I have big news. Big, exciting, I can’t-keep-my-mouth-shut-about-it news. Which means it probably isn’t news anymore, but for those of you who don’t know, Epperly Travel is expanding to Nashville!
When the idea of growing my team in Atlanta first came to mind, I decided to let it happen organically. I have a strong faith in knowing that the things that are meant to be will happen – and it’s oftentimes the things I pursue on my own accord that wind up failing, so probably best just to let it be, as the Beatles so wisely taught us. Not that I haven’t been busting it for the past year to see this dream grow, but I have learned to let go of a lot of things that are out of my control. Like who walks into our lives…and who walks out of them.
With this decision, I had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to expand to another city in the near future. The Atlanta team has come together so beautifully and I could not be more proud of the way they represent this company, especially the respect they have for our clients and for one another. Having had a past in an environment that fostered competition, my underlying goal in building the Epperly Travel team was to do just that: build a team. Clients would be amazed to know how much collaboration goes into planning their trips – while the individual agent you’re working with is certainly spearheading, more often than not we turn to one another as resources, bouncing around ideas and seeking the highest level of expertise for our guests. Every time it happens it makes my heart skip a beat. My heart’s been skipping a lot of beats lately.
Back to the point: this growing with a plan and a vision but not a death grip on controlling what can’t be controlled. For about a month straight, right around the time that one of my dear friends moved to Nashville, I could not turn in any direction without the city being brought up in the most obvious of ways. The number of friends – and strangers!! – who approached me to see if I had considered this great city was unprecedented. While I was home a couple of months ago, I told my parents about this strange turn of events.
“I think I’m going to expand to Nashville,” I said, matter-of-factly.
“That’s great,” my father replied, “maybe you should start by visiting.”
Oh, that’s the other thing. Never had I ever been to Nashville…with the exception of a trip when I was 5 to the Opryland Hotel – my only memory being the autographed Trisha Yearwood t-shirt that we won at an auction.
Less than 12 (yes, TWELVE!!) hours after that conversation, a past client of mine who was a strong connection from a very valued friend reached out to tell me about her dreams of a career change. Her email ended with, “I don’t know any luxury travel consultants in the Nashville area…”
Of course she was based in Nashville. My strange, larger-than-myself pull to the city was confirmed. I told my parents and they looked at me a little in awe before my father said, “Short of a booming voice telling you to go to Nashville, maybe you should consider going to Nashville.”
So here I sit, just two months later, in Atmalogy Cafe, where Ashley and I met in person for the first time yesterday. Now I’m back, quietly singing along to Carla Bruni’s “Quelqu’un M’a Dit,” the only French song I know by heart that just happens to be on the radio, while looking at a giant map of this very small world, wondering just what else can happen in this life when we let it.
Click here to read more about Ashley – she’s a natural for this industry, from her passion of exploring the world to her compassion for seeing it through the eyes of others, especially her two sons.
Here we grow, Nashville. Looking forward to the ride.