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Episode #61 - Making The Most Magical of Memories In Our Relationships: An Interview With Amanda Bacon
Episode 6423rd November 2023 • Speaking From The Heart • Joshua D. Smith
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Being able to create some of the best memories in our lives means having the best people around you to help strengthen the commitments that we make not only to ourselves, but to those very people helping us. By being able to do this, we are creating magical moments that will help catapult us to levels that we would of otherwise not been able to do, which is why building relationships with both friends, families (guardians), or clients of our businesses that we participate in (or run) on our own. Today's guest, Amanda Bacon, exemplifies this commitment and shares her unique story that has allowed her to have not only a loving family, but loving clients as well, and brings another guest onto the show that our podcast host has gone to high school with over 18 years ago.

WARNING: A portion of this episode discusses depression and suicidal thoughts, particularly in early childhood, as it relates to traumatic situations. If you ever know someone (or yourself) that is experiencing these thoughts, please seek out help by calling 988 (if in the United States) or seeking help from a qualified healthcare provider to discuss ways to help move from these thoughts.

Guest Bio

Amanda Bacon resides in Oley, Pennsylvania with her husband and three children, often referred to as their “Bacon bits”. When she was five years old, her grandparents took her to Walt Disney World for the first time. Remembering being dressing up as Alice from "Alice in Wonderland" and having her picture taken with all of the characters. At that moment, she fell in love with Disney. That love of Disney has morphed over the years to a love of travel and a love of helping people create Magical Memories. Over the past 6 years, she had the privilege of helping hundreds of families, couples, and solo travelers make those lasting memories!

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/573273200129309

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ftjbyamandabacon

@ftjbyamandabacon on Instagram

Website: http://www.fairytalejourneysbyamandabacon.com/

Visit Our Website: https://speaking-from-the-heart.captivate.fm/

Visit Our Business Website: https://www.yourspeakingvoice.biz

Support The Mission Of The Business! Donate Here: https://speaking-from-the-heart.captivate.fm/support

Intro/Outro By: Michael Dugan, Podcast Host: Voice4Chefs

Transcripts

Intro:

Welcome to the podcast where relationships, confidence, and

Intro:

determination, all converge into an amazing, heartfelt experience.

Intro:

This is Speaking From The Heart.

Joshua:

Welcome back to episode number 61 of Speaking From the Heart, and I must

Joshua:

start out with this warning about our episode in which we talk quite heavily

Joshua:

in our conversation today with our guest about the effects of depression and

Joshua:

suicide, especially as it relates to some of the things that we go through in our

Joshua:

lives, especially at a young age, so I do want to make that full disclosure, and

Joshua:

in the episode notes, I do encourage you, as I always encourage in every one of my

Joshua:

episodes in which we talk about this, to seek out help, and one of the best ways to

Joshua:

do that, especially if you know somebody going through a crisis, is to dial 988.

Joshua:

That is the mental help hotline in the United States that if anybody's ever

Joshua:

going through something like that, you could certainly give them resources as

Joshua:

it relates to not only that number, but there is a website through the National

Joshua:

Institutes of Health that will provide some additional information for helping

Joshua:

someone go through such a crisis, but we have Amanda Bacon, who is another

Joshua:

person in which I went to school with back in Oley, Pennsylvania, which is

Joshua:

where I was raised along with my guest.

Joshua:

She has a husband and also three boy children, often

Joshua:

refer to as their "Bacon Bits."

Joshua:

When she was five years old, her grandparents took her to Walt Disney

Joshua:

World for the first time, and remembering being dressed up as Alice from Alice

Joshua:

in Wonderland, and having her picture taken with all the characters, she fell

Joshua:

in love with Disney at that moment, and that love for Disney has morphed

Joshua:

into the years of traveling and loving to help people create magical memories

Joshua:

through those travel experiences.

Joshua:

Over the last six years, she's had the privilege of helping hundreds of

Joshua:

families, couples, and solo travelers make their lasting moments by doing

Joshua:

Fairytale Journeys By Amanda Bacon.

Joshua:

I have to say that for Amanda, who I have known since my middle school years, has

Joshua:

been through quite a interesting adventure early on in her life, but because of

Joshua:

the experiences that we talk about in this episode and how she's gotten to

Joshua:

the other side to now help other people create those quote unquote magical

Joshua:

memories, it definitely makes me ponder and even wonder at this point how we can

Joshua:

continue to create those opportunities for others, not just in our own lives,

Joshua:

not just for our own families, but to understand and fulfill the fact that we

Joshua:

can be our best way of moving forward.

Joshua:

But with that, let's go to the episode.

Joshua:

All right.

Joshua:

We're here with Amanda Bacon.

Joshua:

Amanda, thanks for sharing your heart with us today.

Amanda:

Thanks for having me.

Amanda:

I'm super excited to get to chat with you today.

Joshua:

I am super excited because you're another one of those guests

Joshua:

that I haven't seen in over a decade, not like Kim, who was on my episodes

Joshua:

previously where it was over 18 years.

Joshua:

I'm glad that we actually talked sooner than that, but I'm glad that at least

Joshua:

got to the point that we had to reconnect so thanks for taking some time, and

Joshua:

I already let the audience know a lot about who you are, what you do, and

Joshua:

I just want to start off with this.

Joshua:

I know that for you, Disney World is just the biggest thing in

Joshua:

your life and you helping people with that destination journey.

Joshua:

I was wondering if you could tell us a little bit about the story

Joshua:

as to how you got to really enjoy getting people to be down in Orlando,

Joshua:

Florida, where Disney is located, and why that's such a passion for you.

Amanda:

Oh, absolutely.

