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Published on Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Well-known travel agent to retire after 'soul destroying' few months


Agent Cathie O'Dea is to leave Travel Counsellors next month after 48 years as a travel agent following what she described as a 'soul destroying' few months.

She says she took the decision to quit following a recent spell in hospital, during which she was still answering client emails and taking calls to try to help as best she could.

"I began to question my own sanity. Being in the travel business for 48 years has always been a passion. I could make people happy just by arranging their holidays.

"I have now got to a point where I am doing neither of these things anymore. I am not doing what I love and I'm not helping anybody, least of all myself. The final moment came during that hospital stay to retire as a Travel Counsellor," she wrote in a post on the Facebook group Travel Gossip.

"I have spent the best 48 years of my life in an industry which began for me as a young trainee in 1972. I worked in Pickfords 76-77 and then British Airways 77-78 but almost half of my years in travel were at Thomas Cook.

The past 48 years have been very hard work but a lot of fun. I have met thousands of wonderful people along the way and of course I have travelled to places and seen sights that I could never have even imagined in my wildest dreams .

"The last 14 years as a Travel Counsellor have been particularly rewarding as an opportunity to really use my skills as a travel expert and I became much closer to my customers and many became friends. With so few customers live right now and my old age pension (yes I am now officially that old) it seems like the ideal time to make a clean break."

Speaking later to TravelMole, Cathie added: "The last few months have been soul destroying and I could see no end in sight. It was too big a mountain to climb.

"Financially I am better off on my old age pension without the stress. Over the past few months in lockdown I have been painting and making baubles and small gifts and this was giving me more pleasure than simply processing cancellations and chasing refunds."

Cathie plans to devote herself to her new online business, The Baubleist.

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  • Good wishes from Thailand

    Heart breaking reading Cathie,I remember Pickford's very well from the 70s, I used to work with Horizon Holidays.I wish you happy retirement in these unfortunately challenging circumstances and times that all we live in! Good day from my retirement home in Thailand and monsoons!

    By Hasmukhray Modha, Tuesday, September 1, 2020

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