My name is Al Brown and I grew up in Hartsville, SC. I got my undergraduate degree from Clemson University and my MBA from the University of South Carolina. Yes, I am still a Clemson fan! I worked fulltime in the IT field for 35 years and am now “semi-retired” from that profession. I still do some consulting work in the IT field but became interested in being a Good News Travels Tour Manager by my friends Ralph and Mark K Bryan who are Good News Travels Tour Managers. We had talked for about a year when I finally decided to check out Good News and it has been a great adventure. This being my first year as a tour manager I have managed a limited number of trips but I have enjoyed each trip.
I have especially enjoyed my trips with Good News to Washington, DC. Seeing kids (and many adults) experience our nation’s capital for the first time is so exciting. I have always said that Washington, DC is at the top of the list of places that all Americans should visit. I have been fortunate to have travelled many places both for my work in IT and for pleasure. For those of us that have visited many parts of the US and the world we sometimes forget that many people have not had the opportunity to see so much that this world has to offer. I have always felt that travel enriches one’s life in ways that are hard to fully describe. Seeing places firsthand that one has only read about is an eye opening and memorable experience. I was first bitten by the travel bug when my parents took our family to the World’s Fair in New York City in 1964. I still have great memories of that trip. Travel gives one memories that last their entire lifetime.
A good tour manager is a “people person”. One of the best parts of being a Good News Travels Manager is meeting the people on the trip. I’ve always liked meeting new people and learning of their life stories. Being a Good News tour manager affords an opportunity to meet a wide variety of people. It’s great! Being a tour manager has made me realize that many people want to travel and see places but they are somewhat intimidated to the work involved to make it happen. Let’s face it, a good trip requires the four functions of business management – planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. Good News staff along with the Good News tour manager perform these functions for the traveler so they don’t have to. Having planned many trips on my own, and having done all of the work to make the trip go smoothly, I now appreciate that people can go on a Good News trip and leave the worrying about the details to Good News and the Good News tour manager.
Travel musts for me are a backpack to keep all of my “stuff” handy. My backpack will always contain my iPad, sunglasses, reading glasses, disinfecting wipes, multiple pens and markers, some snacks, and last but not least, maps! Yes, I still like having maps and I always have old fashioned maps to see where we are going.