Amanda:

That's actually one of my favorite stories to tell; so for me,

Amanda:

Disney is all about memories.

Amanda:

I've been going to Disney since I was little.

Amanda:

It's one of those things that I'll say privileged to get to do.

Amanda:

My grandparents would take me down every couple of years since I was about five,

Amanda:

and I remember the first time I went.

Amanda:

I was with my grandfather, who's now deceased, and my grandmother, and we

Amanda:

walked into Main Street and we walked through the one shop and there was an

Amanda:

Alice in Wonderland dress hanging up there, and I'm talking like full Alice

Amanda:

In Wonderland, so it had her like blue pluppy sleeves, her white vest with the

Amanda:

little embroidered rabbit on it, and there were shoes and frilly socks, and

Amanda:

I'm sure you'll see a picture of my little bio, but I'm a blonde-haired little girl

Amanda:

at this age, so you put me in an Alice in Wonderland dress and I am Alice.

Amanda:

I'm walking down Main Street and this cast member comes up and he goes, "Oh my gosh.

Amanda:

You need to come with me right now", and he grabs me by the

Amanda:

hand and he takes off with me.

Amanda:

Now remember, this was back in the nineties, so it was like a little bit

Amanda:

of a different time, so he takes me back to this one side entrance and he

Amanda:

says, "Wait here", and so we're waiting and next thing we know, Alice comes out

Amanda:

and she comes out and she like grabs my hand and I have pictures of this.

Amanda:

It's such a magical moment in my mind and grabs my hand and she kind of does

Amanda:

a little spin, and then she sits on a bench with me and we talk, and soon

Amanda:

enough Pinocchio is out there too and he's there with us, and then the next

Amanda:

picture I have is like me, Alice, surrounded by all these other little kids

Amanda:

who are coming to meet her and I think as a five-year-old little girl, that was

Amanda:

such an impactful moment that I got to meet one of my heroes, and I think that

Amanda:

was where my love just kind of started.

Joshua:

It reminds me so much, and even my audience doesn't

Joshua:

see this, but Amanda, you do.

Joshua:

One of my biggest idols, especially behind me, is Captain America.

Joshua:

That's something as a Marvel character, I have especially adopted myself and

Joshua:

he's been a hero in many aspects of my life the last several years, and I can

Joshua:

associate with that with your story because those are the things, especially

Joshua:

as a kid, we really get attached to as heroes and my next question is really

Joshua:

about who your real life hero is, because you have the hero in which you talk about

Joshua:

that is somebody that you have looked up to and it could be somebody that's

Joshua:

a celebrity, a fictional character.

Joshua:

A lot of people usually tend to associate with something like that,

Joshua:

but who is your real life hero and why?

Amanda:

Oh my goodness.

Amanda:

That's a really hard question.

Amanda:

I think ultimately; wow, I'm trying to like think.

Amanda:

There's two ways I could go with this.

Joshua:

Why don't you tell us about both?

Amanda:

Yeah.

Amanda:

Okay, so I believe in God.

Amanda:

I am a Christian.

Amanda:

I believe that Jesus is my savior, and so He's my ultimate, and not to

Amanda:

sound cheesy because it's real for me.

Amanda:

I've known you for a long time, Josh.

Amanda:

I think you know when I say Jesus is my hero.

Joshua:

Absolutely.

Amanda:

He is.

Amanda:

He saved me and he's the reason that I am where I am today.

Amanda:

He's walked with me through so many different crazy; I give you a Disney story

Amanda:

and it's all rainbows, but that wasn't necessarily what everyday life was like

Amanda:

and so he has always walked me and guided me, so ultimately, Jesus is my hero.

Earthly hero:

I would probably have to say my grandmother.

Earthly hero:

She took me in when I was 13 and raised me and gave me a stable

Earthly hero:

home and allowed me to grow up to be who I am today, while nurturing

Earthly hero:

me and loving me unconditionally.

Earthly hero:

She's my earthly hero, so those are my two.

Earthly hero:

Hopefully that answers your question.

Joshua:

Oh, no, it does and I appreciate you being so open about that because

Joshua:

right here at Speaking From The Heart, we really are about having what really

Joshua:

gets us to where we are today, and I was even saying to you before we even

Joshua:

started recording about the importance of what that has been in your journey

Joshua:

of where you are today, especially with Ben, which I've introduced to the

Joshua:

audience already, and your "Bacon Bits."

Amanda:

My three bacon bits.

Joshua:

Yeah.

Joshua:

Do you want to talk to us a little bit about Ben and kind of that

Joshua:

relationship too with having three kids?

Joshua:

I'm sure it's a lot to handle, especially with even the business,

Joshua:

which we'll get into shortly.

Amanda:

Yeah.

Amanda:

Yeah, so I'm not sure how much you've introduced about my husband, ben, but

Amanda:

he is a board certified behavioral analyst which is a fancy way of saying he

Amanda:

works with kids on the autism spectrum.

Amanda:

He helps them out.

Amanda:

He works in a school setting, helping them, so his job is one of those that

Amanda:

some days can be pretty high stress environment dealing with de- escalating

Amanda:

children and things like that.

Amanda:

Then I have three little as usually like to say, bacon bits.

Amanda:

They are all little boys.

Amanda:

They range from 11, nine and five, so they are all over the spectrum with their

Amanda:

ages, but they're boys and they're full of energy and they're all over the place,

Amanda:

but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Amanda:

I really feel like God has just made me to be a boy mom and so I just

Amanda:

embrace the chaos and you come over to our house and you're going to hear

Amanda:

the word fart and poop, and it's just a part of who we are and what we do.

