A company boss who has overcome his fear of flying has now set up his own travel business.
Spiders, injections and the thought of being thousands of feet up in the air was enough to put Trevor Vanzie off venturing outside the UK.
But despite still suffering from the occasional ‘wobble’ he has worked hard to conquer his phobia and travelled round the globe.
His journey to overcome his fear of flight started in his 20s, soon after his parents died within a year of each other and he decided life was too short.
Fast forward 30 years and the father-of-three from Hartford has travelled the world during a career in global logistics, where he met his wife, Caroline.
Now seasoned globetrotters, the couple are sharing their experiences and knowledge through their own business, The Perfect Getaway, offering bespoke tailor-made breaks.
But Trevor, whose mother was Jamaican and his father from Belize, still battles with all things aeronautical and on his first trip to Jamaica a few years ago he actually missed his first flight when the nerves kicked in again.
He said: “I missed the flight by half an hour and it was the anxiety with flying which had held me back. I just had a real panic about it. I think it was because it was the first time I had travelled alone.
“But overnight, I had a bit of a chat with myself and luckily the next day, I was able to get on the next flight and off I went but at times I do still find it hard.”
He added: “I was once absolutely petrified of flying and I remember refusing to go when my mother wanted to take me to Jamaica.
“I was also put off by the thought of spiders and having to endure big needles.
“She was very religious and I remember saying to her: ‘If God wanted us to fly, he would’ve given us wings.’
“But when my parents died when I was in my early 20s, it changed my life and I realised I had nothing to lose and everything to gain.”
Trevor, 51, who has now jetted off to Cuba, Jamaica, America, Italy, Cyprus, Greece, Egypt and South Africa, added: “When I was around 22, I went to Tenerife.
“I can remember being extremely anxious when we got on the plane and I was adamant I needed to sit by the window because for some reason, I needed to see the plane take off.
“I have never been the type of person who takes pills so I decided just to go cold turkey and go for it and I came out in a cold sweat. I just tried to keep focused on other things and think about the hot sun and exciting adventure which lay ahead of me.
“I enjoyed my first experience abroad so much, that I started going further afield.
“I got talking to a lot of the locals and business people and from them, I found out some amazing things to see and do off the beaten track.
“Back home, I was working in logistics and would have to deal with international companies and it gave me more of a taste of the big wide world.”
It was when he was working for chemical distribution company, Brenntag that Trevor, who grew up in London, met global operations director, Caroline whose own role had taken her far and wide.
The pair, who have been together for 10 years decided to pool their expertise and became part of the Not Just Travel franchise creating their own brand, The Perfect Getaway, in February last year.
“Between us, we have certain skills and contacts and combine them with our passion and knowledge of travelling,” said Trevor.
“The customers we’ve had so far have come to us through word of mouth, we’ve not had to do any advertising as yet.
“Trevor and Caroline’s tailor-made service is free to the customer with clients only paying for the things which are booked on their behalf such as hotels, flights and private transfers.
Trevor added: “We do not earn anything from our customers, we earn commission from our 450 suppliers.”
The couple work from their home in Hartford and make themselves available 24/7 for clients who might encounter any difficulties while they are abroad.
Trevor said: “Travel enriches you, it changes you and allows you to experience different cultures.
“It’s not just about going on holiday, it’s about experiencing something different and getting the best out of your hard earned time and money.”
Trevor believes his personal insight into the stresses of travelling keeps him in tune with the needs of his client and are what makes his company’s approach so special.
“The way we see it, our client’s break starts from the moment they make that first phone call to us. We are here to take all the pressure away and ensure their travel experience is as stress free as it can be. We want them to have the best possible time and be as relaxed as possible which is what I have come to realise is extremely important to me when I am travelling myself.”