How a Nurse Practitioner Found Joy as a Fora Advisor

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Fora Author Fora

The Modern Travel Agency


    a blonde woman wearing blue pants anf a blue shirt stands in front of an ornate door and a colorful archway

    Images courtesy of Elizabeth Kazcka

    Elizabeth Kaczka is accustomed to high-stress environments. She worked as a pediatric intensive-care-unit nurse for 10 years before graduating with her master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and becoming a nurse practitioner. Today, she works alongside a renowned cardiac surgeon at New York University Medical Center. She assists with complex open-heart surgeries on neonates who were born with congenital heart defects.

    “Part of it is a little bit of adrenaline to keep up with it all,” Elizabeth said, “We're always finding ourselves in some sort of life-threatening scenarios.”

    The work is intense, but she is passionate about what she does, and finds support among her colleagues. 

    “It's a team effort. It's a community,” she said. 

    Elizabeth’s other passion is travel.

    “I've been working in a very high-stress environment for almost 20 years of my life, and the way I've gotten through all of that is by having these small adventures that have absolutely nothing to do with medicine,” she explained.

    Elizabeth finds that the medical world is quite conducive to travel lovers. Long shifts (12 hours, 24 hours) allow for condensed work weeks and days left to travel. 

    “There's no real set Monday through Friday 9 to 5 schedule,” Elizabeth said. “And while that can sound awful in some ways, it actually allows for the flexibility of having a lot of time off without [having to request PTO for] vacations.”

    After over a decade exploring the world (she and her husband have been to more than 50 countries), she discovered Fora.

    “I decided to take the plunge and apply,” she said. “I didn't really know where it would lead at the time. I just was like, this sounds perfect for me.”

    Catching the travel bug

    a woman in a pink jacket stands on a cruise deck

    Images courtesy of Elizabeth Kazcka

    In nursing school, Elizabeth studied abroad in England, and took side trips (Paris, Italy) to explore on her own. She didn’t have as much time to travel in grad school. But right after graduation, in anticipation of an upcoming knee surgery, she embarked on a last-hurrah hiking trip to Alaska and Canada with her sister and a friend.

    When she returned, a new life chapter awaited. She started her professional career and met her husband: “He got the travel bug with me,” she reminisced. 

    Travel continued to be a much-needed respite from the hospital, but when the pandemic hit, travel became virtually impossible, and the demands of the profession dialed up even further.

    “When everyone was working from home, that wasn't something that any medical provider could do,” she said. “We were all still working every single day at the hospital.”

    To remain connected to the travel world, Elizabeth and her husband started travel blogging. Eventually, she came across Fora. She was attracted to the ability to set her own schedule, to work when she wanted and for as long as she wanted. The fact that she could work remotely also piqued her interest. 

    “Fora was able to provide all the trainings to kind of get you up and running,” she said. “I was really looking for a way that I might be able to have a career that was a little bit more mobile.”

    She wanted to experiment with injecting more balance into her life. Medicine would always be a passion of hers, but so would travel.

    “And it just so happens there are a lot of people looking for travel advisors,” Elizabeth added.

    Starting a travel career with Fora

    a woman stands on a rocky cliff overlooking a lake

    Images courtesy of Elizabeth Kazcka

    Elizabeth said her success as a Fora Advisor came quicker than expected. 

    “It actually allowed me to cut my hours at work to part-time,” she said. “So now, two days a week, I still work with my surgeon, and the other days I plan travel.”

    Her first clients were friends, and friends of friends. Word of mouth proved to be the best marketing strategy, and referrals kept her clients base growing. 

    “If someone was mentioning travel, either in the workplace or out at a social event, I would kind of pitch myself and explain what my services were,” she said, adding that she thinks of travel advising as akin to that of a hairstylist. “You're going to ask a friend: I want to go get my hair dyed, where do you get your hair dyed? [Travel advising is the] same type of thing.”

    The most challenging part when starting out, Elizabeth said, was being taken seriously as she pivoted to this new career. 

    “Coming from a background of medicine and being in a profession that came with a lot of education, it's hard to suddenly pivot,” she said. “They all knew me as one individual, and then I was kind of trying to change career paths.”

    But Fora’s training and certification levels helped provide the structure and confidence she needed. She’s found the destination trainings to be especially helpful, allowing her to sell locations she’s never been to with the expert knowledge from Fora’s instructors. 

    She spotlighted Fora’s community as a big factor in her success as well. She explained that she consistently uses Fora’s community app Forum to source the insider advice and recommendations from fellow advisors and Fora HQ members. 

    “Everyone's so community-focused, [which is] is awesome,” she explained. “When you start a new career…you don't know where to find that network, and Fora essentially built it for us.”

    Marrying luxury and adventure

    a woman sits in a sun-lit cave

    Images courtesy of Elizabeth Kazcka

    Elizabeth’s personal travel style is a mix of adventure and luxury, and this domain is also her niche as a Fora Advisor. 

    “[My husband and I] like to go down to Patagonia and do all of the hikes that are the most difficult hikes you can do, but then we want to come back to a five-star hotel and have a nice glass of wine, a plush robe, some slippers,” she said. “We want to be pampered.”

    Part of being pampered involves finding the perfect hotel, something Elizabeth takes very seriously (as every travel advisor should). 

    “A lot of people think a hotel is just a place you sleep in, and I completely disagree,” she said. “It can make or break an entire trip.” (A couple of her personal favorites include Amangiri in Utah and La Residencia, A Belmond Hotel in Mallorca.)

    Not all of her clients are as into adventure travel as she is, but when a traveler is down for an active experience, she grows especially excited. She’s currently working on a Tanzania itinerary, and has a client heading to Guatemala to hike its active volcano, Volcán de Fuego. Elizabeth loves to tap into this other side of herself, nurturing her love for travel in a novel, creative way.

    “I honestly had always wanted to have something else besides medicine, just because the burnout rate is high, and to be realistic with yourself, it's hard to work more than 20 years in an intense environment like that all the time,” she said. “[Being a Fora Advisor] has proven to me that you really can change paths; you can do other things. You can do two things and you can be good at two things.”

    And Elizabeth is not merely good, we might add. In fact, she was invited to join Fora X, Fora’s boutique agency reserved for its highest earners. As a Fora X-er, she’ll act as a mentor to new Fora Advisors and continue planning stellar trips for clients, of course.  

    “I want to just help more people see how using an advisor can turn a simple vacation into something that's extraordinary that they will always remember,” she said.


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