Joshua:

That sounds like my childhood for sure.

Joshua:

You just didn't know about that but that was something that I

Joshua:

had to deal with quite a lot.

Joshua:

Farts and poop.

Joshua:

Yep.

Amanda:

Farts and poop.

Amanda:

I mean, Caleb the other day at dinner was just like, "Mom, I can

Amanda:

burp so loud", and I'm like, "Buddy.

Amanda:

That is not how we act at the dinner table.

Amanda:

We're trying to be a gentleman.

Amanda:

A gentleman doesn't burp at the table.

Amanda:

You have to burp you can get up and go to the hallway to burp."

Joshua:

But I love that because for many of us, I'm sure we can relate to

Joshua:

some of those hilarious moments in our life where it's like, "Well, yeah, you

Joshua:

probably can, but let's take it back a notch and let's see where it is."

Amanda:

Yeah.

Joshua:

Amanda, I want to switch gears a little bit because you mentioned something

Joshua:

earlier about, well, I found Jesus and found Christianity because of some of the

Joshua:

things that was happening before that and I was wondering if you can share a little

Joshua:

bit of your story that kind of led you to that, because I've had a lot of people

Joshua:

on my show, authors and individuals that have gone through some experiences that

Joshua:

ultimately led them into finding God as a source of that strength, and I'm wondering

Joshua:

if you don't mind sharing your perspective of how that came to be for you?

Amanda:

Yeah.

Amanda:

Not at all, so I mentioned before I moved in with my grandma when I was 13.

Amanda:

Well, when I was young, my family had some things happen and so that's what happened,

Amanda:

so me, my brother and my sister moved from Arizona to little town where I met you.

Amanda:

And-

Joshua:

And for my audience, Oley, Pennsylvania is very hard

Joshua:

to find on the map, but is closer to Reading, or an hour away from

Joshua:

Philadelphia, in case you are curious.

Joshua:

That is where Amanda and I grew up in, but go ahead Amanda.

Joshua:

I'm sorry.

Amanda:

We did.

Amanda:

That's okay.

Amanda:

Yeah, so my family went through some trauma and it left me at a

Amanda:

point where I was very broken.

Amanda:

I was sad.

Amanda:

I was depressed.

Amanda:

I was depressed.

Amanda:

I don't use that word lightly.

Amanda:

I was in a place where I didn't know where to turn or what to do, and I

Amanda:

had thought about killing myself.

Amanda:

I was on my edge and I mentioned my grandma before.

Amanda:

She saw that I was sad, distant.

Amanda:

I don't think she knew how much I was hurting on the inside, but she knew that

Amanda:

something wasn't right, and she reached out to a neighbor of ours who was a youth

Amanda:

pastor, and she was like, "Hey, do you have anything going on that she could

Amanda:

do something different, something fun, something to distract her from the things

Amanda:

that were going on?", and they were like, "Oh yeah, we have this camp coming up.

Amanda:

Why doesn't she come with us?", so I went away to this camp and that was the

Amanda:

first time I had really heard the gospel.

Amanda:

I really heard about Jesus and I mean the gospel I heard that weekend

Amanda:

was like, "You're going to die.

Amanda:

You're going to hell.", and it was like-

Joshua:

Wow.

Amanda:

Yeah.

Amanda:

It was fire and brimstone and scary, and as this 13 girl who just came out of a

Amanda:

crazy life situation, I was terrified, and so I look back on that and I'm like, "Wow.

Amanda:

Okay.", but it was from that that I got curious and that curiosity led me to

Amanda:

start asking questions of these neighbors, of some of the other teenagers that I

Amanda:

was with, and through that curiosity is what brought me to my salvation.

Amanda:

It brought me to asking the questions of, "Okay, am I a sinner?

Amanda:

Yeah.

Amanda:

Can anything I do cross that bridge?

Amanda:

There's a gap.

Amanda:

My sin is separated me.

Amanda:

Can anything I do close that gap?", and I was like, "No, because

Amanda:

I'm always going to be a sinner.

Amanda:

I'm always going to make bad choices."

Amanda:

I can choose not to, obviously.

Amanda:

You don't want to choose to sin, but everybody does.

Amanda:

Everyone's a sinner.

Amanda:

Anyway, it's probably a horrible way of saying that, so that curiosity, like

Amanda:

I said, it led me to ask the questions and realizing my need of a savior, my

Amanda:

need of somebody to rescue me because I was never going to be able to rescue

Amanda:

myself, and I think as somebody who had just went through all the stuff, I went

Amanda:

through with my home life, realizing that I was never going to be able to

Amanda:

save myself, but I have a heavenly Father in heaven who cares about me.

Amanda:

Now was it all rainbows?

Amanda:

No way.

Amanda:

I was a teenager, and I was raised in a home that didn't know anything

Amanda:

about God, so it was a long journey.

Amanda:

A long journey to get me where I am today, but God was always faithful in the little

Amanda:

things when I look back and I can say, "Oh, he was watching me here", and "Oh,

Amanda:

he protected me there", and because of that, I went to the college and I met

Amanda:

my husband, and because of that, then we went to a school where I got a degree in

Amanda:

counseling, and because of that degree, we were able to go minister to people

Amanda:

in Texas, so it was being able to see God's hand in every part of my life.

Joshua:

First off, I want to say that, and I don't know if you even realize

Joshua:

this, but growing up alongside of you, I knew that there was some pain that you

Joshua:

were going through, but I don't think I realized how deep that pain rang through

Joshua:

you and how that course of how those things happened in your life, especially

Joshua:

going through help with the youth pastor to get you to where you needed

Joshua:

to hear that message, really ultimately transformed you to be the person that

Joshua:

you are, and I want to pause here for a second to let the audience know that

Joshua:

it doesn't matter what age you are.

