It's my birthday! But I'm not here to get you to give me all the birthday love. No, I'm here to inspire you with an update from my 40 Before 40 List!
I've marked off several things in the past year. Here's an update to get you inspired to get out there and chase those dreams!
Watch Lonesome Dove • Last Fall, I watched the Lonesome Dove series. Where in the world have I been? It is so amazing, touching, etc. Just go watch!
Make No Bake Cookies • Last Christmas, my mom helped me make no bake cookies. They didn't come out perfectly, but they were still delicious, so I'm calling them a win!
Attend an In Person Bible Study • Last Fall, I started BSF—Bible Study Fellowship. Let me just say, this has been SO life giving & life changing! Would love for you to join me; it is available just about everywhere!
Grow a Pumpkin Patch • This patch came about by happenstance! Last year, when throwing out our porch pumpkins, I just let them rot along our fence line. As luck would have it, this Spring the seeds sprouted! With some tending over the summer, I grew two pumpkins! Not a full on patch, but there were at least 10 plants, so I'm calling all of those plants a patch. :D
Dog Sled on an Alaskan Cruise • Not only one of the most incredible experiences of the past year, but one of the most incredible of my life! My husband doesn't outwardly express excitement very often, and he was all smiles during this adventure! I'll be sharing more on that soon.
The past year has been big for my list, and I cannot wait to see what the coming years bring. Cheers to 32!
The more I travel, the more I learn, the deeper I dig into God's word, the more my bucket list grows and evolves. Since getting to explore so many incredible places in the past several years, I've added even more to my list. Here are the latest additions to my bucket list!
African Safari | Whether it be a safari in South Africa or through the Serengeti, an African Safari is at the top of my bucket list! I cannot imagine the awe, wonder, and thrill of seeing elephants, rhinos, giraffes, lions, and more IN THE WILD! That experience just mightequal or even beat seeing whales in the wild!
Vatican City | I’m not Catholic but growing up in a town with a large Catholic population has allowed me an appreciation and understanding of this religion. Rome is high on my bucket list, and the Vatican is a large part of why! I can’t even begin to fathom seeing Michelangelo’s artistry in the Sistine Chapel and visiting the mysterious Colosseum.
Santorini, Greece | The stunning photographs of Santorini that cross my path on Instagram may have prompted my desire to visit this beautiful destination, but who wouldn’t be intrigued by the stunning blue dome roofs, white cottages nestled on cliffsides, and winding staircases within the city. Not to mention, this beautiful city overlooks the Aegean Set!
Singapore | I recently watched and began reading the book series Crazy Rich Asians which has prompted my desire to visit Singapore. It is incredible that this city is one of the richest in the world AND it is its own country!
Washington, DC | Being a lover of history, Washington, DC has been more and more on my mind lately. High atop my musts would be visits to the National Mall, the White House, and the Smithsonian!
Perth, Australia | A few years back, we met some great people from Perth! Now, naturally, Australia is on our bucket list! Why Perth? Two words. Penguin Island! An island of penguins and seals off the Western Coast has me sold on this Australian city!
Iceland | Aurora Borealis or the Northern Lights are the top reason Iceland is on my bucket list! The Northern Lights are mostly predominant in Alaska during harsher weather seasons, so Iceland is the winner for this adventure. Not to mention, there are natural hot springs to warm up inn!
Outer Banks, North Carolina | There are few places left to see wild horses roam free, the Outer Banks of North Carolina is one of them. Wild ponies frolic along the beaches of the northern Outer Banks, and I would love to see this with my very own eyes!
The Seychelles | Off the East coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean is a string of 115 islands with some of the most stunning beaches in the world! Just “Google” the Seychelles, and you’ll see what I mean!
Niagara Falls | I love when mine and my husband’s bucket lists collide. This is one of those instances! Whether it be summer or winter, we would love to see the majesty of Niagara Falls any day!
Kauai, Hawaii | The Napali Coast and the Grand Canyon of Hawaii are the top reasons Kauai is on my bucket list! Most of the island is completely untouched by man, and I cannot begin to fathom what it would be like to explore this island above on a helicopter ride!
Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska | Dog sledding is the number one reason why I want to visit Alaska! I can’t imagine the thrill of experience this age-old adventure across an icy glacier! Of course, I love dogs, and Alaskan sled dogs live for sledding. Mendenhall Glacier is easily accessible from Juneau on a helicopter tour making it the perfect excursion on an Alaskan cruise!
I hope you've enjoyed reading about the top places on my bucket list! I truly hope this inspires you to create your own bucket list, and start marking them off! Travel was once but a dream for me, but now I'm ready to mark even more from my bucket list with these additions.
Be sure to share your bucket list places in the comments!
Waco, Texas, June 13, 2019—Dana Lewis, CTA®, of Discovereighng with Dana Travel & Destination Weddings, recently earned the distinguished Certified Travel Associate, or CTA, designation from The Travel Institute, the travel industry’s benchmark for educational excellence and the only travel organization offering certification for travel professionals’ varying levels of expertise.
“Working towards, studying for, and testing for this certification not only demonstrates my eagerness to learn, but also a commitment to my clients who will benefit from the additional skils and knowledge obtained during the journey of earning this certification,” said Dana.
The Certified Travel Associate, CTA®, designation is awarded by The Travel Institute to travel professionals who complete a rigorous training program, including closed-book, proctor-administered testing, to demonstrate extensive industry knowledge and experience and the highest standards of travel professionalism. In addition, CTAs are required to fulfill stringent continuing education requirements each year.
