Patrick Rogers started Faith and Family Travel in Ringgold seven years ago as he transitioned from teacher to retirement. An avid traveler, Rogers has traversed the world from Europe to Asia to North America and wanted to share that love with others.
As a teacher, summers were designated for exploring, and that sparked the travel bug in his daughter, Kara Shaner.
Shaner, 33, followed in her father's footsteps and became a teacher. She didn't think she'd join his travel agency, but when her son was born three years ago and she wanted a more flexible schedule, she hopped on board.
In the age of the internet, it's a breeze booking a flight, hotel and tour reservations all on your own. But what Shaner specializes in, she said, is creating a personalized service beyond what a Google search can provide. Often, customers can either come in with an idea of what they want — exploring Yellowstone or a European cruise, for example — or they can say what they liked in a previous trip and, with Shaner's guidance, help craft a new travel experience tailored to them, she said.
"It's so easy to do it yourself, but we work as a liaison with all these groups and what you want," she said.
The way Shaner sees it, most travel experiences can be boiled down into three different categories: "See the World," geared toward older travelers; "Adventure Together" for families; and "Deepen the Soul," what she and Rogers call their faith based travel services.
One year, Rogers and his family attended the famous "Passion of the Christ" play in Oberammergau, Germany, where it is only performed every 10 years. Looking back on that experience sparked the idea to create faith based tours that can "enrich the soul," said his daughter.
Among some of the faith based destinations Shaner helps to plan for are Israel, Jordan, Italy, Ireland and Greece. In November 2020, Rogers will lead a "Bible Land Discovery" tour through Israel to visit Bethlehem, Jericho, Jerusalem and the Dead Sea.
While Shaner said she has always been detail oriented, her favorite part is simply giving people the experience of travel. She and her dad have seen a combined 30 counties.
"I had a model in my father, and now I can share this with others," said Shaner.
For more information, visit faithandfamilytravel.com.
Email Sabrina Bodon at email@example.com.