Joshua:

It is really about if you are experiencing those sort of thoughts, especially

Joshua:

about suicide, it's so important to seek help, and my audience knows about

Joshua:

this, amanda, you have known about this, especially with my journey of what I've

Joshua:

been through to get to this point, and I wish I would've known to reach out

Joshua:

to someone, so I'm going to put in the episode notes, and some of you that have

Joshua:

been longtime listeners have heard this before, but I want to put it in there

Joshua:

again for those that are brand new.

There is a hotline:

988.

There is a hotline:

It is the mental health crisis hotline.

There is a hotline:

There are people available if you are going through that experience or you

There is a hotline:

know somebody that is, get them the help they need, so I'll put some information

There is a hotline:

into the episode notes in case you want to learn more about that, but Amanda,

There is a hotline:

back to you, because what I was really curious about as I heard your story was

There is a hotline:

really about that opportunity to see yourself kind of have the light bulbs

There is a hotline:

click in your life of, "I can be saved.

There is a hotline:

I have this salvation.

There is a hotline:

I have these opportunities that are before me."

There is a hotline:

Do you feel like those experiences that you've been through translate into

There is a hotline:

your business that you do, which we talked about this a little bit in the

There is a hotline:

beginning for the audience, which is the Fairytale Journeys by Amanda Bacon.

There is a hotline:

Do you feel like there's some connection there with helping

There is a hotline:

people, kind of that same vein?

There is a hotline:

Because I think that you're bringing those opportunities to people.

There is a hotline:

Is that something that you really thrive in?

Amanda:

My tagline is helping people make magical memories, and I think

Amanda:

that's because of where I come from.

Amanda:

Understanding the importance of those memories within a family, or within

Amanda:

like a person, how impactful, and it may sound silly, like how they impactful

Amanda:

like a vacation or a trip can be.

Amanda:

I help a lot of families where some trips that I helped them

Amanda:

plan are once in a lifetime.

Amanda:

"We have saved our money for 10 years to take our child to see Mickey Mouse.

Amanda:

You are making this dream come true.

Amanda:

It needs to be everything", which then I have to temper a little bit of

Amanda:

expectations that you're never going to, like the dream you have in your head,

Amanda:

is never going to be the realization.

Amanda:

It's going to be different.

Amanda:

It's going to be unique.

Amanda:

It's going to be you.

Amanda:

It's going to be your family, but yeah, I think what I do, Like how

Amanda:

I am, does impact that, because I think it allows me to care for people

Amanda:

and their stories a little bit.

Amanda:

My clients aren't just like names in an Excel sheet or in a document.

Amanda:

They're people that I try to get to know on a personal level and figure out how to

Amanda:

best help them make their best vacation.

Amanda:

Does that make sense?

Joshua:

It does make sense because you and I have similar businesses in a sense.

Joshua:

I don't do travel.

Joshua:

I am by no means any sort of expert when it comes to that.

Joshua:

Expedia.com is where I go to.

Amanda:

No, no-

Joshua:

Do that.

Amanda:

No.

Joshua:

Yes.

Amanda:

Listeners.

Amanda:

Listeners, do not go to expedia.com.

Amanda:

I have horror stories.

Amanda:

You can send me an email and I will write out horror stories.

Amanda:

Do not go to expedia.com.

Joshua:

And this is why I have you on the show so then you can educate our wonderful

Joshua:

listeners about why they shouldn't use such websites, because what I was going to

Joshua:

say is I'm glad that I have booked trips with you instead and have been able to

Joshua:

have such a fantastic adventures, which yes, audience, full disclosure, I have

Joshua:

been a client of Amanda's myself, but the point I was going to make is that

Joshua:

the business that I have, that I started earlier this year, has been about getting

Joshua:

to know people, trying to understand where their unique journey is, and be able to

Joshua:

best align where is it that they want to go because they might have a problem and

Joshua:

we're providing some sort of solution, but I want them to work through it, as opposed

Joshua:

to you, you're providing that solution so they don't have to work through it.

Amanda:

Yes.

Joshua:

There's a vast difference between that.

Amanda:

Yes.

Joshua:

Because-

Amanda:

My job is to walk through, like, you have a situation.

Amanda:

My job is to wait on hold 10 hours to fix your situation, which I have done.

Joshua:

Yeah, and I have seen that because I've been obviously an avid

Joshua:

follower when it comes to your business, and I just admire your dedication

Joshua:

and grit, especially, like I said, you have three bacon bits; let's do

Joshua:

four, because I think Ben can be a bacon bit sometimes himself, but-

Amanda:

He's the og.

Amanda:

He's the og.

Joshua:

He's the original bacon bit, yes, and Ben, I love you.

Joshua:

I just want you to know we haven't talked in a long time, but I still do,

Joshua:

so please don't hold this against me, but I really think that it's important

Joshua:

that we have that connection with people so that we can achieve that.

That leads me into this:

what makes you different from, say, go to expedia.com

That leads me into this:

or work with another travel agent?

That leads me into this:

What makes you unique, because I think all of us can have that value

That leads me into this:

proposition, and I know the answer to this, but I want our listeners to hear

That leads me into this:

it from you because you have lived this for over six years, so I'm wondering if

That leads me into this:

you could share a little bit about that process of how you help families and

That leads me into this:

even individuals go from, "I have this idea of a trip", all the way to, "Yay!

That leads me into this:

I'm here and I'm enjoying myself."

Amanda:

Yeah.

