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Michelle Mashburn Arabie

New York, New York Travel Agent

My Travel Agent Life

Travel has been a part of my life even before I thought to become an agent. My mom loved to see new places, and my dad was in the military, and we were always on the move for one reason or another.  

I was born in Taiwan, so I've always had a passport. When we moved to the United States, I would go back to Taiwan during the summers and visit all the neighboring countries, spending time with our family and friends. My family also owned a restaurant, and that was where I first became interested in the hospitality industry. 

After college, I worked for Starwood Hotels and Resorts, an experience that crystallized my desire to work in the travel industry. After I got married, I wanted to make a change, and a travel agent friend suggested I come to her agency and offered to help train me. 

Because of my hospitality background and the travel industry relationships that I had already built, becoming an agent felt like a natural fit, and transitioning to the travel planning side of it came easily to me. I had already been planning trips for my family and friends, and as a travel agent, I found I loved working out the logistics and getting all the details to fall into place. When my clients came back and raved about the places that I sent them, the feeling of accomplishment was like nothing else I’d ever felt before. 

I have the same attitude towards booking trips for my clients as I did when booking trips for family and friends – it comes down to a desire to see people I care about have a wonderful experience thanks to my efforts. The only thing that has changed is that as a Tzell travel agent, I can leverage Tzell’s powerful multi-billion buying power and great connections in this industry. That allows me to arrange for VIP perks, protections, benefits and great rates for all of my clients. My secret sauce is the personal, caring touch and the extra handholding that I give to every client so that they always feel like I’m there with them, even when I’m a world away.

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