Interview with Sonia

How did you become a Travel Coach?

After 17 years working in the corporate world, having moved to a different country and getting several promotions, I was presented with the opportunity that I had always wanted (or so I thought): to become a Director in a top-ranked multinational company.

Everything I had fought for, all the hard work, the training, the sacrifices… seemed to be paying off. I should have been jumping for joy! But something inside didn't feel right. Sure, I would have a better income, but also lower quality of life (more stress, longer hours, more responsibilities, less time for myself). Did I really want that?

After an intense internal struggle, I said no to the promotion. I realised that I was not interested in climbing the corporate ladder anymore. But if I didn't want that... then what? I felt lost. I had no clue about what I wanted to do with my life - I knew nothing else but this career.


During the next 12 months, I embraced my passion for travel making 15 trips to 11 different countries. And for the first time, I felt I was living life. I was not aware until that moment, how bad I tried to fit into other people's expectations. Travelling allowed me to meet a happier self, and more expansive version of me that I didn't know existed.

I expanded my network of friends around the world, and I completely transformed my life from the inside out. As if I got born again, I met my soulmate and I found my true life purpose as a result of these travel experiences.

This is when I returned to my psychology background and began to explore how travel can be a catalyst for transformation, and shape our lives so that we realise our authentic potential. From this, I wrote and published my first book "How to create the life you desire".

I also began to speak with some friends and colleagues and realised that many other people wanted and needed to reconnect with themselves. Because we all want feel fulfilled in life, travel and experience new places. But it's as if we accept that travel is a break from the norm and that we'll return to the way things have always been. But it doesn't have to be this way (I'll talk more about this below).

That's how I decided to start helping all those people who love travel and want to live their fullest life.

Who are your clients?

I work with individuals, couples and groups of all ages.  While they are a diverse mix, they are often high-achievers in their personal or professional lives who want to commit to their personal growth. They are caring, good hearted, and always busy, either with their own projects or helping others. Often, they are experiencing a life or career transition, and this can make them feel overwhelmed and lost. 


Sometimes, they have a sense that they are living a 'role' (as I did) rather than a full life.  And they are always people who know there is more to life.


In addition, my clients want to travel.  They see the value in stepping away from their daily commitments; to give themselves the headspace they need to gain clarity about who they really are, and what they want to do next with their life that's meaningful and aligned with their authentic self. 

How are you different from other "life coaches"?

You can think of me as a life coach who uses travel as a vehicle to achieve the transformation and the results my clients seek.

Why travel? First of all, because when we travel we experience contrast from our daily life. And contrast brings clarity.

Moreover, because travel has this unique combination: 

1) It takes you out of your comfort zone (and this is the only place where human beings can grow); and

2) it frees you from expectations that 'normal life' places on you (where you don't need to be your 'adaptive self', you can reconnect with your 'authentic self').

There is extensive research that proves that travel helps to strengthen our idea of ourselves – an idea called 'self-concept clarity'. Indeed, travel helps build a clearer sense of self because it inspires us to better understand the differences between who we are and who we were taught to be.

Travel coaching helps you create a journey that is aligned with your personality type, your values, your needs and wants. In addition, travel coaching helps you to identify the insights, triggers, resources and tools you need to achieve the goals, experiences and the long-lasting transformation you are seeking.  This is my speciality, and biggest passion; travel for self-discovery.

You can learn more about Travel Coaching here

Is this about traveling to escape from your problems? 

Not at all. You cannot travel to escape from your problems. Whatever you have inside, you bring with you - no matter where you go, how far or who with. That's why 'life coaching' is an essential part of this equation.

 

Travel is a catalyst. It will bring to the surface what needs to be changed or healed. But only with the right mindset and tools will you be able to recognise the triggers and breakthroughs and, therein, take the right action to transform them. 

What are your qualifications? 

My first degree was in Organisational Psychology. Then I completed a Master’s degree in Leadership & Management.  In addition I am a qualified NLP (NeuroLinguistic Program) Master Practitioner and I am, of course, also a certified Travel Coach through the ICF (International Coach Federation).

On top of my studies, I also bring to my practise more than 15 years’ experience coaching people internationally from my former role as a manager of people and teams in the corporate world.

What exactly are the techniques that you use in your work? 

My work combines the best of travel planning and life coaching. 

As mentioned earlier, I use my travel coaching skills, background in psychology and leadership, and my experience in other areas such as NLP.  Combining these areas, I work one-to-one with clients to understand their true motivations and challenges and help them to develop a clear perspective of their situation.  From this starting point, we identify ways of seeing, tools and processes that help clients to overcome the barriers that keep them stuck in their old patterns and behaviours.  (I set this out in a little more detail below)

What type of people do you work best with? 

The Journeys of Self-discovery programme has been created for people with a growth mindset who enjoy learning. These are often people who want to live a life with purpose and have the desire to make the world a better place. 

It is also important that the person enjoys travel or wants to travel.  But these are people who know travel can be more than a vacation; it's an opportunity for personal awareness and a vehicle for change.

Also, being a high committed woman myself, I'm known to work best with other committed people who are ready to take action and are willing to embrace this adventure with an open mind and an open heart. My programs are created for people who are excited and serious about transforming their lives and becoming the best version they can be.

For who is this program is NOT going to work? 

If you are just looking for a holiday - and you are not seeking any change, improvement or transformation in your life or career from your travels - this programme is not for you. You might want to consider talking to a travel agent.

Obviously the programme does not work for people who hate travel.  And, in turn, I would argue that travel doesn't work for people who are close minded, not interested on growing or not ready to invest in themselves are not going to get results either. 