Amanda:

Yeah, so your question's kind of a two-part question because the first

Amanda:

part is how am I different from Expedia?

Joshua:

Correct; to that part.

Amanda:

So that part I'll start with.

Amanda:

I am different because Expedia will not call you back.

Amanda:

Expedia will not wait on hold for you for 10 hours.

Amanda:

Expedia does not care if the hotel is overbooked and they've sold you a room.

Amanda:

Expedia could even sell you a room at a hotel that is now a parking lot.

Amanda:

Yes.

Amanda:

I have not had my clients have that happen, but another friend said that

Amanda:

has happened, and I think coming out of 2020 should have been an eye-opener

Amanda:

I think for a lot of people in the travel industry world, because a lot of

Amanda:

people bought their vacations where they bought their toilet paper: Costco, and-

Joshua:

Yes.

Joshua:

They had.

Amanda:

And what happened was when the world closed, Costco was

Amanda:

like, "Can't do anything about it.

Amanda:

You got to call him.

Amanda:

We don't actually do anything."

Amanda:

Whereas ,me and other agents like me, were the ones who were on hold for 10,

Amanda:

12 hours at a time, modifying, fixing, getting refunds, things like that, so

Amanda:

when you book with a booking engine site, you don't get that personal level, and

Amanda:

let me just say, when you book online, no matter almost anything you book,

Amanda:

whether it's a hotel, a rental car, a vacation package, all inclusive, Disney,

Amanda:

Universal, whatever; there's a commission built into that price no matter where.

Amanda:

Even with Expedia and booking.com, all of those places have commissions built in.

Amanda:

It's whether or not you're taking advantage, you're paying the commission

Amanda:

no matter what, but when you book with me, they pay me the commission versus

Amanda:

keeping it for themselves, so I offer fee free services to my clients because

Amanda:

of that reason, so I use Disney because that's my bread and butter, but with

Amanda:

Disney, they have a commission already built into their price, so when you

Amanda:

go online and you price a vacation with them, they give you a price.

Amanda:

That price is going to be exactly the same price as I'm going to give you,

Amanda:

but the difference is, they're either paying them to keep the whole amount

Amanda:

of money, or you're paying them and they're paying me a chunk of that to

Amanda:

walk you through the different steps of the vacation, so I think that's

Amanda:

the first part of your question.

Joshua:

Yeah.

Amanda:

So the second part was how do I differ from other agents or-

Joshua:

Yeah.

Joshua:

Is it about the process or how do you actually do that, is

Joshua:

really that original question.

Joshua:

Yeah.

Amanda:

Yeah, yeah, so with my process, let me first start by saying

Amanda:

that if you are working with the travel agent, love your travel agent.

Amanda:

Stick with them.

Amanda:

Be loyal to them, because I'm sure they're probably working super hard for you, but

Amanda:

if you don't have a travel agent, that's where I can come in, so my process is

Amanda:

you'd reach out to me and you say, "Hey.

Amanda:

We are looking to go Hawaii next year."

Amanda:

I'm like, "Awesome.

Amanda:

What island?"

Amanda:

"Oh wait, there's more than one island?"

Amanda:

"Yes.

Amanda:

What do you want to see in Hawaii?

Amanda:

Do you want to see the volcano, or do you want to go to Pearl Harbor, or are

Amanda:

you looking for Maui?", and they're like, "Oh", so that's where we start.

Amanda:

We first start by figuring out what you want in your vacation.

Amanda:

What are you looking for?

Amanda:

What type of vacation do you like?

Amanda:

Are you looking for an adventurous one, or a laid back, I just want

Amanda:

to be pampered the whole time?

Amanda:

From there, I curate a couple of options for you.

Amanda:

Normally, I try to keep it around three to five options, because anything

Amanda:

else would be overwhelming, and I send them to you and I give you my little

Amanda:

spiel on why I like each option.

Amanda:

Every option I send you will either be one that I've researched personally I've

Amanda:

been to, or that I have another agent.

Amanda:

I'm an independent contractor for a company called Fairytale Journeys Travel.

Amanda:

We have over 200 agents within our agency, all over the country, so if I don't

Amanda:

have experience with the destination, all I have to do is say, "Hey.

Amanda:

I have a client who is looking to go to Hawaii.

Amanda:

Any recommendations on where they should stay on Big Islands?", and from there,

Amanda:

I take their recommendations and my recommendations and create a list for you.

Amanda:

You tell me what you like and we get it booked, and then we walk through

Amanda:

the process of booking your excursions.

Amanda:

I don't book flights, but I help you find a flight and getting you your

Amanda:

transfers, so all of that kind of stuff.

Joshua:

That helps me and even the audience understand that there's a big

Joshua:

amount of personal connection with this, and my understanding is that you don't get

Joshua:

paid until they actually go on the trip.

Joshua:

Is my understanding correctly?

Amanda:

Yeah, absolutely, so like I said before, I am fee free.

Amanda:

Like I mentioned, how it works is we pay the supplier and then after you travel,

Amanda:

the supplier pays out, so if I run quotes for you and then you go to booking.com and

Amanda:

book it yourself, I don't make any money, and I've worked all that hardness for you.

Amanda:

If we get to the point and something happens and you have

Amanda:

to cancel, which trust me, I do not hold that against people.

Amanda:

I understand life happens, but again, in that situation, I again don't

Amanda:

make any money, even if we've worked together for months and then something

Amanda:

happens, I don't make anything.

Joshua:

I think that just demonstrates the importance of working with people

Joshua:

that are directly impacted, especially even franchise or business owners or

Joshua:

small business owners, diverse business owners, whatever it is, because you're

Joshua:

making a direct impact and for especially Amanda's situation, just having that

Joshua:

income come in because you're booking with her is benefiting that opportunity.

