Chasing my dreams!
I used to think that dreams and ambition go hand in hand. Well, no longer. Over the years, the ambition has waned, but the dreams have become stronger and stronger. Perhaps it is because you grow in your career and achieve the milestones you set for yourself, or maybe it is just a maturity thing.
My Mom used to say: ‘A dream is a goal not yet achieved.’ I like that quote because it allows me to believe that the things I dream about can become a reality if I put enough effort and dedication into it. You may wonder what I dream about. Well, over the years, I have had many dreams and hopes, but the one that has remained constant is my love of travel. I like to believe that I have a severe case of wanderlust. My great grandparents came from France to Africa, moved across the continent from South Africa to Kenya to Tanzania to Zimbabwe, and eventually back to South Africa.
I have been blessed with many opportunities to have traveled to many countries over the years, starting with Germany to become an Au Pair after I finished high school. Traveling through Europe cemented my love for travel. Instead of coming back to study to be a Chartered Accountant as planned, I became a Travel Agent. I loved every minute of it. But as time changed, life took me on a different route to where I am now. This has not deterred me from living my passion on the sideline. I have kept my dreams alive by running a dive business that I could arrange trips for our divers and friends; I also used to be the go-to booking agent when we traveled anywhere with friends.
I am currently in the process of building my dreams by establishing an online travel agency. While I’m working on my website (watch this space), step 1 has been to become a Booking.com affiliate. I love Booking.com. I trust Booking.com, and therefore, I am proud to add their service to my website.
You can find the link on my website, tanyakeller.online – select the Booking.com | Official site | The best hotels & accommodations explore button to take you to the website.
Travel is such a rewarding hobby, and therefore, every opportunity I had, I have explored a new destination and plan to visit many more…
Some trips that stand out in my memory were my trip to Dubai in 1995 when Dubai was a village, and there was really one road from the airport to town. Visiting the souks and then the beach area – which was about half an hour drive from town back then – through the desert! Going back in 2017, it was amazing to see how the town had developed into a massive global city where the beach area is part of the city!
Another memorable trip was the one where I was ‘sold’ in Egypt for 500 camels under duress by a client, and scuba diving in the Red Sea on my first Travel Educational – people in the Travel Industry will know that these are at the same time both fantastic and terrible trips where you explore destinations and visit endless hotels for ‘insight’ into the destination you are visiting. I was fortunate enough to explore quite a few dive sites as well!
I remember being part of the team that won the yearly South African Airways competition of being the travel agency that sold the most tickets for the year. We were rewarded with a trip to Bangkok, business class all the way, as a team. On that trip, we had Tuc Tuc races through the streets of Bangkok. I have been back to Thailand four times – various regions of the country and loved every one of those trips.
My trip to Malaysia coincided with the first large-scale air quality disaster. The influence of the 1997 fires in Kalimantan and Sumatra on ambient air quality was evident by July. It peaked in September/October before weakening by November when the delayed monsoonal rain extinguished the fires and improved air quality within the region (Goldammer & Heil). I remember completing nine flights over two weeks. When I was on the ground, it looked like thunder clouds covering the air, minus the rain. As we took off and the plane gained altitude, we flew through the smog and haze into the brightly shining sun above. Malaysia did some cloud seeding to try and alleviate the smog, but with little success. I was caught in one of these cloud seeding episodes in Kuala Lumpur and got drenched on my way back to the hotel. It was strangely freeing running through the street with my shoes in my hand soaking wet.
Then there was the time I spent traveling Europe on a Eurail pass with my Mom. Sleeping on overnight trains, walking with backpacks, and visiting Euro Disney. I will never forget the ride playing ‘It’s a small small world’ over and over again!
My trips to the States were also filled with fabulous memories, both business and leisure. The one that stood out was when Ian and I traveled to Orlando, New York, and Jamaica with the boys. Ian and I got married on the beach at Beaches Resort in Montego Bay and spent precious time with the kids. Not only did we make friends for life on that trip, we actually got to feed hummingbirds and dive with dolphins.
As COVID raged on, I think we all started suffering from cabin fever, and with some countries opening up, the time for planning trips are fast approaching.
Where will you be traveling next? And will you consider using my Booking.com link to book your accommodation?
Goldammer, J. G., & Heil, A. (n.d.). Smoke-haze pollution: a review of the 1997 episode in Southeast Asia. Regional Environmental Change, 2(1), 24–37. Retrieved 11 24, 2020