Checkedin Chica: Chantelle Pearson

Never a dull moment, Chantelle Pearson is a Padi Dive Instructor & Senior International Travel Consultant and business owner of Travel with Options and this week’s Checkedin Chica…

Who are you and what made you get into travel?

I am Chantelle Pearson, aged 39 years. I am a Padi Dive Instructor & Senior International Travel Consultant and business owner of Travel with Options. I have always loved travel and when I first started working I was an overland guide in Africa and so spent many years taking foreign tourists on tours from Cape Town to Uganda. I then during this time did my scuba diving training and became a Dive Instructor, teaching people to learn to dive. After this I joined flight centre and worked for them for about 4 years and then started my own company. Travel with Options specialises in scuba diving destinations around the world, Reunion, Madagascar, Malawi & F1 races.

I got into travel as I personally love to travel and explore the world and make new friends from far off places.

What has the industry taught you?

It has taught me to be open minded, flexible, hardworking and always ready to experience new adventures. Travel really puts life into perspective because your highs can go really high and lows can go deeply low and a lot of times you end up seeing them right next to each other. I’ve noticed the ebb and flow of the lovely perfect days moving into the rough ones and back again and realized that’s just what life is about. Wait, be patient and see things change.

Where do you think you will be in the next 5 years?

Still running Travel with Options – hopefully expanding and having more consultants working for me and to continue travelling the world in a personal capacity.

Top 3 travel recommendations and why

Reunion Island – I love the diversity of the Island from Volcanoes to Beaches.
Madagascar – I enjoy the diversity of Nature on the Island and well the beaches are to die for
Mexico City – This turned out to be a very friendly and fun city with so much to see and do – steeped in history and the food is amazing.

Three travel tips?

1) Don’t be afraid to travel alone – you will always meet new people and then have the flexibility to change your plans. Learn from those who live in the country you’re visiting. People enrich your travels more than sights do.
2) Wake up early – Rise at sunrise to have the best attractions all to yourself while avoiding crowds. It’s also a magical time for photos due to soft diffused light, and usually easier to interact with locals. Sketchy areas are less dangerous in the morning too. Honest hardworking people wake up early; touts, scammers, and criminals sleep in.
3) Laugh at yourself – You will definitely look like a fool many times when traveling to new places. Rather than get embarrassed, laugh at yourself. Don’t be afraid to mess up, and don’t take life so seriously.

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