Joshua:

You're supporting those bacon bits, but more-

Amanda:

You are paying, you're helping pay for soccer, which

Amanda:

is so expensive these days.

Joshua:

Yes, absolutely.

Joshua:

The cleats and the shin guards.

Joshua:

I know how that is.

Joshua:

I've also played Oley soccer back in the day.

Joshua:

Amanda, can you tell us a client of yours that you had, and again, you don't have to

Joshua:

mention their name or anything like that-

Amanda:

Right.

Joshua:

That has been able to really enjoy their experience no matter where

Joshua:

it is, whether it's a Disney cruise or Disney vacation, or just some place

Joshua:

that they traveled and you helped them get there and they just were ecstatic,

Joshua:

and I'm sure you have so many different stories of that, but who is like that

Joshua:

one person or that one family that stands out the most, and why do they stand

Joshua:

out to you as opposed to somebody else?

Amanda:

Oh my gosh.

Amanda:

Okay, so I do have a lot of families.

Amanda:

I love all my families, so I mean, it's hard, but I have one family,

Amanda:

they travel the same time every year.

Amanda:

She was one of the first people to trust me with their vacations,

Amanda:

and it wasn't a small vacation.

Amanda:

They are a big family and they have big vacation expectations, and she

Amanda:

came to me and she trusted me with her family, and I'm going to say big

Amanda:

family, they have nine in their family.

Joshua:

Oh my gosh.

Amanda:

And they're mostly adults.

Amanda:

They have a couple of kids, but they're mostly a multi-generational family trip.

Amanda:

They travel every year and she was one of the first people to ever book with me

Amanda:

and she comes back every year and every year she trusts me to help her find a new

Amanda:

location and find a new destination, so I would say they stick out because like

Amanda:

I said, they trusted me and that's huge.

Amanda:

It's huge.

Amanda:

It's just getting people to trust me, trust the process, and then she's also

Amanda:

one of my biggest fans, so you need those cheerleaders who are, like, when

Amanda:

you're having a rough day, you log onto social media and you see them

Amanda:

shouting your name on how awesome you created, and it's like, "Okay.

Amanda:

I did something okay.", so it's the ones that hold you up and just push you forward

Amanda:

to be a better agent or a better person.

Joshua:

It's almost like having a cheerleader cheer you on,

Joshua:

especially in that sports analogy as you you're talking about.

Amanda:

Yeah.

Amanda:

My clients, as much as I cheer them on for their vacations, I don't think

Amanda:

they know how much they cheer me on when literally the other day I logged

Amanda:

into Facebook and it was a friend of mine, she had tagged my business page,

Amanda:

but not me, and I saw it because we're Facebook friends and she gave me the

Amanda:

best review ever, and then underneath a couple of my other clients chimed in.

Amanda:

They were like, "Oh, she's the best", and I'm like, "Ok.

Amanda:

They like me.", so it's always when you're having a rough day, because

Amanda:

you will have rough days, it's nice to have your cheerleaders supporting you.

Joshua:

As we close, I want to ask you this one final question, Amanda,

Joshua:

especially since I have to be honest, I feel like even though we haven't really

Joshua:

talked as often, because both our lives have been incredibly busy or have gone

Joshua:

into some incredible turns, who would you say is your biggest cheerleader

Joshua:

in your life, and why, and it doesn't have to be Ben, I'm just saying.

Amanda:

But it is Ben.

Joshua:

Yeah.

Amanda:

And I, it's going to sound so cheesy, but he says yes to everything.

Amanda:

All of my crazy ideas, and I mean, I have some crazy ideas, but he

Amanda:

was the one who told me I should apply to be a travel agent because

Amanda:

I love travel and I love Disney, and he's like, "Hey, you should apply.

Amanda:

You should finally do this.

Amanda:

Let's do it."

Amanda:

My office.

Amanda:

He redid this whole little room for me, so I'd have my own personal space.

Amanda:

We have three little boys and if I come to him and I say, "Hey.

Amanda:

I just got invited on a trip.

Amanda:

Any chance I can go away for a week?

Amanda:

Can you hold down the fort?"

Amanda:

He's like, "Yes.", and I mean, like I said before, he has a stressful job, so

Amanda:

for him, like yes, and when I get like the crazy thoughts of like, "Oh, I'm not

Amanda:

good at this", because we all get those crazy thoughts when we doubt ourselves,

Amanda:

he's the first one to say, "Really?

Amanda:

Come on.

Amanda:

Snap out of it.

Amanda:

That's just the craziest talking.", so yeah, I don't think I'd be as

Amanda:

successful as I am if it were not for him constantly cheering me on, and I

Amanda:

mean, to the point where with what I do, there's never really a day off.

Amanda:

I've had to work on Christmas morning because I have dining reservations.

Amanda:

Emergencies come up during family dinner and sometimes I have to scooch out,

Amanda:

and he is never once gotten mad at me.

Amanda:

You know, it'd be easy to be like, "Oh, well you can't ever unplug.", but

Amanda:

he's never ever looked and been like, "Well, gone again", you know, always

Amanda:

been supportive of what I have going on, so, yeah, as cheesy as it sounds,

Amanda:

he is definitely my biggest supporter.

