Re-purposing Travel with Sahara Rose Devore
Now that travel is on hold, we are longing more than ever to escape to dreamy and exotic resorts. As the saying goes: you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.
I consulted Sahara Rose, Travel and Business coach, CEO, owner of Sahara Rose Travels, LLC, and the founder of The Travel Coach Network™ . Her mission is to create the first and largest online network of travel coaches who change the way that the hospitality and tourism industries provide fulfilling, empowering, and transformative travel.
Being an expert and pioneer in this niche, she shines the light on re-purposing travel, travel coaching and the impact of Covid – 19 on the travel industry.
Sahara, let’s start from the beginning. Recently, I read an article in Forbes Magazine that said travel coaching is the new, hottest trend.
How did you come up with the idea to become a travel coach?
“I realised that there’s people like you and me who want to make something more out of a job, fuelled by their love of travel, but didn’t want to be a typical travel agent. There is a lot more to the travel industry than the classic jobs; there is so much more. That is what I encompass in my Travel Coaching Network: to encourage, inspire, support and guide travellers, mostly women, to do something more out of their experiences so they have something that makes them happy, gives them money, and they can create of their own — all while making an impact on the travel industry.”
“Travel coaching is all about empowering people, inspiring them, supporting them, encouraging them (…) so they can have the travel experiences, outcomes and results that they want.”– Sahara Rose
Did you face any challenges building up your business, being a pioneer in travel coaching?
“Oh yeah! It’s been a very long and bumpy road. When you start an online business and when you put yourself out there, there are so many opinions and feedback. During the first six months, people were so confused about what travel coaching really was — they thought it was the same as being a travel agent and that would make me so angry.“
How did you overcome that?
“I learned how to shift that anger towards shedding a light on my message so I could create clarity about what travel coaching really was. I even enrolled in a publicity program which has helped me so much — I got featured in over 40 media outlets: Forbes, Business Insider, Thrive Global, …— all to put my message out there.”
You quickly progressed from traveler to travel coach. What has led to you become a coach for travel coaches, too?
“When I was getting started, there was no one that I could turn to. I wanted to create what I needed and what I wished someone else had provided to me. I wanted to make it easier for other travellers to go down the road of travel coaching. My program contains everything I did to get there — from how to start a business, to marketing, software, defining your niche — it took me a year to accomplish this (though, I am forever learning). I am glad I didn’t have the resources then because it gave me the opportunity to start TCN to pave the way for others.”
“The concept of starting all of this submerged after I began. I thought travel coaching already existed because it made so much sense for me. One day, I got a message from someone that was interested in becoming a travel coach and who didn’t know anything about it. I wondered why they were asking me about it instead of just Googling it. I just thought it just made sense — until I Googled it and saw that nothing came up. Then I just ran with it, I knew I had to take ownership of it.”
“We need to follow our hearts and create more of what hasn’t been done before.”– Sahara Rose
“I created the TCP (Travel Coach Program) — which is now going through a beautiful transformation to a certification program, it will be the only certification travel program available right now — what is exactly what I was looking for after 10 years of travel, when I was getting started. There is so much more us girls can do to make an impact.”
Let’s talk about the current corona situation and the travel industry. I just read your article in Thrive Global about introducing a new way of travel after the COVID-19 crisis.
Tell me more about this shift that is happening right now.
“Before covid-19, people went to travel for deeper reasons but they failed to acknowledge why they were travelling or they didn’t know how to use the experience to enhance their wellbeing. So much research has shown that travel enhances your wellbeing in many ways: cognitively, mentally physically and spiritually. There is so much depth in there . Because we can’t travel, we miss travel and we are realising why we valued it so much in the first place.”
“People have fears but they are not afraid to overcome their fears.We will be looking to travel as an outlet to help us get through what we were in for so long.”– Sahara Rose
“This is the time where people are struggling with so many things at the same time: emotionally, mentally, physically (not being able to be outside), and travel was able to help us with this beforehand. Now that we are in isolation, we are ever more yearning for it. The travel industry is going to bounce back (our human desire to travel is very resilient) but it’s going to be different. People are going to re-purpose travel to help us through what we went through with COVID-19, to better ourselves and our lives and to give us clarity.”
How can travel coaches step in? How does this influence the niche?
“That is a great spot for travel coaches to come in and say: I can help you obtain that. It’s all about empowering people, inspiring them, supporting them, encouraging them and helping them figure out the right tools and resources so they can have the travel experiences, outcomes and results that they want.”
What do you think this new future of travel will hold?
“No one knows yet. But as far as the big travel industry leaders are saying, people will be looking for more in-depth experiences, more meaningful experiences — which is what travel was for me all along. The travel leaders talk about the new depth of travel and helping people focusing on their wellness and enhancing their wellbeing. That is, as far what I can say, what the future of travel will look like.”
How will the average traveller experience this?
“People always have fears, for everything. After 9-11 people were very scared to travel. That was a time when the travel industry and the people were shocked. But people are resilient: we are native travellers, we have an internal desire to travel and travel leads us to so many ways. We have to reflect on how can travel benefit us for the future so we can live healthier, stronger lives.”
“People have fears but they are not afraid to overcome their fears. That is a great place for travel industry leaders and travel coaches to give a helping hand. That’s what I love about travel coaching: providing that encouragement and empowerment and support because it is what people are going to need. We will be looking to travel as an outlet to help us get through what we were in for so long.”
Who inspires you the most as a (travel) entrepreneur?
“David Meltzer was my very first mentor and he is someone who has overcome a lot of setbacks and he built everything back up again. His perspective and the way he gives back to people has always been an inspiration for me.”
“However, there isn’t really someone in the travel industry that has inspired me is because people are doing a replica of what someone else does in a different way: eg. starting a new hotel line. There hasn’t been a lot of disruption in a good way. There is so much more to travel industry than to create what’s already been done. We need to follow our hearts and create more of what’s not been done before.”
If you could travel anywhere right now, where would you go?
“Right now I would love to go back to Israel. I fell in love with Tel Aviv: the scenery, the people, the beaches, the nightlife, the food, everything. But also; Tel Aviv is a booming tech industry and they focus on the wellness industry. It’s the second most uprising tech industry and that has always intrigued me. I was supposed to be there now and I’m itching to go back there — I’ll probably go live a couple of months there when this is all over.”
Do you have any tips for beginners in the field of travel coaching?
“I always tell people to look within: what does travel means to you? What do you love most about travel and what got you to choose this industry, above all the others? Why is it that travel has put you on this path of wanting to help people and make a difference, make an impact in some way on yourself and on the world? Find out what is true to yourself and all these things in your life, then you can include travel into it so you can better help people make a difference in their lives.”
“There is so much more us girls can do to make an impact.”– Sahara Rose
“Go back to your story and see where it began. What has drawn you to travel, what transformations has it given you? Often, in travel, we overlook all of this and we just say: I love to travel! When you’re able to figure out what travel means to you, then you’re able to figure out: Who do I wanna help most? Who identifies most with my story?”
“My definition of travel coaching is it being very authentic: helping people in a way, from your authentic travel experiences, that resonate with you, your story, your expertise and your skills. Everyone has something different to offer and is can stand out from the rest.”
After starting up her own Travel Coaching business, Sahara Rose took the next step to train future travel coaches in the making to provide fulfilling, empowering, and transformative travel. After the COVID-19 crisis, a re-purpose of travel will take the lead, as we travellers will use it as an outlet to get through what they went through. As people are resilient, the urge to overcome their fears and everything they are struggling with after COVID-19 can be resolved through purposeful travel and a travel coach guiding them along their journey.