Where do I begin? Well, at the beginning I suppose. I was born and raised in Los Angeles. These days that is somewhat of an anomaly. I went to high school and college in California. I’ve always had a love of learning, not so much a love of school. I wasn’t the most disciplined student. It took me 13 years and 6 colleges finally to graduate from undergrad. After that you couldn’t keep me out of the university. I have a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts and a master’s degree in Religious Studies from Mount St. Mary’s College and an MBA from the University of Redlands. See what I mean?
My parents were married for 41 years until my mother passed away in 2010. I have a younger brother, Casey, who’s almost as smart as I am. I have a boyfriend/life partner of 21-years, Tony (no we aren’t married). My family is the perfect storm of tradition and aspiration. Both of my parents worked at their respective professions, the IRS and education, for nearly 40 years. But somehow and probably against their better judgement, they instilled in my brother and me an entrepreneurial spirit. When our parents told us “you can be anything” we took them at their word. I for one took the sentiment and ran with it. Whenever I didn’t like what I was doing I just quit and chose to do something else. Once I went to lunch and just didn’t go back to work. I’m not proud of it but yeah, it happened. I always knew that my truth, my passion was out there somewhere. I would just keep looking until I found it. My brother knew it too, but when his attempt at entrepreneurship didn’t work out he got married, had kids and found contentment with a 9-to-5. Good for him.
I always had a traditional job with something else on the side. I started my first business at the age of 23. I’ve done everything from invitations to t-shirt design. Tony and I even started a record label, UpperGhetto Records, heard of it? In 2003 I quit my job at the Getty Trust and moved to Phoenix. I’d never been to Arizona. I didn’t know anyone, but I knew I’d figure it out. After 2 years there I moved with my brother to Atlanta to start a business. That didn’t work out, so I moved back home to LA and began my career with IRS. I started as a Revenue Officer in the collection division in downtown LA. Surprisingly (to me) I did very well and moved up fairly quickly. I was promoted almost every year and became a manager in less than 6 years. After 7 years at the IRS I felt that my talents would be better served in private practice. I felt that with the knowledge that I’d gained working for IRS I could be a real advocate to clients on the outside. I also really wanted to travel and I was tired of having to ask permission every time I wanted to go on a trip.
I’ve always known somewhere deep inside that my true passion lies in travel. My mother used to say that when I was little, I would always get excited whenever I thought we were lost. I’d always want to be the one to hold the map and try to figure out where we were going. Nothing has changed. Some part of every day of my life is spent planning a trip. While I’m on a trip I’m planning the next trip. I think it goes back to my love of learning… not sitting in a classroom but of exploring, seeing, knowing.
So, the bottom line is I’m a person who takes the knowledge that I’ve gained and uses it to help people. I use what I learned at the IRS to help people resolve their tax liabilities. I use my knowledge of travel to help other people have cultural experiences and gain insight to the world around them. I am a daughter, a sister, an auntie, a girlfriend, a partner and a friend. Nice to meet you.