Many people ask me what the impetus was for starting Hibiscus Tours International Ltd. 35 years ago and how it evolved into my latest venture – the Real Estate Travel Academy. When I reflect back on my wild journey, the key factor that comes to mind is my pursuit of LIFESTYLE.
In fact, I took it to the next level back in the 80’s when I packed up my son and moved us to St. Vincent & the Grenadines, a place I had previously visited and said that I would return one day. It was a gutsy move at the time, taking a leave from a tenured teaching position, renting out my home (now there’s a whole other story) and leaving the family pet with friends. Add limited technology with no cell phones or computers, and setting up a home in a foreign country with a vastly different culture and you will see why my family and friends thought I was absolutely stark raving mad.
This brave move took considerable thought and was not an impulse although naivety certainly played a part in my decision. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial and adventurous spirit so in the end, I held my breath, took control and jumped into uncharted waters. When I reread my diary, I certainly feel the angst of those first few months. Had I done the right thing? Each day felt like a test of our survival. It was hard without a support system close by but as time went on I accepted my decision and moved forward with living my new life. From these roots, my cultural tourism business emerged and is still growing 35 years later.
The catalyst for this major change was my desire to spread my wings and pursue the lifestyle I had imagined. I’m sure many of you have pondered your own lifestyle over the past year, reflecting on your life, what it means to you and how you want to change it once the world recovers from the pandemic. Oh, the opportunities that await us!
Here’s how Google Assist defines Lifestyle noun 1. The way in which a person or group lives. What caught my attention most, was the fact that the word lifestyle was not viewed as something in the future, but where we are right now.
One of the first considerations before venturing forward with any new dream or venture is to ask yourself “Where am I now?” Taking stock of what you have, what’s working, and what’s not, is an essential part of the process. If we’ve learned anything, it’s that life is finite. I’m fairly certain that we will see a LOT of people making some pretty big changes over the coming year.
I myself took a huge leap of faith when the pandemic came and wiped out my travel company’s revenue for at least 2 years. Not one to sit still, I had the crazy notion of blending three of my passions – travel, education and real estate to develop and launch the Real Estate Travel Academy – a membership platform for global real estate investors. It made sense to me and so I took the leap and invested in myself launching the company on New Year’s Eve. A celebration for sure!
Change can be terrifying but also very liberating. Do I regret the way I’ve lead my life – absolutely not – because that would take me down a useless rabbit hole. Have I made mistakes – absolutely! Have I learned from them – well I’d like to think yes, for the most part. All the hard knocks in life have made me the person I am today and they are part of my unique story. The rest is yet to be written…. and I can’t wait! Big or small, please share your hopes and dreams for your post-pandemic lifestyle in the comments section below.