Learning the Truth of Her Past Shaped Cameron Tempest’s Love for Travel

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Fora Author Fora

The Modern Travel Agency


    A mom, a dad, and their teenage daughter stand on a terrace overlooking an ocean sunset

    Cameron with her husband, Justin, and her daughter, Reese

    Cameron Tempest didn’t learn she was adopted until her late 30s. Growing up, her cousin, with whom she was close, would drop hints here and there… But when she brought up the issue with her parents, they told her, “Oh, don’t be silly.”

    Cameron was born in Hong Kong, and at an early age, she moved to Coronado, California with her adoptive parents. Her childhood was somewhat peripatetic: Houston, Arlington, New Jersey, LA. Her mother’s family owned a custom tailoring business, and her dad and uncle traveled all over the world to attract and service clients. 

    It wasn’t until her father passed away, shortly before Cameron turned 40, that she learned more about her past — and that she was adopted. Her birth mother got pregnant at a young age. At the time, the culture in Hong Kong was not especially tolerant of unwed pregnancies, and Cameron was given up for adoption. Her adoptive parents were Chinese, and she grew up thinking she was the same. However, subsequent DNA tests revealed a different story: her birth mother was Chinese and Portuguese, and her birth father was English and Norwegian.

    “All of a sudden I learned all these interesting facts about myself that I hadn't known,” Cameron recounted. “I felt kind of lost because I was like, ‘Wow, there's so much more to me.’”

    All this time, Cameron realized, she didn’t feel like she could fully connect with the people, culture, history and heritage of her bona-fide roots. But she was determined it wasn’t too late. Cameron has always valued human connection, and it was this feeling that fueled her to learn more. Connection also added greater depth and meaning to her innate passion: travel.

    “That's really my motivation in traveling,” she said, “knowing these things and knowing that I had so much to learn.”

    Nature vs. nurture

    A mother and her daughter in black coats stand in an old town square

    Image courtesy of Cameron Tempest

    Cameron’s family traveled frequently. Her father also had an adventurous spirit, taking the family on road trips across the US (national parks were a favorite of her father’s).

    Looking back with the knowledge she has now, several aspects of her earlier years seemed uncannily coincidental — or inevitable. Norse mythology always fascinated her, for instance. London always felt like home. Cameron experienced these visceral feelings long before she learned she had Norwegian and English DNA.

    Such knowledge only fueled her desire to learn more about herself and these cultures. (She’ll venture to Norway next year.) 

    Around the same time, Cameron was taking care of her mother, whose health was in decline. After she died, Cameron felt lost. 

    “I was so focused on her wellbeing,” she said. “And I kind of put all my needs on the back burner.”

    Cameron was ready for the next stage in life. Her husband Justin urged her to think about what she was passionate about. Both loved to travel, and he told her about a company he’d heard about called Fora. She decided to apply, and was accepted.

    “Wow, this is crazy,” she recalled thinking. “I could actually do this. I could plan travel and do something that I'm passionate about and make money and have a purpose.”

    Cruises, camaraderie & career

    a man and a woman wearing sunglasses stand in front of a red Virgin Voyages cruise ship

    Images courtesy of Cameron Tempest

    As with any new endeavor, there’s a learning curve, as well as a nagging sense of imposter syndrome. Many advisors, including Cameron, cite building their clientele base as the most difficult aspect about getting started. But Cameron stuck with it. With each stellar trip she curated, referrals trickled in — and then took off.  

    In fact, Cameron recently became Fora’s Cruise Lead — our in-house expert on all things related to seabound vacations. She started out booking cruises for her aunts and uncles, who then referred her to all of their friends. Cameron saw an opportunity for a cruise vertical at Fora and reached out. One of her recent milestones and accomplishments includes spearheading efforts to launch Fora’s Cruise Badge, a distinction designed to spotlight Fora’s cruise specialists

    “I've learned that I'm more capable than what I thought I would be able to do,” she said.

    Cameron said she has been able to learn so much from Fora’s community, from HQ staff to fellow advisors. (And in turn, our community also benefits from her knowledge.) The communal learning has been especially rewarding, she said, and aligns with her essential goal: human connection.

    “When you're talking to fellow advisors, you understand that you're all going through the same struggles. You're all going through the same processes and we're all learning as we go. There's a huge camaraderie in that,” she said. “That's helped me make special connections with people, which is like fulfilling what I want out of a career.”

    Anyone who has the privilege of interacting with Cameron knows these special connections are genuine. She has a grounded, kind energy that immediately uplifts those within her vicinity.

    “I'm so grateful because (my role has) helped me to grow as a person, grow in my career and also be able to help Fora Advisors and be part of the community,” she said. “That's been amazing.”

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