Inspirations

Why start this company?

I’ve always daydreamed of visiting far off places, and grew up with the annual road trip in the family camper. My first passport stamp came from a visit to Germany when I was 14 to visit my sister, who was living there as an exchange student. Everything about the country amazed and impressed me. I fell in love with the rush of tasting new flavors, applying the little I had learned in German class, and learning the many differences and similarities of our cultures. Really, a cool trip and I thank my parents for taking me and my sister for giving us a reason to head that way rather than do the usual summer road trip.

A few years later, I was given an incredible opportunity to travel with a friend, who was really more like a grandpa to me. In his late 70s and challenged with walking (which never deterred him from his annual round-the-world tickets), my dear friend Frank took me to visit his part-year home in Oxford, England (as he also lived part-year in Roswell, New Mexico and Hong Kong), and then on to islands he’d always wanted to visit — the outer Hebrides of Scotland.

As an expert globe trekker, Frank showed me that the world is a stage for exploring, journeying, and connecting with incredible people. He helped me open my mind to ideas I just hadn’t considered from my small pocket of the world. We ventured off the typical tourist track and into the heart of the far-flung  islands where we spent an afternoon with the local taxi driver, who was also the school bus driver in the middle of his afternoon kid-dropoff. We cruised along in a bus full of students, chatting with them all and taking in the lovely countryside. Everyone we met on that trip was wonderful, and I learned so much about cultures beyond, and absorbed the joys of performing arts (as we took in a handful of plays while in London). From getting rained out in the middle of nowhere to squeezing into rush hour of the London Underground, and even locking my passport out of reach just hours before my flight home, all was a delightful adventure (even if “delightful” wasn’t the feeling at the time). It stirred new meaning in travel for me, and I’m forever grateful of Frank’s hospitality to include me in his journey.

Recently, Frank, the most brilliant, interesting, humorous, admirable man I know, passed away. I miss him dearly, but it was his time. Now, to honor him and the generosity he shared to open up my journeying path, I’ve created a business that looks to the core of what travel is all about. Connecting, expanding, exploring, giving, learning, laughing, living, loving. I firmly believe that the more each of us gets out of our own little everyday life and sees the world with our curious open-minded eyes, then this world will just get better and better. More peace, more knowledge, more understanding of how our lives are intertwined with all countries, cultures, animals, and landscapes in this great big beautiful marble we call Earth.

As Making Travel Happen grows, we’re also growing a fund to allow young adults (like me on that Scotland trip with Frank) the opportunity to travel afar and receive an incomparable life-learning experience.