Imagine the adventure of starting a business after the age of fifty? Now imagine that business was all about adventure—more specifically, organizing women’s boutique travel groups. It gets even better, imagine your beloved adult daughter joining you in partnership with this exciting venture?
That’s exactly what happened for Tami Al-Hazza. Tami and her daughter Latifah have launched an exciting new career in travel exploits. I was naturally intrigued being over fifty myself and having 5 daughters of my own. I asked Tami how this all came to be, and found her answer more meaningful then I had imagined.
“I was reading an article in the New York Times about a woman in her forties who was in finance and just received a promotion which would require her to work long hours and some weekends. The promotion meant a huge increase in her salary but it also meant that she would have even less time to spend with her young daughter. The woman looked at her daughter and realized that when she died she would have nothing to leave to her daughter to secure her future and she also realized that the long hours at work paid off financially but left her empty and disconnected from her family. She had been wanting to start a bed and breakfast for years and this business venture would give her an opportunity to be at home with her daughter and to leave her daughter the business when she died. So, she took a leap of faith and started her business.
As I read that article, I got chill bumps. I realized that I felt the same way. I am a professor and for many, many years I had spent all my spare time devoted to publishing research or trying to build up programs within our department. My mind was constantly wrapped around my work and this left little time for my family and that I, too, would have nothing to leave to my daughter. The next day, I was waiting for an appointment at the doctor’s office and I picked up a magazine that featured women’s travel groups. As I sat there reading about these groups, I realized that these two articles that I had read were a message to me.
So, I talked with my daughter about the idea, she loved it. We have always traveled together a great deal visiting more than 50 countries and we had lived overseas for extended periods of time so traveling feels natural to us. We felt that our travels together had created a strong bond between us and that it had also made us feel more independent and stronger as women. We wanted to offer different types of trips than what we saw on the market, so we designed three distinct types of trips. Mother-daughter trips, trips for women over 40 and trips for women in their 20s and 30s. Especially important to us were trips for mothers and daughters. Because we felt that our mother-daughter bond really strengthened through our travels, we wanted to offer other mothers and daughters the same opportunity. And, because I know the changes that women go through over 40, I am 58, I felt that I would not want to travel with a group of 20 and 30-year-old women. I am interested in a slower pace and seeing different types of things. So, we decided to offer trips for women who want to be with other women in the same age group. And, my daughter Latifah, specializes in trips for the younger women. They are moving at a faster pace than I care to go!
When I was younger, I never considered owning my own business. Although I come from a long line of female entrepreneurs, I lived overseas and I didn’t have the opportunity to go into business. Now that I am in my fifties, I am excited to begin a new line of work and very excited about having a business with my daughter. We find that we each have different strengths and weaknesses and we often have very different perspectives so we have to try to step back and see the other person’s viewpoint. It is refreshing to wake up to a new project and find that every day brings new challenges and new rewards. I couldn’t be more excited going forward!
Click Femscape Sojourns to find out more about Tami and Latiftah’s inspiring story and adventurous travel opportunities.