How buying a travel franchise enabled me to be my own boss, enjoy dream holidays and build my dream home in Cyprus…. in my sixties.
Action woman Marietta, aged 62, from Hampshire, skis almost every winter, has scuba dived the Great Barrier Reef and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.
Despite working in travel, for a tour operator then AITO, nothing seemed to satisfy her wanderlust and no adventure was too big a challenge.
She’s even helped deliver a yacht from Athens to Tahiti, navigating the boat past enormous cruise ships and tankers through the busy Panama Canal.
However, after the pandemic shut down global travel, Marietta was made redundant. Her full-time role was no more and she feared facing age discrimination trying to find another job at 59.
But as one door closed, Marietta opened another, taking the decision to become her own boss.
After training as an independent travel consultant with The Travel Franchise, she made her first booking for a friend’s holiday in Italy just a few weeks later.
Since then, her business has continued to blossom.
Bookings have flooded in as customers appreciate her extensive travel experience and last year she received her biggest commission ever after organising a holiday just shy of £60k to South Africa.
“Until redundancy, I never had the confidence to make the leap myself,” says Marietta.
“Now that I have, it’s liberating. I’m using my long-established contacts and time on the phone to build my own customer base. Age discrimination can’t affect you when you’re your own boss!”
Marietta still travels on holiday and on agent FAM trips to destinations including Costa Rica and Cape Town, exploring the world and extending her knowledge.
“I have always been in awe of travel agents, unable to comprehend how they can retain so much information about destinations and operators. Now I’m one of them!”
Marietta also enjoys the fact that she helps others.
“My client base is mainly women over 50 who, like me, feel that life is for living – with no regrets; we still have a desire to explore the world, and to create our own adventures.”
And Marietta is currently busy creating her next adventure – she has bought a plot of land overseas and plans to build her own home….
“The freedom of being my own boss has also given me the freedom to move to Cyprus! The great thing about the franchise is that I can run my business from anywhere!”