How Danielle Di Maio, a Mother & Former Teacher, Found Her Dream Job as a Fora Advisor

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Fora Author Fora Travel

The Modern Travel Agency

Fora Travel

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    Image courtesy of Danielle di Maio

    “My mom would not let us on a plane because she was nervous,” said Fora Advisor Danielle Di Maio. Her parents preferred local experiences. “We went to Disney, but we took a train from New Jersey to Florida,” she added.

    Danielle first embarked on a plane when she was 20. The occasion? A spring break trip to Cabo San Lucas.

    In college, Danielle quickly caught the travel bug. She dreamed of pursuing a career in hospitality, but the college coursework was far less exciting than expected. 

    “It was just microeconomics and things like that,” she said. “And I was like, this is a snooze fest. I would rather be doing anything else.”

    Danielle pivoted to teaching. She taught first and second grade, later gave birth to her son and realized that it was unsustainable to be in front of a classroom of 20+ kids all day, and then come home to her baby. 

    “I am overstimulated 24 hours a day, and I need a break,” she thought at the time. “That's kind of why I'm here.”

    Fora eventually came along, giving her the opportunity to launch a sustainable, fulfilling and flexible career in travel — minus the snooze-inducing microeconomics classes.

    Building her dream travel career

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    Images courtesy of Danielle di Maio

    After she left teaching, Danielle sought out work opportunities she could do at home, while caring for her son.

    “I wanted something where I could tie in my love for travel,” she said. “It's what I love to talk about. I wanted to tie in my love for travel with something that allowed me to stay home with my son.”

    She started her own itinerary-planning business called Fleetwood Travel Co., but crafting the perfect itinerary for clients involved a lot of work — without the requisite pay for a stable career.

    “You're just charging a planning fee,” she said. “It's not worth the legwork.”

    Along came Fora. She had a conversation with Evan Frank, one of Fora’s co-founders, early on, after Fora had just begun to get off the ground. Evan told her how she could still preserve her itinerary business, but also book and make commission on the hotels she was recommending. 

    “I was like, boom, we're good,” she said. “I can keep my business. I could keep my brand. I could keep my business model and tack on Fora to it.”

    At last, she found what she was looking for: a career in travel, one that was lucrative, fun and entirely doable from home. She signed up (Danielle was one of Fora’s original advisors) and, a couple years later, has hit Fora X status, meaning she’s surpassed an impressive booking threshold within a set amount of time. 

    “I certainly learned so much, and the best thing is the flexibility that I have making my own hours, even though I'm very busy now,” she said. “I love it and it's absolutely perfect for me.”

    Onwards and upwards with Fora

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    Images courtesy of Danielle di Maio

    In addition to a viable career in travel, Fora has equipped Danielle with some additional tools she didn’t necessarily expect at the outset. For one, Fora’s community proved to be particularly special. 

    “I love the community part,” she said, adding how she frequently uses Forum, Fora’s community app, to glean first-hand destination advice from experts — advisors and HQ members alike — within Fora’s diverse ecosystem.

    “I'm just working from home, doing what I can,” she went on. “I feel like I have imposter syndrome: I don't think I should be getting the recognition I do, but it's really, really awesome that you guys recognize people like me and other small advisors.”

    Of course, no Fora Advisor is “small” by any means, not least Danielle, who has booked hundreds of trips since she joined in 2022.

    “I didn't realize what I was doing on my end equated to that level of expertise,” she admitted. 

    But hard work, persistence and patience — qualities Danielle exemplifies — pay off. She kept at it, always learning, and fitting travel advising in whenever she could. Mondays offered the rare opportunity for some heads-down work, she said. “Other than that, it's whenever I could find time in the day: when my son's at preschool, when my kids are napping and then at night.”

    She loves what she does, and is excited to keep building her business. Danielle has been with Fora since the beginning — before there was an integrated advisor Portal, or proprietary booking platform or shiny tech tools we now offer all our advisors. She’s eager to see what comes next.

    “I feel like I grew with the company a lot,” she said. “It's so cool to be a part of it.”

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