Talking with Mosteller about her travel schedule can make your head spin with excitement. A sampling of the group’s upcoming trips includes South America, the Canadian Rockies, Southern California, Iceland, Hawaii, Poland, Alaska, Greece and a cruise on the Columbia River. Mosteller also plans day trips and less expensive domestic trips that sell out quickly.
“I try to find trips that start at $200 all the way up,” said Mosteller. “If I’m doing my job as director of the senior center, I can’t just get locked into offering international trips. I want to give everyone a chance to travel.”
Much of the demand for Mosteller’s menu of trips is generated at an annual travel party, where about 400 people attend and many of the upcoming trips sell out on the spot. The Select Traveler Conference has also aided Mosteller over the past three years by helping her make connections with travel partners.
“The conference has helped me get to the point where I can let companies bid on a trip,” said Mosteller. “I can get four or five bids on a trip and then select the ones that I want based on the itinerary and prices. I’m thankful that the Select Traveler Conference started including parks and recreation groups because there are a lot of us out there traveling.”
Follow the Giant
To help ease the nerves of passengers intimidated by navigating massive airports, Mosteller has one solution: follow her 6-foot-5-inch husband, John.
“My husband is really tall, so I tell them to just look for the tall guy,” said Mosteller. “He helps lead them through the airport. We’re a great team. He may lead them, and I follow behind to make sure everyone’s with us. Airports are not people friendly anymore, so you have to be there with your group.”
Since John’s retirement in 2009, he accompanies the Recycled Teenagers on all their trips, which encouraged Mosteller to add more travel to the group’s schedule.
“I don’t send my people; I go with my people,” said Mosteller. “To me, that’s the secret of being a good group leader. You have to build that trust with the client from the first payment to when they get off the bus.”
Mosteller serves as her group’s security blanket, which is why seniors who had never set foot on an airplane felt safe enough to attempt it for the first time with her. She also encourages them to try adventurous activities while on tours, such as zip lining, whitewater rafting and indoor skydiving.
“I’ve been asked how I get people to go on my trips,” said Mosteller. “You’ve got to treat your travel club like a business. You’ve got to sell yourself. You’ve got to love it, and they will know if you love it.”
Mosteller’s charisma helped convince the seniors in Dalton to embrace their inner explorers and create some incredible memories. Despite this accomplishment, Mosteller remains humble.
“I don’t take any credit for it,” said Mosteller. “I think the Lord has just blessed me. I’m thankful for the job that I have.”
• Be flexible. Know that not everything is going to work perfectly but that it will work out.
• Just remember: This too shall pass, whether good or bad.
• Life is short. Be thankful for each breath you take. Make someone’s day with a smile.