In Honor of USA Sun Vacation Sale!

Flight Centre currently has an amazing offer for packages to USA Sun destinations, like California, Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii, Florida, AND Puerto Rico! We are offering $200 OFF PER ADULT for custom packages which include flights from Canada, accommodation (3 nights minimum), and an activity. You can email me any time for more information: cate.ciu@flightcentre.ca  . In honor of this sale, I wanted to include a couple of my own highlights from some of the places on the list!

  1. Dole Pineapple Plantation in Hawaii
    Oahu is breath taking. The Hawaiian culture just inspires the ultimate sense of CHILL. The pineapple…ahem CHERRY … on top of the trip, was the my visit to the Dole Planation, where I tried delicious pineapple ice cream and looked my very best in a bikini (haha get it? because I am a pineapple in the pic below)
  2. Grand Canyon just outside Las Vegas
    I did Grand Canyon independently the first time, and with a tour the second. I highly recommend the latter. There is so much to see, and it is pretty difficult not to get lost in the “awe” of it all during your visit. Also, the tour company packed an amazing snack box and provided comfy, festive blankies for when it gets nice and chilly at the Canyon.

  3. Disneyland in LA
    My first visit to Disney was as an adult, and I cried from accidental joy. Also, try the churros.
  4. Do everything in Phoenix!
    I love Phoenix, AZ. Like truly love it. The long highways and the tall palm trees are music to my soul. It’s home to the BEST BBQ joint in the universe (no exaggerations here) and huevos rancheros that will make your mouth taste like heaven. If you want to go to Phoenix, we need to CHAT.

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Why I left a promising academic career to be a travel agent. Part 2: Not all those who wander…

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First order of business, you can read Part 1 here.

Like Lewis Carrol once wrote,”If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” So, here I was.

I think the biggest problem is that we sometimes don’t ask ourselves what we want, and that’s what happened to me. When I started my Master’s degree, I knew I wanted to do a good job, but I had no clue what I wanted to do afterward. My life was a Chopped ingredient basket: aimless, and somewhat ghastly. [Sidenote: I am speaking to the Canadian version of Chopped, which is particularly merciless to its contestants. Turducken? Are you kidding me?]

Back on track.

It seemed as though I had no one to turn to. “My life has been about studying others for so long, it’s as though I have neglected myself. If only there was school for THAT,” I thought to myself. But there was…..OPRAH’S LIFECLASS. Only she could put me back together.

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I knew I had to have a tough conversation with myself. I had to ask myself what I wanted. Not what other people want for me, not what I have been told I am good at, but what I am truly all about. Since the Hamburglar role was already taken, I had to think of a plan B (joke).

My truest, greatest passion in life is people. I wish nothing more for myself than to have a positive impact on people’s lives. This is why I have studied Psychology, Social work, and Education. But often, those disciplines just teach people to live in their own heads. And I can personally attest to the fact that when you open yourself up to the world, your life can be transformed. For example, experiencing Cuban culture showed me how much we over-rely on material things, and visiting the Alhambra taught me that present day architecture has nothing on the Nasrid dynasty. Traveling enriches our minds and our hearts by showing us how insignificant we really are…and it makes us kinder, braver, and wiser. And this is what I want to do for others…to open up the world for those who want to see (trademarked by Flight Centre, but I can relate to the sentiment).

Image courtesy of PBS
Havana. Image courtesy of PBS.

If I may with another quote: “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” I suppose, I’ve arrived now. From the ivory tower of academia to a simple desk at my travel shop, and I couldn’t be happier.

So, hey you, what do you really want? Whether you are day-dreaming of experiencing magic at Disneyland or are gathering the courage to take on the highest peak of Bolivia, I want to help you get there.

cate.ciu@flightcentre.ca

Business Thursday: 5 Apps Essential for Business Travel (Part I)

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Continue reading “Business Thursday: 5 Apps Essential for Business Travel (Part I)”

Why I left a promising academic career to be a travel agent. Part 1: The Lizzie McGuire Effect

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I have been trying to write this post for 2 weeks now, but just can’t seem to get it started. Thinking of how I got here makes me both laugh and cry, but as the great Kurt Vonnegut once said “I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.” So, here we go.

Continue reading “Why I left a promising academic career to be a travel agent. Part 1: The Lizzie McGuire Effect”

Welcome to vaCATEon

Hey! My name is Cate and I like making puns out of my name (sometimes I worry I sound like Chang; Community fans anyone?). You know how people sometimes say “the world is your oyster?”, well I took that seriously, and I think you should too. Some (aka my Twitter bio…written by me) call me a vacation aficionado. I love exploring new places and coming back to the familiar ones too. In this blog, I want to take my wanderlust to the next level. Here, I will post about food (mmmm, my favorite), the beautiful places I’ve been and want to go, all things travel, and perhaps a bit about me too. So, a warm welcome to vaCATEon, I hope this blog can serve as a little mental vacation for anyone who needs it (and don’t we all once in awhile?).