Joshua:

Not to draw comparisons, but it sounds to me like Ben, and even other

Joshua:

people, even Jesus for that matter, has been those people that have surrounded

Joshua:

you no matter what that situation is, and has been so forgiving even when you've

Joshua:

had other things come up, and that's encouraging because sometimes having that

Joshua:

person that can be on the side and be able to root you on is something that can be so

Joshua:

powerful in so many different ways and I feel like you do that, especially for the

Joshua:

families that you work with, but Amanda, I want to give you the last few minutes to

Joshua:

pitch Fairytale Journeys by Amanda Bacon.

Joshua:

How can they get in contact with you if they would love to book with you,

Joshua:

especially with what you've just shared?

Joshua:

How could they start that process with you?

Joshua:

Is there any information that they should have in hand starting out?

Joshua:

I'm going to give you the last few minutes.

Amanda:

Okay, so I think the easiest way to get in contact with me is going to

be my email:

ftjbyamandabacon@gmail.com.

be my email:

I check my emails daily and I normally reply within 24 hours unless I have

be my email:

something going on with the family and then it might be a little bit longer,

be my email:

but I'm normally within 24 hours, you would go back from me, and really all I

need to know is:

where do you want to go?

need to know is:

What do you want to do?

need to know is:

I love, love walking in the journey of figuring it out.

need to know is:

It can even be as simple as I just want to go and have teal waters

need to know is:

and a nice drink in my hands.

need to know is:

I got a destination for that; several, actually, or it can be, I'm ready to

need to know is:

plan that once in a lifetime magical vacation to see a castle or two.

need to know is:

I have a destination for that, so yeah, my email address.

need to know is:

I'm also on Facebook, and it is Fairytale Journeys by Amanda Bacon, so those

need to know is:

are really the best two ways to get in contact with me and to start our

need to know is:

journey of making some magical memories.

Joshua:

Can you also give the audience your website too?

Amanda:

Yeah, it is fairytalejourneysbyamandabacon.com.

Joshua:

Awesome, and I'll have all that in the episode notes in

Joshua:

case you want to reference that, but Amanda, I want to say this.

Joshua:

Again, just like I had Kim on the show, I want to tell you that I know that we

Joshua:

haven't interacted as much, but I've been an avid follower of you and I've been

Joshua:

so impressed by what you have continued to be, and you are still the authentic

Joshua:

self that you have been even after all these years, and I love that your spirit

Joshua:

has carried on to be who you are and what you do to help others, to help the

Joshua:

little bacon bits themselves, and also Ben, the big bacon bit himself, and

Joshua:

I'm just encouraged, inspired by your family every time, and it definitely

Joshua:

allows me to say that I have goals, and those are some of the goals, hashtag

Joshua:

goals for Amanda's family because of all that, to throw it back to a nineties,

Joshua:

two thousands reference, but I wouldn't have it any other way, just as the old

Joshua:

Backstreet Boys song would say, but with all of that said, Amanda, thanks

Joshua:

for being on Speaking From The Heart.

Joshua:

I'm really glad that we got to connect and shared this opportunity and thank

Joshua:

you so much for being who you are, and thank you for supporting me as well.

Joshua:

It really has meant a lot.

Amanda:

Well, thank you really for having me.

Amanda:

It was a fun time to get to reconnect and chat a little bit.

Joshua:

I want to thank Amanda again for being part of the show and for

Joshua:

the years of friendship that we've had, not only being close friends

Joshua:

that we were, but even following our journeys even after all this time.

Joshua:

Again, it's one of those guests that I've had on the show before that has seen me

Joshua:

from the distance, has continued to see me go through this revolutionary change,

Joshua:

but even so many years ago, had even seen it in me and wanted me to become the best

Joshua:

version of myself, which often was not very easy to do, given all the challenges

Joshua:

and all the sacrifices that have been made, but that's really what this is all

Joshua:

about, is being able to understand that even the most biggest of fantasies that

Joshua:

we have in our lives of what we ultimately want to become can come true, and I think

Joshua:

Amanda's story about all of this in which it came to really the conclusion of what

Joshua:

she had to do in order to become something that sort of sparked that ingenuity,

Joshua:

that creativity to keep moving forward no matter what is what really drove her to

Joshua:

go through all the different things in our life to get to the other side, especially

Joshua:

embracing her Christianity, which I know she truly believes and has been something

Joshua:

that even with her relationship with her husband, Ben, has really created some

Joshua:

of the best versions for their family as well, and I think this is really an

Joshua:

important pivotal point in which we have to ask ourself this question: who can

Joshua:

we walk through in those dark times to get to the rainbows that we want to see,

Joshua:

and who can help us, no matter what, to become part of that ultimate experience?

Joshua:

I think in our lives, especially as we're young, we try to juggle so many

Joshua:

different priorities, which I know you're laughing at me right now because

Joshua:

you're probably thinking, "Josh, really?

Joshua:

We have priorities as kids even growing up?", and I would have to say, yes, we do.

Joshua:

Maybe not the same priorities that we would have, especially as we got older

Joshua:

and we have more job responsibilities as it relates to the financial piece of

Joshua:

it, making sure that we have something like a house to live in with a roof

Joshua:

over our head, and maybe even having food and water, the support and sustain

Joshua:

our livelihood, but when we juggle so many different things, who's going to

Joshua:

be part of this experience with us?

Joshua:

Who's going to hold us accountable for what's truly necessary, and I think

Joshua:

that being absolutely broken, even at an early age, can create some of the

Joshua:

most defining moments in our lives in which we never thought we possibly

Joshua:

could have, so it becomes a question of not only seeing those rainbows,

Joshua:

but how can we close the gap so we could see those rainbows more quickly?

