Some of us are lucky enough to fall into careers that we love, where just coming to work is a joyful part of the day. Fewer have been purposeful, have seized the brass ring and gotten into those careers through hard work, perseverance and, yes, even a little bit of luck. The path to Tarita Davenock’s dream career was decided by an entirely different kind of luck. A social worker whose specialty was in helping children and adults with special needs, she had stability; her BAs in English and Psychology ensured the future of that stability. In fact, as a candidate for a Master’s Degree, all she needed was a bit of time and some creative budgeting and the world, a world she had traveled extensively, would be her oyster.
All of this stability was shattered when, at the age of 29, Tarita was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and was struck with the realization that her life would never be the same. Knowing that her best way forward was to take hold of that life and ensure that its direction was one of her own choosing, that the MS was not going to control her future, she seized on a passion for travel she had nursed since childhood. Tarita became an entrepreneur in an industry where she has been able to carve out a significant niche, based on a personal philosophy that travel should be Inclusive and not exclusive.
Seventeen years later, Tarita has found her place as an expert in creating dream vacations for those who thought dream vacations were for other people. A Certified Special Needs Travel Advocate, she takes great pride in ensuring that, regardless of your level of mobility or ability, you will have the experience of a lifetime.
Tarita feels that all businesses should be run with a Pay it Forward philosophy, and her desire to make a difference doesn't just apply to people; she is a passionate animal rights activist, and gives generously to her local SPCA through a Paws for Holidays campaign. A portion of all her travel earnings goes to help animals in need, both locally and nationwide.
mobileWOMEN.org was fortunate to talk with Tarita and ask her questions about her agency, Tarita's Travel Connections and career.
mW: What is the process to book a trip through you?
TD: Call me by phone toll free # 1-888-993-9295 (North America) and I will tailor a vacation for you.
mW: How do you differ from a regular travel agency?
TD: Two things 1) I also live with a disability (MS) so I understand all of your needs & I also know what questions to ask you in order to create a perfect for you vacation. 2) I have all of the information regarding worldwide accessible travel suppliers; regular travel agents most likely do not know of them.
mW: Other than hotel and transportation, are there other areas for people with disabilities that you can help with? Can you help organize rental equipment? Personal care Assistance?
TD: Yes, I can usually organize equipment (depends on what & where) I investigate ways to make this happen. Personal care assistance depends on what the specific needs are supplies or attendants?
mW: Are there additional fees?
TD: If we add on equipment i.e. wheelchairs (beach & regular) oxygen therapy, dialysis at sea, autism at sea, personal supplies (undergarments) travel visa’s there are fees applicable to these needs. I do not charge any personal fees; I only ask for some pictures from your vacation & ‘kudos’ letters!
mW: How do you manage having your own business with living with a disability at the same time?
TD: I work from home; which is much easier than when I worked at a travel agency for 15 years! I love creating my mantra that ‘Travel Should Be Inclusive- Not Exclusive’ and this beautiful world is meant to be seen, and I want you to do whatever you dream of!
mW: What advice would you give other mobileWOMEN thinking about starting a business?
TD: Network and prepare yourself for a lot of hard work, phone calls and if you have faith in yourself; DO IT!!
For more information about Tarita's Travel Connections visit:
You can also check out this recent radio interview with Tarita discussing accessible travel: