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Start Your Business Success Stories

How My Childhood Adventures Fueled My Passion for a Travel Career

How My Childhood Adventures Fueled My Passion for a Travel Career Credit: Tracey Codd

My childhood was nontraditional to say the least. It seems my entire life was spent moving from one location to another. By the time I graduated college, I had attended over 40 different schools over the course of my life.

I was born in Staten Island, New York and resided there until I was six years old. I spent many weekends with my paternal grandparents who would share stories of their parent's adventure arriving in the United States by ship from Ireland. I was amazed at the thought.

The adventure of travel began when my mother told my sister we were moving west – we packed the car in the middle of the night and began our adventure. My mother had a gypsy soul and was raising two toddlers on her own at the age of 21, so it wasn't common for us to stay in one location for very long, and this continued throughout my childhood.

On my 17th birthday, my mother said she was ready for her next big adventure. However, I decided to forgo this one and start my own path. I found a roommate, lived on my own and began to pursue a career as a flight attendant.

While the on-again off-again moving was exhausting, my passion for travel ran deep. I was ready to turn all my childhood adventures into a career.

While in school, I was offered a job in Osaka, Japan by American Airlines, but I found myself reluctant to take the opportunity. I decided to clear my head and vacation with some friends who had broken into the travel sector. Little did I know, this would be my first of many cruises.

On the cruise, I met a businessman who owned a travel agency. After talking further, he told me to call him to discuss a job – so I did just that.

I spent over a decade working for the agency until they sold to a large corporation and closed. I made the transition to entrepreneurship shortly after when I obtained my sport pilot license and opened my own travel agency. I partnered with a friend, and a few years later, he heard of the Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise opportunity and was determined to meet with their executives to convert our agency. We flew to Vancouver for a meeting.

The hook for me was incredibly simple. The Expedia CruiseShipCenters president, Matthew Eichhorst, arrived a few minutes late. When he walked in, he started apologizing for his tardiness, explaining that he had to take his kids to the dentist. For me, this made him incredibly personal and emphasized how the brand was a family company and not just another large corporation.

By the end of the meeting, I was completely on board and ready to sign on.

Today, I am the proud mother of three children and even met my fiancé Dan through Expedia CruiseShipCenters. We own and operate three locations and love to travel the globe together.

I am able to see the various aspects of cruises from both a franchise owner and a family standpoint, which consistently proves travel appeals to everyone. It's my vision to open more Expedia CruiseShipCenters in the coming years.

My heart is and always has been passionate for travel; I don't envision a day that will ever change.

About the author: Tracey Codd is the owner of three Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchises across Florida. Embracing her passion for adventure, Codd sought out jobs in the travel industry, keeping her love for travel afloat. Her passion led her to become a sport pilot, dabbling in the cruise industry and finally becoming an owner of Expedia CruiseShipCenters.

Edited for brevity and clarity by Sammi Caramela.