Reason For Roughing It

John McMahon

Check out the photo directly below: It’s of me, just outside Vail, CO, in one of the most pristine and tranquil places I have ever been to. How humbling it is to be in such a beautiful place. But what you don’t see in the photo is the 45-minute, off-road experience we endured to arrive at this little slice of heaven on earth; a fist-clenching ride that made my stomach turn—but I wouldn’t have changed it for anything! Along the way we saw campers and bow hunters enjoying the wilderness of the Colorado mountains.

In my company was Jim Richardson, an award-winning photographer for National Geographic. Just that morning I listened to Jim give a lecture on his life experiences traveling the world. I was attending the Vail Summit, a VIP travel industry event organized by travel marketing firm MMG Worldwide.

The second photo below is the one I will frame. It captures the place in time and makes me grin, glad that I didn’t come in on a wagon or I would have never made it out like this old wagon wheel. What Jim taught me was that it’s not always about the photo, it’s about the journey and you can only hope that the photo captures it. Well, this one did it for me. Colorado Mountains

As luxury travel advisors, you need to take that journey. Yes, it may be bumpy at points and you may sweat a little, but some of the best travel advisors have told me about the tough times, how they earned their spurs and what they learned along the way. For you young agents out there, I suggest you attend our Young Leaders Conference at Luxury Travel Expo on December 7. We just released our conference program at This event will help smooth out your journey to becoming top luxury-travel sellers. You will learn from other young professionals on how to sell in this ever-changing environment. Then, you won’t have to rough it!

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