We had the good fortune of connecting with Renee Cuessy and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Renee, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
When my older children were babies I worked a ridiculous amount of hours. I was back to work immediately after they were born. I was a young mom paying the bills and wanted to make sure that even though it was a single parent household they knew they were safe and taken care of and didn’t feel like they had to miss out on things. I had the house, the car, all of it but I spent many extra hours in the office missing out. I am fortunate now that I have a very supportive partner and I work from home. This allows me to be home for my kids and my balance and priorities have switched. I would rather have less and spend more time with my family. Our priorities have changed especially over the last 2 years. I think we lose so much valuable time making less than what we are actually worth. My time is precious.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I started as a Travel Agent with Rope Drop Travel LLC 3 years ago and it’s exactly what I should be doing. I have been working since I was 14 years old and I have had a wide variety of jobs. Most jobs were some sort of office executive assistant role with some customer service and retail thrown in there. It turns out that all these jobs were key to helping me build my brand as a Travel Agent. I am no where near as successful as I plan to be because change is constantly happening and I’m always looking to improve and grow. Having a background in research has helped me to narrow down locations ideal for each client. Having some financial experience has benefited my clients when I find them a magical vacation within their budget. Have sales background has better enabled me to get across a better visual to my clients of what they may expect on their vacation. I have had a lot of help and training from the agency owner, Jade, who is always available to answer any questions and provide any training requested. She has created an environment with a group of women who have a strong core of knowledge and enthusiasm. It is amazing how Jade and her team will help with any questions any time of the day.
I lost a little enthusiasm in 2020 due to how hard Covid-19 hit the travel industry but knowing that this was what I really wanted to do, that this is what I am good at and having so many people around to give me a pep talk helped me keep my focus and my 2021 year has been my best year yet. I’m already on my way to break my own numbers in 2022 and I’m very excited about that.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love this question. My best friend lives in Arizona and I’m in New Mexico and we visit each other a lot. Last time I was in Arizona I stayed at the Westin Keirland Resort in Scottsdale and it was stunning. The perfect visit. I rode a hot air balloon over the Saguaros. I did a mild river raft ride in Salt Creek in the pouring rain, which was a blessing from the 100 degree heat that is Arizona. I did a puzzle ride around the Old Town of Scottsdale; nothing more fun than riding the back of a golf cart while trying to decipher clues with friends. We ate delicious food at The Greene House, The Herb Box and Culinary Dropout. I am a big fan of the spa, pool and lazy river at the Westin Kierland. When my best friend comes to visit we enjoy homemade salsa and tamales or one of the many breweries in the area. Marble Brewery and Hollow Spirits are great places to hang out with friends. Come in October to see the trees change colors and enjoy the 500 plus hot air balloons in the air during the International Balloon Fiesta. Christmas in New Mexico is stunning with luminarias displayed in all the yards covered with snow.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I am surrounded by the most amazing people. My husband, Alberto, is my biggest cheerleader and always encourages me in everything I do. I have awesome parents who instilled the value of hard work, how to be a kind person and where to draw the line. My sister and brother who constantly put me in my place and remind me to have fun. My children who are the reason I do anything and keep me on my toes and make me so proud. My fellow travel agents who teach me something new every day.

Instagram: @reneethetravelagent

Twitter: @renee_go_travel

Facebook: @reneeropedroptravel

Other: tiktok: @reneethetravelagent

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.