My other biggest passion in life is hospitality. It happens to also be what my college degree is in. What I love the most about hospitality is the essence of its meaning. To most people, hospitality means travel and tourism. But to me, it goes way beyond that. Hospitality to me is about giving high quality service and connecting with people.
For starters, my family is in the hospitality business. I actually did not grow up in the industry or was born into it. But, when I was 12 years old, my grandparents acquired a small 40-room hotel in Hollywood, Florida. They were in the real estate business at the time and they wanted to purchase these two apartment buildings. But, the only way that they could buy the apartment buildings was that they had to also buy the hotel that was in the middle of them. They never even thought of going into the hospitality business but that was the deal. Ever since then, I fell in love with hospitality.
At 13 years old, I loved going behind the front desk and helping the front desk agents check in guests. At that age, it was so much fun spending time at the hotel. When I was 16 and my grandparents acquired more hotels, I started to officially work at the one located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Although I never worked at the front desk, my older sister and I would run the gift shop together on the weekends.
When I was in high school, I thought about what I wanted to study in college. There was no question or doubt in my mind that I wanted to study hospitality management. I never once changed my mind.
After my graduation from high school, I went to my local community college to obtain an Associate in Arts degree. While in school, I worked as a server at the sports bar that was located inside of my grandparent’s hotel. At the restaurant, I learned so much about the hospitality industry and how to essentially “serve” others.
Then, two years later, I transferred to the University of Central Florida (UCF) to finish and obtain my Bachelor’s of Science in hospitality. In my last year of college, I had a change of heart. My organic passion grew strong and I just knew I had to be in the organic industry somehow. I wanted to change to a nutrition degree, but unfortunately, UCF didn’t offer one. I was so close to finishing, so I just stuck it out.
Even to this day, I do not regret my hospitality management degree. My parents sometimes still ask me why I didn’t study something other than hospitality. Sometimes I wonder too. But, I try not to dwell on it too much because if I never studied hospitality, I honestly don’t know where my life would be at right now. I am so happy with everything that has led me to this moment. I am so grateful for what my degree taught me and also for the friends that I made. Because of that, I don’t regret it for a second. I learned some hard life lessons that I don’t think I would’ve experienced if I had taken a different path.
Above all, the best part of hospitality has been the people that I have met along the way. I couldn’t be more blessed with the people that I have met on my travels, at college, at various conventions, sat next to on airplanes, worked with in different parts of the world, took classes with, shared stories with, and gone on adventures with. Thank you to those of you that I have crossed paths with for touching my life in some way and for teaching me something. I will never forget those moments and those people. One of the biggest reasons why I love the hospitality industry and traveling so much is because of the people, even the difficult ones.
My dream has always been to connect my organic passion with my hospitality background in some way. I can say that I am living that right now because I am still working in the hospitality industry and I am also working in the organic industry. I’m still finding and creating ways to fully integrate the two instead of separating those passions. I know I will get there one day. But for now, I am so happy to work in both industries.
I strongly believe that everyone should work in some area of hospitality in his or her life. It gives you the tools and skills needed to succeed in life. Whether you are working in hospitality because you have to or because you love it, I have a lot of respect for you. It is truly hard work and long hours. Anyone can work in the hospitality industry. But, it takes a special kind of person to encompass hospitality in such a way that you leave feeling much better about yourself than you did when you walked into a hospitality establishment because of that person. “Hospitality is when someone feels at home in your presence.”
Organic hospitality is so much more to me than just traveling, or working in a hotel or restaurant. Organic hospitality is the true essence of what the word hospitality means to me. I love helping people. I love connecting with people. I love giving people outstanding service and going out of my way. True organic hospitality is so rare to find nowadays.
The hospitality industry has taught me how to deal with all kinds of people. It has taught me how to have more compassion and patience for people. It has allowed me to learn about many different types of cultures and it has broadened my horizons. Working in the hospitality industry has immensely helped me come out of my shell and eliminate my shyness. Trust me, you cannot succeed in the hospitality industry when you are shy. I learned how to give true and high quality service. I also learned how to go out of my way for others and to always find ways to say yes.
The organic life and the hospitality life have changed me in so many ways that I don’t even know where to begin. Both of them are equally as important to me as they have both shaped me in some way. The hospitality life has provided me with so much knowledge and experiences that I will treasure forever. As Albert Einstein stated, “Only a life lived to the service of others is worth living.” I truly agree with that statement and I set out to be that person and always give true organic hospitality wherever I go. Lastly, no matter what I do or wherever life takes me, hospitality will always be a part of me!!
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” -Ghandi
Love, the most passionate organic hospitality girl,