The Caribbean Journey Story
In 2000, when I decided I wanted a career in travel, the first thing I did was seek mentorship. I knew as a young entrepreneur in this larger-than-life industry that I would need guidance. Through a few personal recommendations, I connected with two established travel agencies. Both of them told me the same thing in different words, to run the other way. They shared depressing stories of how the internet was taking over the industry and feared their jobs would soon be obsolete.
I spent more time than I remember feeling crushed that my dream wasn’t looking very probable before deciding I shouldn’t give up. Maybe I should put my travel company online. I studied travel industry data and stats, building confidence that I could make this work.
I enrolled at American Express Travel School, hired a design team to bring my technical vision to life, and secured my first client within weeks of launching the website. I continued to service clients on my own until I started to build my team of travel advisors eight years later.
Next, after my passion for travel, was (and still is) my passion for living authentically. This translates to every area of my life. I like my food without ingredients I can’t pronounce and my skincare free of harmful additives. Most importantly, I strive to influence and encourage people to travel to destinations my team and I have personally experienced.
Starting a travel company with limited experience, I wanted to pick a region of the world I’d visited and one close enough for future quick exploratory trips. A few years before I launched my business, I spent six months backpacking Central America and six weeks island-hopping the Caribbean. These areas were close enough to the US yet still allowed visitors to experience a different culture, so Caribbean Journey was born.
I know I made the right choice because even though I’ve had to learn what “island time” means, the legendary Caribbean hospitality of my industry partners has made this job incredibly enjoyable and rewarding.
You would think that narrowing down the planet to the tiny region of the Caribbean (+ Mexico & Central America) was enough of a specialty. Yet, I wanted to make sure any business I started would have a positive impact. Initially, I wanted to focus solely on wellness hotels with sustainable practices in the Caribbean. Once again, I sought guidance, and my mentors convinced me that this idea was too small of a niche.
With the latest version of CaribbeanJourney.com, I’m thrilled to finally have a design highlighting these features. Every hotel page includes a wellness highlight, and our blog details the sustainability efforts of the hotels we visit and noteworthy companies that share our philosophy of responsible travel.
As our book of business has grown, so has our team of travel agents. After working independently for many years, I find joy in having a sounding board of like-minded travel enthusiasts in my circle.
When we built the first version of CaribbeanJourney.com, not all Caribbean hotels had websites yet. My original business plan was to recreate a brick & mortar travel agency. I needed to replace the hundreds of travel brochures agencies usually stock with a captivating online experience. I couldn’t do a five-page site with generic photos. I wanted to shine a spotlight on all the incredible accommodation choices available.
Over the years, as more and more hotels were developed in the Caribbean, the website grew. Fast forward to 2020, and the internet is saturated with travel websites. For this version of the website, I’ve focused only on my absolute favorite hotels. Places where my team and I have created beautiful memories. Places that call to us so strongly, we randomly check airfare prices and are tempted to drop everything and start packing.
Our lengthy experience in the industry allows us to confidently help clients find the best hotel for their Caribbean vacation.
Caribbean Journey is a member of The Journey Group – a boutique host agency I created to help other agents searching for guidance + support. I’m incredibly thankful that my company has not only survived this long but thrived. We’ve created the perfect balance of loyal clients and supportive travel industry partners. These relationships have allowed us to stay in business even as the industry has experienced major changes and periods of uncertainty.
Become part of our story, and let us plan your next vacation! Having something to look forward to is what get’s us all through the hard times, and I can’t think of anything more exciting than an upcoming well-planned adventure.