Joshua:

I think for Amanda, especially with the journey that she's been on, she's been

Joshua:

able to connect so many families with that opportunity of a lifetime through her

Joshua:

experience, not only helping her family directly to experience the Disney World

Joshua:

Adventure that we all can be on, no matter what kind of sort of vacation package

Joshua:

that you choose, but it can help us to understand why, and more importantly,

Joshua:

how, we can create some of those movements in our own lives, whether they're really

Joshua:

easy to do or really hard and complicated, spending hours in the wee morning

Joshua:

helping someone, especially when they're stranded and needing to get assistance.

Joshua:

I think that for many of us, being able to go through those broken moments can

Joshua:

actually strengthen us to get to the other side, especially if it helps us

Joshua:

to understand really who we can truly be, and I think that we create those

Joshua:

opportunities for others, whether we believe it or not and it's not just about

Joshua:

understanding the work that is involved with it, but understanding the impact.

Joshua:

I've mentioned on many episodes about my friend Dan Armstrong, which we've had on

Joshua:

the show, talk about that, and that even from a distance, you don't even realize

Joshua:

how much of a true impact someone has on someone else, and even talking to Brianne

Joshua:

DiDino, and talking about those universal teams that we have, I think that all of us

Joshua:

understand the importance of having that support system so that we can get to the

Joshua:

day the day, but the biggest underpinning to all those things in which we create

Joshua:

those best relationships with people in which sometimes we don't even know that

Joshua:

we have those relationships with people, is all about this one word only: trust.

Joshua:

Trust defines everything that we can ever become in our lives.

Joshua:

Trust allows us to have people in our life that define the process of taking even

Joshua:

that first step, and as a coach, I believe that so much more than anything else,

Joshua:

although sometimes for me, and especially in the early parts of my life, I did not

Joshua:

believe in trust whatsoever because we sometimes don't even believe in ourselves.

Joshua:

We don't believe in what we could potentially do and especially when

Joshua:

we're stuck in some of the most livid, the most terrible situations

Joshua:

in which we want to have an escape plan, we have to say to ourselves,

Joshua:

"What is the best way to go about this without angering, disappointing, or

Joshua:

even frustrating that other person?"

Joshua:

I think this is where we need to stop and think about for

Joshua:

a little bit about ourselves.

Joshua:

Yes.

Joshua:

I'm not going to debate for one moment about the concept of a marriage and

Joshua:

really the importance of understanding that connection, having that trust factor

Joshua:

so that you could both move in unison.

Joshua:

You make that relationship commitment no matter what it is, no matter if you have

Joshua:

one person, or even as one therapist guest that we've had on this show talked about

Joshua:

if you have many people that you love and you care about, and you definitely

Joshua:

create some of those best bonds.

Joshua:

Ultimately, the question really becomes: who is going to say yes to our crazy

Joshua:

ideas in order for them to be a reality?

Joshua:

I think that sometimes being a little crazy can help us to understand the

Joshua:

sacrifice, the energy, the determination, the confidence that we have in ourselves

Joshua:

to create some of the best things in our entire lives, including those most

Joshua:

magical of moments, and I think that for Amanda and her guardians that have

Joshua:

helped her in her life, it certainly shows that the power of family can overcome

Joshua:

so much, and can teach you so much about not only yourself, but for others,

Joshua:

teach you about the ability of bonding.

Joshua:

Being able to understand and create that ultimate connection with someone,

Joshua:

whether they are in the physical or not, to understand and to truly

Joshua:

appreciate some of the best aspects that we have yet to come in our lives.

Joshua:

Essentially, it becomes a matter of how we can juggle those things so that

Joshua:

we can take the proper attention, the proper course of action, in order for

Joshua:

us to not only understand what's truly important, but to also instill those

Joshua:

sort of skill sets into somebody else.

Joshua:

Ultimately, it becomes not just who we want to become, but who

Joshua:

do we want others that we have influence over to become as well.

Joshua:

I think Disney is in the works of doing just that by creating such a magical

Joshua:

experience, you can have kids and even adults from that matter, have a truly

Joshua:

big testimony to tell about their own lives and being able to understand and

Joshua:

relate in such a way that allows others to see the true abilities that we have

Joshua:

within ourselves, and I think for Amanda, she's seeing that at a young age and

Joshua:

she was able to do that just as much.

Joshua:

Although it took her a little bit, she got to that side and she's rocking it.

Joshua:

She's rocking it so loudly for others, even her own family, it becomes

Joshua:

something that she never thought she would ever be at a young age, and even

Joshua:

for me, walking alongside of her and seeing those experiences and really,

Joshua:

to be honest, wanting to just be able to listen to what she had to say, I

Joshua:

wasn't ready for it, and that's exactly another point I have to make is that

Joshua:

we have to be ready to embrace that.

Joshua:

To embrace what is in our wildest dreams, whatever is on the other side

Joshua:

of that rainbow, because if we're able to do that, we are going to

Joshua:

be willing to change more quickly.

Joshua:

We are going to be able to get to the other side very fast, but more

Joshua:

importantly, we're going to be able to learn skills, knowledge, and abilities

Joshua:

that oftentimes is forgotten about, and I think that for anybody going through such

Joshua:

an experience that is truly important, not just in the way in which we create

Joshua:

some of the best versions of ourselves, but to help us to understand how we,

Joshua:

as human beings move forward throughout time itself, because no matter what time

Joshua:

does to us, we always think about those magical moments in our lives, even if

Joshua:

they do come from a Disney vacation, because we want to be not just the best

Joshua:

versions of ourselves, but the best things that we have ever seen in our lives,

Joshua:

even if it is such a Disney character.

Joshua:

Thanks for listening to episode number 61 of Speaking From The

Joshua:

Heart, and I look forward to hearing from your heart very soon.

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