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Volume 19. Issue 9. 29th January 2019. View Online
Imelda McCarthy chats to us about life as a Travel Counsellor

After 14 years working for a tour operator specialising in South East Asia, Cork-based travel specialist Imelda McCarthy felt that she needed to make a change – both in her professional and personal life.

Whilst she was really enjoying selling travel, primarily to the travel trade, Imelda felt like she wasn’t going anywhere in her career and she started looking for other options. She wanted flexibility in her own life to spend more time with her two children who were growing up so quickly. In 2017, she felt the time was right and she made the decision to set up her own travel business with Travel Counsellors.

Since becoming a Travel Counsellor, Imelda’s family have all noticed a massive change in her energy, while she says she has much more time for herself which allows her to play her music – something she has always been very passionate about and which she has passed down to her children, Amy and Conor. Her husband Donal has been a huge support to her from the beginning and has really encouraged her every step of the way. Imelda’s biggest fear was about finding her own client base as she didn’t have one when she first started. Donal tells us that he has been Imelda’s best referrer and says that he has been telling everyone he meets about her travel business. Imelda says the support she has received from the company and her fellow Travel Counsellors has been incredible.

“This is much more than a job. This is a family business which we have invested a lot of time and energy into and the more successful it is, the better it is for us as a family. I am part of such a positive community of supportive people, and I have access to the best booking system I have come across throughout my career. My business is doing better than I could have hoped for, and I feel very lucky that I can see a stable, secure future for myself and my family.”

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Travel Counsellor friends and colleagues Imelda McCarthy and Emer McDermott
Travel Counsellor friends and colleagues Imelda McCarthy and Emer McDermott
Sarah McCarthy – 13 years as a Travel Counsellor

In its second year in business, Cork-based Sarah McCarthy joined Travel Counsellors Ireland. That was in 2006 when her son’s Frank and Danny were both young babies. 13 years later, she juggles raising three children and their fifteen different training sessions a week as well as a very successful travel business! Sarah has been one of the top performing Travel Counsellors globally for the last ten years.

In 2018, Sarah and her family moved into their new home where she added a garden office which she feels has been such a fresh start for her, the family and the business.

Listen to Sarah as she explains about when the kids were younger it was necessary for her to be in the house with them but now that they are older and more independent, she can head out to the back garden and work from her own space without having to check on them every few minutes. Sarah’s flexible work hours mean that she can also work around her children’s increasingly busy schedules and allows her to spend quality time with her family. Being her own boss also means that Sarah can head off to their summer home in Kerry each summer, and her business can continue as normal from there.

Sarah says that the support amongst the Travel Counsellors community is very special and unique. “I am so fortunate to work with such a progressive and supportive company. We all run our own travel businesses, but we are not in competition with each other at all. Each Travel Counsellor is very supportive of each other and are always helping each other out – we all want to see each other get those bookings over the line…”

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Travel Counsellor Sarah McCarthy and her husband Donagh McCarthy
Travel Counsellor Sarah McCarthy and her husband Donagh McCarthy
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