I began my career in travel in 2000, working for TV Travel Shop, the only travel company at the time to have a dedicated TV channel. The company was later sold to an American consortium that owned Expedia, which allowed me to broaden my travel knowledge and achieve promotion within the company.
Despite having four young children, I was determined to pursue my passion for travel. I worked around my children’s schedules and threw myself into a job that I loved. The experience was nothing short of exhilarating.
After the company was moved to Ireland, my colleagues and I were all made redundant. Although I didn’t work in the industry anymore, I kept in touch with many of my friends from work, which also meant that I still got great discounts, as I still loved to travel with my family every year. I also tailor-made my own holidays and helped friends and family with theirs, so I was a personal travel agent of sorts, without the pay.
I went on to have a great career in the housing sector and my husband and I bought two properties in Portugal as an investment. We had many fantastic family holidays there and decided that we would like to build our own house and retire in Portugal. We started the journey in 2018 by selling our properties and buying a plot of land. This was a very hard decision as our children were reproducing at a steady rate and we had three grandchildren at this point.
Our house build started in 2020 and was built throughout the pandemic. I travelled to Portugal when I could and had weekly meetings with the architect by Zoom every week. I do love a spreadsheet, so I kept him and the builders on track with what ended up being a huge number of spreadsheets, containing every detail I could think of. I’m sure that they thought I was mad, but it got the job done.
Finally, in 2021, we retired and moved to Portugal. It’s been an incredible journey, and I’m grateful for every moment of it.
It’s amazing how life can take unexpected turns. After a busy career, I found myself with more free time than I knew what to do with. I decided to try something new and joined a few classes, including yoga. It was there that I met Jackie, a whirlwind of a lady who would change my life forever.
Over coffee, Jackie told me about TravelTime World, and we discovered that we knew a few of the same people from the travel industry. Jackie was looking for a part-time assistant, and I couldn’t jump at the opportunity fast enough. Since 2022, I’ve been working remotely from Portugal, and I love every minute of it. The TravelTime team is wonderful, and it’s a pleasure to work with them.
But that’s not all. My family continues to expand, and I now have six grandchildren who visit regularly, including Christmas. It’s a joy to see them grow and learn. And then there are our two puppies, who were rescued from inside a bin. They’ve brought so much love and laughter into our lives.
I’ve become an expert with a mop and can often be heard shouting “pack it up.” But I wouldn’t change it for the world. Life is full of surprises, and I’m grateful for every moment of it.