The CTA curriculum focuses on the essential skills needed to succeed as a frontline travel counselor – selling, customer service, destinations, niche markets and communication. The CTA is also the first step in earning the coveted Certified Travel Counselor designation.
Dana Lewis has been a travel counselor for 4 years and has sent numerous clients on vacation experiences around the world. She specializes in honeymoons, family vacations, and destination weddings. Dana’s other professional recognitions include KHM Travel Group, Inc’s, Pinnacle Elite Agent Program, Destination Wedding Specialist Certified from Destination Wedding University, and a Destination Wedding & Honeymoon Specialist from the Destination Wedding & Honeymoon Specialist Association.
A collaborative industry effort created in 1964, The Travel Institute is the global leader in industry education and certification for travel professionals. Through innovative educational opportunities, professional certification programs, and customized learning solutions, The Travel Institute enables agent success by instilling a high standard of industry knowledge, professionalism, and excellence. Throughout North America, many successful agents and high-profile leaders credit their success to coursework from The Travel Institute.
As a kid, I think my interest in travel came from my great uncle and a school project in elementary school.
Long before the days of GPS and cell phones, I remember my uncle hopping on his Harley, and hitting the road for Alaska! He sent us postcards, and told tales breaking down on his way back home. But what always struck me most was that he just did it. Also, long before the days of the internet, I was assigned a 5th grade group project to plan a road trip. We could choose anywhere we wanted, but we needed to plan every detail—mileage, snacks, stopping points, hotels, car rental, everything. What was my destination of choice? New York City.
And that is where my travel story begins.
I took a couple of cruises out of Galveston right around the time I met my now husband about 10 years ago, but cruising seemed easily accessible. Getting on a plane and flying thousands of miles away, that on the other hand seemed completely out of reach. Flying was something I had never done, and few people close to me had either, until I met my husband. Airplanes are apart of his daily life, and flying was as simple as getting in a car to him.
After several years together, and eventually married, I guess he'd tired of my gushing over wanting to go to New York City. Finally one day he said to me, "Dana, if you want to go so bad, why don't you just go?" Just go. As if it were the simplest thing on the planet. That very moment changed my life forever.
I immediately started researching, and within a couple of weeks had flights and hotel booked for my mom & I go fly to New York City in December 2013 for a week of mother-daughter bonding and Christmas magic! That trip, far more life changing than the cruises I'd done, changed me to my core. There was something about NYC. And there was something about flying.
Over the next year and a half, we went on several other vacations, creating incredible itineraries for each one, and sharing them with my friends and family on social media. Throughout the time, more than a few people told me I should become a travel agent.
Me? The girl who had only flown for the first time a short couple of years ago? Did travel agents even still exist? Could I really make a living out of something I was actually passionate about and loved?
I scoffed at the idea for 6 months or more, then finally decided to look into it. Until that trip to NYC, I never realized how doable, how attainable travel was, but with careful planning and saving, it could be done! And I wanted to share that with everyone I knew and beyond. I soon found myself launching Discovereighng with Dana Travel. In August 2015, something I never thought I'd do, fly on a plane & travel the world, became my life's purpose.
So here I am today, running a successful travel design company, helping others create incredible vacations just for them. More importantly, I'm showing God's world to more and more of his people. Over the past few years, my passion for this career have grown immensely, and with each passing day I know that I am doing exactly what God designed me to do. What great joy to see my passion and purpose collide!
I could not be more grateful to my husband for his simple words of "just go" and to New York City for opening my eyes to a whole new world. I hope that through this passion of Discovereighng with Dana Travel, I can help you discover a whole new world too!
Awhile back, I had a chat with my mentor, business coach, and friend. He was giving me a much needed kick in the pants about self-confidence. We all have moments like that right? Anyway, he said something that really struck me about YOU, my clients & potential clients clients. Without me, you could be gambling you time & money away! Wow, that is something I certainly would never want!
Would you put thousands of dollars in a slot machine, hit max bet, then pull the reel?
Would you throw thousands of dollars down on the roulette table, bet zero, and hope for the best?
Would you hit "purchase" on a website for a vacation that is thousands of dollars to a resort you've never heard of without speaking to an professional that could help you select the best destination and resort for you & your budget?
I hope not.
I don't know about you, but my precious vacation time and hard earned money are something I do not want to gamble away. But, without consulting a travel pro, you could be leaving your vacation up to complete chance.
You're short on time between work, kids, life, all of the things, so you do a quick Google search & book your vacation. You just know it is going to be wonderful, because those website photos were incredible! Several months later, you arrive at the resort only to realize the beach isn't swimmable or the resort is undergoing renovations with intrusive construction crews.
Or you are so busy wedding planning, you don't have much time to research honeymoon spots, so you book a resort you saw on Instagram. The photos you came crossed looked to sexy and romantic! You arrive for an intimate honeymoon, only to find kids.every.where!
These issues, among many others, could all be easily avoided by working with a travel designer like us for your vacation!
I've been in trenches, been to the destinations, seen the resorts, and I want to share my first hand experiences so we can curate the best vacation for YOU and your wants & needs!
Stop gambling away your precious time and hard earned money, and work with Discovereighng with Dana Travel to plan your honeymoon, vacation, or even destination wedding! Contact us here to start planning today!