Entrepreneur Endeavors Former Teacher Turns Passion Into Travel Business

By Ronald Fisher
The Tribune-Democrat, Johnstown, Pa.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Former teacher Cynthia Watters said that she actually started travel planning while teaching at Richland Elementary School. At the time, her passion was more of a hobby as she coordinated just one tour a year.

The Tribune-Democrat, Johnstown, Pa.

What started as a hobby for Johnstown native Cynthia Watters, soon became a career sparked by her passion for travel and customer service.

In 2002, Watters launched Epic Journeys, a full-service travel agency located within her Richland Township residence.

“I sell dreams for a living,” Watters said during an interview held in her home.

Watters said that she is constantly amazed at how appreciative people are of what she does for them.

“I think that kind of surprises me the most,” she said, “that people are so grateful for the experience.”

Watters’ interests in traveling began as a child when she first learned about Europe while in school.

“I don’t know why,” Watters said. “It just fascinated me — I think because it was different.”

Watters eventually made her way to Europe in 1990. That trip opened her eyes to the wonderment of traveling.

“It’s the differences in culture and talking to the people who live there about their ideas — it broadens your mind,” Watters said. “I’m a different person because I travel.”

Watters said the “travel bug” was handed down to her from her parents.

“My parents sold their home when my dad took early retirement,” she said.

“They had lived in a motor home for nine years and traveled the country and Mexico. We didn’t know where they were,” she said. “They would call home once a week to let us know that they were still alive.

“My dad was happiest behind the wheel.”

Aspirations fulfilled
Before starting her own business, Watters held a career in teaching for more than 20 years. She spent five years teaching at Conemaugh Township Area School District. After a few years as a stay-at-home mom, she taught for 17 years at Richland Elementary School.

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