Germany, Uncategorized

The Broken Explorer

I got my first taste of traveling when I was 18 years old, getting the opportunity to go to Italy, Monaco, France and Spain the summer after high school. However, my adventures were far from over.

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That winter on break from college I hopped on a plane for the first time by myself to visit my mom’s friends in Germany.

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This definitely helped build my confidence abroad as Kassel was not the final destination from Frankfurt on the train I had to get on, leaving me to ask locals in English. This friendly couple helped me get on the right train by asking a train conductor which way to go. I don’t normally advertise trusting strangers but I had no other choice. Little did I know at the time how kind-hearted the German people are!

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Did I mention I really didn’t know what the family was going to look like? While I was standing at the train station not knowing what to look for I was greeted with friendly smiles from the family that I would make my own.

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I then began my journey to explore the Christmas village in Kassel, found a new home in Scherfede, and fell in love with Warburg, Dusseldorf, and Paderborn.

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Fast forward to last year where I became a travel agent. Me? A travel agent? Oh yeah! I now get to share the world with everyone!!

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I got to plan trips (although I have a hard time planning my own, sorry Gretel) talk about amazing places, and get people excited every day.

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I could make people fall in love with places I have visited and gave them special insight about how to make the trips truly special. However, it was not meant to last.

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I couldn’t keep up with learning each and every hotel, giving “special feedback” on a place I have never seen, how to make a trip perfect for a place I researched while I was talking with someone. I couldn’t make the sales, and I fell.

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Although I saw the end coming and prepared for it, it was the last meeting with my manager that devastated me.

I tried my best to make sales but always fell short because with the hundreds of resorts, cruises, and airlines, there were always something that I “missed”.

That, I could understand.

It was the stack of paper sitting under her hand that was the trigger.

“These are complaints I have received about how you have been planning trips…”

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…and people’s vacations were ruined based off of your recommendations.”

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I’m the travel guy…I have my own travel blog….and based off of my recommendations I ruined people’s trips? I left that office a different person, not Kyle the GKexplorer, but Kyle the Failure. The one thing I thought I was good at and I failed people.

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I sent someone on their honeymoon to Cancun and even though I have never been to the Caribbean I did my best to research the best hotel for them, asked my “to busy for me” coworkers for help, and when he went down I heard that the weather was terrible. Was he in that pile?

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I sent Gretel’s friend and her boyfriend to Las Vegas and recommended where to stay and what to do, was she in that pile as well? How many trips have a ruined?

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I told people I was “let go” because I couldn’t make the sales goal, but I neglected to say what my manager told me. That I ruined people’s trips. My authority was stripped from me. I stopped talking about travel completely, didn’t have a right to have a travel blog, didn’t get excited about travel.

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I lost my travel agent title at the end of February, it is now May and I am now just talking about it. I thought and thought and thought about what could have been in that pile, and I realized something; That pile included the people that I closed out because they stopped contacting me, the difficult time-consuming trips I had to put on the back burner, the bad weather, the bad service I couldn’t control, the places I have never been.

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Talking with Gretel, her friend that went to Vegas, loved the trip I planned for her. She wasn’t in that pile. I didn’t fail her.

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Walking around Germany I saw buildings that were destroyed or completely gone, hearing “This was destroyed during (insert war here)” yet they rebuild for a brighter future.

It is time I do the same.

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Danke!

-K

1 thought on “The Broken Explorer”

  1. Kyle
    Vacations are like anything else in life .
    If it’s not perfect make the best of your opportunity and be happy your able to be there..

    Liked by 1 person

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