We were lucky to catch up with Francisca Olopade recently and have shared our conversation below.
Francisca, appreciate you joining us today. Can you tell us a bit about who your hero is and the influence they’ve had on you?
My mother is my hero. She is the kindest and most giving and generous person I know. Growing up, she was my safe space, she was gentle yet fierce. She knew what she wanted and went for it, she sacrificed a lot in order to provide the best for us. From a young age, she instilled in us the importance of education and that knowledge is power. Her parents weren’t educated but she vowed to break that cycle and excel in life and she did, today she holds a masters degree in chemistry and all 7 of her siblings are also degree holders in their respective fields. Prior to retirement, she worked at ExxonMobil Nigeria in management for years while raising 5 children. She is indeed a role model.
She is a also strong woman of faith becuase despite the curve balls that life has thrown her in the last 5 Years, she remains strong with so much hope that tomorrow will be better. She remains a wife to my dad, mother to me and my siblings and the greatest grandmother to ten grandchildren.
I admire her and look up to her so much!
Francisca, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
I have aways loved travel. Growing up, I remember I wanted to be an aeronautic engineer, thinking back, I may not have fully understood what that entailed but it meant to me that I loved planes and inherently traveling. I came to the US for college in 2001 and I started traveling. I would visit my friends/family in other states just so I could visit a new city. After graduation, I continued to travel and would post my travels on social media and people would ask me to help them book vacations and I gladly did it . After some time, I found out I could monetize booking vacations for people so I did some research and started my travel agency in 2017.
My travel agency is called Exploraytion Travel & Tours. We specialize in booking all inclusive vacations in the carribean and Mexico, domestic US travel, theme park trips, Disney, Europe, Middle East & Central America. We also book tours/activities for our clients plus we offer travel insurance packages. Our mission is to provide the ultimate experience for our clients where they have a worry free, safe & enjoyable vacation that enables them to refer us to other people.
What sets us apart is our focus on the customer experience. We take care of our clients pre departure, we make sure they have all the documents they need to travel , we follow up with the customer while in destination to make sure all is well and finally, we ensure that they make it back home safely after their vacation is over. We place so much value on the customer experience because we believe a satisfied customer will come back and also tell other people about their experience.
How’d you build such a strong reputation within your market?
What helped me build my brand was practicing what I preached. I started out traveling personally and then helping people book trips, telling them where to visit when they go to certain places and much more before starting my business. People tend to be have faith in your expertise when you lead by example rather than by words. Also, I’m active on my Instagram page where I post a lot of my travels on stories & reels which helps me engage with my followers. This creates a connection that builds even more trust between me and my clients.
Can you share a story from your journey that illustrates your resilience?
I lost my younger brother Raymond in 2017 and his death is what pushed me to start my travel agency, in fact the “Ray” in exploraytion is in honor of him. He always told me to go after my dreams but I was so afraid to venture out and start my travel agency but after his demise, I realized that our time on earth is short and I needed to fulfill my purpose. Despite my pain and loss at that time, I started my agency and was determined to travel even more that that same year, I went on my first solo trip to Miami. Through my pain, I birthed something that help others get out of their comfort zones and venture out to see the world. Through my travels, I show moms and other women that it is possible to travel solo, travel far & travel with children.
- Instagram: @exploraytiontravel
- Facebook: exploraytiontravel