these things that knows that way better than you do.


We also got our operations banking needs to be done every day, your finances need to be done every day, you got accounting, you know, here in Australia that has payments that need to be sorted, your taxes need to be paid every year, you are a business owner, and therefore we need to be an adult about it and really step up and say, Hey, I'm gonna get all of these things done. Because it takes the monkey off your back, or it reduces the stress when you know when these things are coming up and when they need to get done. And then you've got your systems and the day to day operations of the business who's doing what now I created our 50 things to outsource, you know, 50 things in your travel business that you can potentially get help with by having a support staff member. Now you might be listening to this and going Ros, I can't afford a staff member, how am I possibly going to train them? How is this all even possible? What I want you to do is just to see right now I want you to grab at the end of this podcast, the resource which is our 50 things to outsource, go to the show notes travelagentachievers.com/85. And mark it out have a look at the things that you are doing now. Are these still things that you want to do? Are these still things that you could potentially let go of? Now once you've got that we can talk about getting job descriptions hiring staff? Are they part time full time contractors, you name it? Are they working with you next to you or are they working offshore somewhere in a totally different timezone? It is all adjustment, and it's also your growth. But it really comes back to taking that step back and working out what it is that you want for your travel business. So my recent trip to Malaysia and India, it was exciting, it was a great way for me to take a break, do something different, go to places that I haven't been to before or haven't been to in a while and really explore them with my family so that I can have more lessons, more opportunities to grow as a human and learn. I learned lots of things. And I hope that 2024 is also a year of learning for you. But not only learning taking action, doing what makes you happy in your travel business. And also in life, life is short. So make sure you make the most of it. I want to see you working on today something that makes you happy connect with somebody that you haven't spoken to in a while, whether that's a client or a friend or a family member, just reach out and say hi, let them know you're thinking about them. Because it's the first step in you being able to do something for yourself this year, but also connect with others. Thanks so much for listening. 2024 is going to be an amazing year. I'm so excited. Keep up to date with this with all things that are Travel Agent Achievers, not only on social media, but through our website as well our emails that come out.


I'm not so good at actually encouraging you to buy something from us because for me, I want you to learn but I want you to take action they want it to be the right thing for you. So know that anything that I send out is with intention for a specific purpose. I don't like spam email myself so I don't send it. Keep in touch. Always reach out to me know that I'm here for you. I am championing your success and look forward to seeing where you go in 2024. Bye for now.