Co-founder of Black Tomato, Tom Marchant, talks about the influence travel has had on his life and the journey he took to realize his dreams…
“What is it to dream? Is it a means of escape? A chance to imagine another world? Or is it another life? One where all your wants, goals and desires are met? Of course all are true, but for many people these views always come with a sense of disappointment as they believe that their dreams will forever stay where they are born: in your head and thoughts. Never in the format that we really wish for. Reality.
I grew up a dreamer. Scraps of paper and the back of workbooks would be filled with random scribblings of what life could be. They would be the pages I would turn to on days when life’s color took on an average hue and I would get lost in the imaginings detailed in those words.
But for me to dream was not enough. The dream became the motivation. The spark that lit the fire in me to turn those meandering thoughts and ideas into reality. The drive that marveled at how magical a world it would be if only the tiniest part of one dream might just come true. And what really excited me was the belief that with the right application, energy and imagination it genuinely could be possible. Too many people think a dream coming true is pure luck. Right time, right place. Lap of the Gods, and all that. Of course we all need luck but what really makes a dream comes true is the belief that you can do it and the drive to follow through.
I remember so vividly the moment I decided to take a dream I had held since I was a distracted, curious teenager and turn it into a reality. A dark and rainy Sunday night. A nagging feeling of being in a job that neither inspired nor rewarded me sufficiently. That growing hole in my stomach as I contemplated the next five days and tried to suppress the questions that kept coming into my head: ‘Why?’ ‘Are you truly content?’ Followed by the statements that had long been a frequent visitor to the back of my note book: ‘Make a change’ ‘Take charge’ ‘Don’t have any regrets’ ‘We are not here for a long time’. Clichéd they might be, but at the time they felt profound. So I did something. I switched off the television, I canceled a planned trip to the pub, I opened my notebook and I began to write a plan.
It was rough, it was meandering, but it was the start of what became the business plan for the travel company I had dreamt of creating for years. It formed the foundation of what enabled me to realize two of my most important dreams. To work for myself and to work on something I absolutely loved: travel.
As soon as the writing flowed, so did the passion, the motivation and the courage to make it happen. In the next month meetings were held with my future partners, goals were set, visions were shared, new dreams were discussed and all the while it felt like the greatest thing in the world. The shackles were off and I was doing what I had longed to do: make my dreams reality. I never doubted that there was a chance that it might not work but I had promised myself that I had to at least try. It’s far better to try and scale the mountain than sit down in the valley and wonder what might have been.
My partners and I worked obsessively; we cared. Nine years on we have an international business sending thousands of people away each year to realize their travel dreams and we get to work every day with truly inspiring people around the world. Travel for us isn’t just about the getting from A to B, it’s about everything in between. The experience. The stimulation. The inspiration. It’s for these reasons that we teamed up with Charles Schwab. To show that whether in the planning to get away or the time spent in new places, travel brings new perspective, focus and ideas. Travel puts fire in your soul and makes you grab life by the horns and live it to its fullest.”