We had the good fortune of connecting with Ros Galati and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ros, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?
Prior to COVID, I struggled a lot with valuing my experience and the price tag to put on it. People can easily book online these days (those with the time and know how to do so) so is there even a need for a Travel Agent? If I set the service fee too high, I would price myself out of the potential sale, however if I set it too low, I was undervaluing my expertise. There never seemed to be a straightforward answer. I think as an entrepreneur we can often fall into the mindset of “any sale is a good sale”, that turning away potential clients is not good for business. I see now though, that that is not a healthy mindset to have. During the pandemic, I did temporarily close my travel agency. In addition to struggling to simply price my services, now I had to also factor in the monetary value of keeping up with the constant changes in travel advisories, flight times & testing requirements! Not to mention that I had no experience traveling during the pandemic myself, so how could I expect anyone to work with me if I hadn’t done the very thing I am trying to sell?
I am intrinsically motivated; I sell travel because I love it and want others to also. So when giving up crossed my mind, I had to turn inwards to find the solution. Through personal development, I have come to better understand the ebb and flow of life and what I need to do in order to do more than just exist. Sustainable lifestyle practices both physical and mental have improved my personal day to day and in turn, positively impacted my professional life and allowed me to no longer question my value and worth in the tourism industry. I have since started a podcast that addresses travel hacks and of course, COVID (www.matesratespodcast.com), reworked my marketing strategy, found a niche market to focus on (the riches are in the niches!), founded a non profit (www.donateyourbras.
Investing in myself is by far the best thing I have ever done and once I started to see those returns on my investment, giving up was no longer an option.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I plan and book travel for the adventurous at heart. During my 15 years in the tourism industry, I have held a number of roles around the world which have afforded me a substantial skill set and pretty interesting life! I have worked as a tour operator, in risk mitigation & emergency assistance, managed lodging, events, projects & of course planned travel. What sets me apart from booking travel online, is not only the availability of a real person that you can turn to before, during and after your travels, but an expert who has spent much of their own life traveling, who can tweak your itinerary so that you have less stops, get you a free stopover in a fun destination, secure an incredible sale & provide you with information based on first hand experiences. I am proud to deliver life experiences and not just a vacation.
My own sense of adventure has got me to where I am today. Through doing what I love, others have come to me for assistance. This is really how my business was born, through the needs of others who wanted to share in the experience that travel gives.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Does crossing the border count?! I always take visitors south of the border for some wine tasting in Valle de Guadalupe and if it’s on, a Lucha Libre match at the Auditorio de Tijuana. It is usually USD$20 for ring side seats!
For a weekday, casual after work libation, I love the Waterfront Bar & Grill in Little Italy. It opened just after prohibition ended in 1933! For something upscale that will leave you wanting to rewatch Mad Men, check out Born & Raised in Little Italy. There are no words to describe how exquisitely designed this restaurant is. On a Wednesday, I like to grab dinner and the New Orleans inspired Louisiana Purchase in North Park, (the chef relocated from NOLA for this particular role!) and follow it up with a whiskey tasting at Seven Grand San Diego. It’s an easy 15 minute walk between both venues, giving you the opportunity to walk off your dinner! If you’re up for watching sports, there is no better option than the Local Pacific Beach. Plenty of TV’s, an abundance of draft beer options and delicious food. Finally, for sunset, there isn’t a better view in San Diego than PB Shore Club where the “sunsets are served daily!” Try their famous Red Bull vodka slushy and be sure to grab the queso dip too. It has these peppers chopped up inside that just inspire joy in your tummy!
While San Diego does have some incredible hiking trails, what I really love are the workouts over at Belmont Park with views of the ocean. Or grab a day pass to the FIT Athletic downtown and take in the views of Petco Park while you reverse the effects of eating & drinking your way through SD!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Stacey Anderson of the Sundream Collective has been invaluable in my continued personal & professional development. I have also found a great source of encouragement and collaboration via the app Clubhouse. It serves as a digital networking space. Also, the Deepak Chopra, 21-day abundance challenge was quite instrumental in my personal development, as well as Ryan Holiday’s, “The Daily Stoic”.