There it was for all the Facebook world to see: A picture of me wearing a “Seas the Day” beach cover-up, the gorgeous pool of the Hard Rock Riviera Maya in the background, and the following status:
“Six consecutive days of difficult decision-making: Do we stay by the beach or the pool today? Do I order a margarita with salt or without? At what restaurant should we dine tonight?”
It was immediately “liked” by many who claimed to be “jealous” because they were stuck at the office while I was vacationing.
But I was working.
As the owner of The World Awaits Travel, posting that picture was part of my planned workday, designed to get people excited about the Hard Rock. It was winter, so it also served to prove to northeastern friends that an alternative universe existed. They could be shoveling sand instead of snow. Their winter-weary bones could be thawing.
I booked several clients to warm destinations that week, securing nice commissions. And I like to say that it did it all while sitting at the beach.
Don’t hate me.
I did spend some time indoors. That’s where phone and internet signals were stronger.
It also took a lifetime to get to this point. I know very well what it’s like to work at the same place, at the same time, every day. I was a teacher for 25 years.
I share the story because it reinforces what we already know: Millions of professionals in every field are able to work remotely, as efficiently as they would from a corporate office. For those of us in the travel business, that means being able to work wherever there’s an internet connection and a cell phone signal. That’s pretty much everywhere.
I remember getting a great cell phone signal in Greenland.
Today, a portable office can be tucked into a beach bag, carried on a cruise ship, and flown to Europe in a handbag. Free wifi is offered at hotels all over the globe. Many Caribbean beach resorts offer complimentary telephone calls to the United States. I download the Magic Jack app, and make free calls home from Europe with an internet connection. Wireless carriers provide $2-per-day unlimited internet, text and phone plans in Mexico and Canada. Hey, I can remember when phoning New Jersey was a long-distance call.
Our profession affords us the flexibility to work whenever we want, from wherever we happen to be. And because experiencing what we sell makes us better able to sell it, doing so is an investment in our business. The more insight we gain, the greater the potential income.
Those of us who travel already know the joys of learning, discovering and exploring the world. Earning an income while doing so is the ultimate upgrade.
Millennials, where are you?
Be your own boss? Make your own hours? Vacation as often as you like, without having to lock the office doors? It’s a whole new world.
"Commodore" Camille Pepe Sperrazza owns The World Awaits Travel, is a professional writer, journalist and educator who believes seeing the world is the ultimate learning experience. She has earned recognition with the National Excellence in Teaching Award and a journalism fellowship to Harvard University. She is the National Association of Career Travel Agents New York City Co-Chapter Director, and serves as a Board member of TABS (Travel Agents of Brooklyn and Staten Island) and MAPTA (Metropolitan Association of Professional Travel Agents).