I Rediscover My Passion

The Grand Canal, Venice, Italy

It must have to do with having a birthday.  I ask myself, “What do you want to do with the rest of your life? What is your passion?” 

And you know what?  I’ve found the answer – it’s what I wanted to do way back when I was 18!


I don’t know when I first realized that I had the wanderlust bug.  I know I told my fiance (now my husband of several decades) that I loved to travel.  Maybe it was from the summer vacation after 1st grade when my mother, father, sister and I flew to Hawaii to visit cousins, the Polynesian Cultural Center and Pearl Harbor.  Perhaps it bit me when I was 10 and my parents took an exotic trip (without me) through Central and South America.  I remember seeing their slides: Machu Picchu, llamas, women in Panama hats and brightly woven embroidered blouses.   Or was it our train trip from Mexicali to Mexico City in a stifling hot first class compartment with dysfunctional air conditioning and permanently closed windows.

Yes! Most definitely!!!

Oh, the stories I could tell!   I was 13 and I still remember the tropical fruit plate I ordered each  morning for breakfast at the Mexico City posada.  One morning upon exiting the water closet, I discovered the waiter was waiting for me. Instantly leaning over he kissed me on my lips before huskily breathing “Thank You.”

Living my junior year as an exchange student in Costa Rica only confirmed my wanderlust in a big way.

After High School graduation I did the first-timer’s quickie European trip, plus a return trip to Costa Rica.  By then I worked at a job only to satisfy my “itching feet.”

Years later my husband and I had just gotten home from a 3-month stay in South Korea when a Peace Corps want ad tempted me. But not my husband! We settled down, bought a house, had children and became practical.  That’s not to say we didn’t vacation or travel. We did, but I always wanted more.

Over the last several years this “bug” has come out of remission.  With my eldest married and my youngest starting college, we were  empty nesters.  I claim a motto : “It costs nothing to dream, and everything not to.” I subscribed to International Living magazine, and my Inbox overflowed daily with emails from Travelzoo, VacationsToGo, Frommers, Cruises-n-More, and others.

My dream vacation was to go to Italy and after saving and planning for 18 months, it became reality the year we celebrated our 50th birthdays.  It was an awesome trip and the planning was at least half the fun, if not more.

My husband called it “a once in a lifetime trip.” Not me! I wasn’t satisfied with just ONE trip; the wanderlust bug had bitten.

This time I begin to think “outside the box” about living and working in Ecuador (or Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Italy, it really doesn’t matter where) where it might be cheaper!  I explore travel writing, blogging, stock photo sales, buying international rental property, having a B&B (or a coffee and smoothie bar) and international house-sitting.

What can I do?  What would I like to do?  What is my passion?  And, suddenly it dawns on me!  It’s the same thing I wanted to do when I was 18.  Be a Tour Director and get paid to travel the world!

Googling “How to become a Travel Guide” I found the following information: http://www.ehow.com/how_138394_become-tour-guide.html

I learned that there is actually a school for Tour Directing which isn’t very far from me in San Francisco and it only takes 15 days!!!  Sounds do-able.

I’m scheduled to start November 28, 2011.  International Tour Management Institute

I’m moving forward and am so excited about the possibilities!

This story continues here: Merrill Mixer, Tour Director

3 responses to “I Rediscover My Passion

  1. Pingback: What I learned this Student Touring season | Meet You In The Morning·

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