Also, this programme is not going to work for individuals who are not open to be coached, and who are consistently making excuses for not doing the work or investing in themselves.  Sometimes these people want to do it, but they are not ready to make the commitment needed. I can do my best, but if the person is not willing to commit, there is no strategy that will work.

What are my options for working with you? 

My signature programme is called "Journeys of self-discovery™" and it comes in three different formats - depending on where you are and the goals you want to achieve:

  • Journeys of self-discovery - Your meaningful retreat. If you are ready to take a weekend away from your daily routine and give yourself the space and time to achieve clarity on what path to take next -in regards your life, relationships or career- this 3-session programme is the one for you.

  • Journeys of self-discovery - Breakthrough. If you are thinking about taking a 3/4-week trip or maybe moving to another country, this 3-month coaching programme is the one you are looking for. 

  • Journeys of self-discovery - Momentum. If you have ambitious travel goals, if you want to take a longer trip or a year off to explore the world, then this 6-month programme is the perfect fit for you.

What exactly is Journeys of Self-discovery?

When you enrol to this programme - in any of its formats - you will follow a proven process that combines the best of travel planning and life-coaching.  This will provide all you need to create a meaningful trip that will strengthen your self-awareness and self-confidence.

Your coaching programme will start before your departure in order to allow you to fully prepare for and benefit from your transformational experience. 

Additionally, you will also be supported while in destination, as well as upon return, so we'll ensure to keep you keep yourself accountable through the journey to strengthen the awareness and implementation of your new found learnings. 

What does the programme include?

The programme Journeys of Self-discovery contains:

  • Weekly coaching sessions

Individual live coaching sessions where we'll focus 100% on you and your goals.

  • Weekly Q&A

Weekly Q&A to ensure all your questions are answered and all your needs are met.

  • Monthly Implementation Sessions

No more implementing alone I'll held you accountable while you do your tasks and research.

  • Life-time access

Unlimited access to all content & documentation, including the recording of the live coaching calls.

What's the method you use to ensure I'll get results?

The proven Journeys of Self-discovery 3-step method comprises:

Step #1. Map out your itinerary 

Together, we will create a detailed path to a life-changing trip that meets all your needs, make sure you don't pack the 'old baggage' and that you embrace a positive mindset that empowers you.


Step #2. Make the most of your trip

Together, we'll go through all that you need to know to overcome any challenge that might get in your way.  You will be provided with tools, techniques and best practices that will create the space for the breakthroughs you are seeking and help you enjoy your trip to its fullest.

Step #3. Integrate the benefits 

You didn't take this trip to just go back to status quo upon return. In this programme we'll also work on how to recognise the triggers that pull you back to older modalities or ways of thinking, and maintain clarity on the insights that will help you to move to your next level of growth after your travel adventure.

What results can I expect? 

As you can imagine, the results are different for each person. Without seeking to generalise, the outcomes are mainly around the areas of identity and purpose. When we step away from the usual noise and distractions, we deepen our understandings of ourself, others and the world around us.

Based on work with clients to date (you can see their testimonials here), examples can include:

  • Finding your sole purpose
  • Re-connecting with your authentic self
  • Finding the love of your life
  • Deepening connection with friends and family
  • Working through an issue - find clarity
  • Healing your family line/patterns 
  • Unleashing your creativity 
  • Increasing self-awareness 
  • Boost your confidence and self-esteem
  • Improving your social and communication skills
  • Strengthening the relationship body+mind+soul
  • Finding inner peace
  • and more

Can I contact some of your former clients to see what it’s like to work with you? 

Yes, I encourage you to! Please go to the Client Testimonials page here and read all of them to see which one you identify with the most. Perhaps because that person was in a similar situation to the one you are in, or because they have obtained the results that you want for yourself.

Once identified, let me know, so that I can put you in contact, and you can ask them all the details about their experience.

Do I need to travel 'solo'? 

Not necessarily. Again, your personal situation and the results you want to achieve will determine the best way to get there. Eventually, you can take this trip on your own, with your family or friends, or even with a group of strangers (than sooner will turn into friends)

As a travel coach, do you join your clients on their travels? 

No. My job is supporting you before, during and after your trips, and I do that remotely. We'll meet on Zoom, and I'll be on the other side of the email and text messages, but - as much as I might like - I won't be your companion during your travel adventures. 

Do I need to travel to a specific destination or on specific dates?

No, the dates and the destinations are the ones you choose. Of course, if you are unsure about the best options for you, I'll help you to make the right decision for you through working with you.

OK, I know which programme I want. How do we get started? 

Congratulations on making a decision to invest in your success and happiness! I’m happy to work with you to achieve your goals through transformational travel (one of the most prominent characteristics of successful people is that they take action!). 

Now, go ahead and book a discovery call here

I look forward to meeting you to get you started on your path to self-discovery!

If I’m not sure I’m ready to get started, how can I sample your work at low cost to see if it’s the right solutions for me? 

A way to sample Journeys of Self-discovery is by subscribing to the weekly email newsletter which provides you with proven tips, the latest tools and powerful techniques from this programme. It's a must for anyone who wants to travel for self-discovery and design a trip that will be transformational. You can subscribe here. 

I also have clients who start on the "Journeys of self-discovery - Your meaningful retreat" and we progress our work from there.

OK, I’m ready to do this programme for myself, but I have a couple of additional questions. Can I talk with you? 

Yes, if you have any questions, just email me at sonia@travelawakens.com and I’ll be happy to walk you through the different options to see which one will be the very best for you. 

I can’t wait to see you succeed and am honoured to be the one to support you on this journey.

Let’s take off!