Agent Of The Month: April Howland
We are thrilled to introduce you to a key member of our team, April Howland. As an exceptional travel agent who embodies a "can-do-anything" attitude, we're excited to put her in the spotlight this month. To better understand April's unique approach to travel planning, dive in as we explore April's travel niche and get inspired by her passion for adventure!
Could you briefly introduce yourself and any experience you have in the travel industry?
My name is April Howland. Although relatively new to the travel industry, I possess a profound passion for culture and exploration. In 2018, my business associate and I established a company combining philanthropy and adventure. We have led numerous groups on African safaris and contributed to wildlife conservation and community development.
What motivated you to pursue a career as a travel agent?
My motivation stems from an innate love for adventure. While I have arranged trips for others without compensation, personal circumstances necessitated finding a sustainable livelihood. The travel industry appeared to be the perfect match.
How do you assist clients in planning their trips?
My primary objective is to ensure a flawless planning process. I am dedicated to crafting exceptional adventures that align with any budget. It is vital to facilitate stress-free experiences so individuals can enjoy well-deserved breaks from their busy lives.
In what ways do you excel as a travel expert?
My expertise is anchored in my ability to forge personal connections and my extensive experience in Africa. Having visited the continent seven times, I have established valuable contacts in both travel and philanthropic circles. My upcoming plans include an exploratory road trip with my sister to regions of Africa I have yet to experience.
Could you recount a travel experience that profoundly affected you?
Selecting one memory is challenging due to the abundance of impactful experiences. A notable memory includes my first train journey through the jungles from Nogales to Mexico City at age fourteen. Other significant moments encompass celebrating the Day of the Dead in Guadalajara, witnessing wildlife in their natural habitat in Africa, and trekking alongside grizzly bears in Alaska.
What aspects of travel do you find most thrilling or rewarding?
The most exhilarating elements of travel for me are the interactions with diverse peoples, immersion in various cultures, and the acquisition of new knowledge.
Do you have any particular ambitions for your future as a travel agent?
My goal is to excel in serving my clients. Additionally, I aspire to combine work with extended travel periods, enabling me to personally explore destinations to which I send my clients.
If you could visit any place in the world immediately, where would it be?
Bali beckons to me, as does Iceland, particularly for the opportunity to witness the Northern Lights.
Are there any destinations or experiences you want to cross off your travel bucket list?
I yearn to visit Antarctica and engage with scientists to document and learn about climate change. Despite efforts to secure a government grant for this purpose, I remain hopeful that I will achieve this goal someday.
Have you discovered any hidden gems or lesser-known locales that you adore?
Tequila, Mexico, has proven to be a delightful discovery—quaint yet entertaining.
Is there a song that is essential to your travel playlist?
"Into the Mystic" by Van Morrison is a staple on my travel playlist.
Do you use any travel gadgets or apps that you would recommend?
The World Clock app and currency conversion websites are indispensable. Furthermore, Google Translate has proven invaluable on numerous occasions.
What is the most unusual or amusing souvenir you have ever acquired during your travels?
While not peculiar, I once purchased a sizable artwork and transported it rolled up throughout Africa for over a week.
Could you share an amusing or cherished travel anecdote?
Many travel experiences bring laughter, but a poignant moment involved assisting a veterinary team in dehorning a rhinoceros in South Africa—a conservation effort to deter poaching. This difficult task has begun to positively impact poaching statistics after a decade.
Are there any unique talents or skills you possess that might surprise your clients?
I have been a professional fine artist for over two decades, drawing inspiration from my travels. Currently, I am working on a series of paintings based on my recent trip to France.