Chase Down Your Passions – Elizabeth Smith

I would like to introduce a wonderful friend of mine, Elizabeth Smith. We met on twitter and have actually met in person a few times when she has visited wine country. She is known on twitter as @travelwinechick and on Facebook as Elizabeth Smith and Traveling Wine Chicks. Elizabeth has so graciously shared her passion with me. Read what she has to say…

Chase down your passion like it’s the last bus of the night. ~Terri Guillemets

Elizabeth Smith I fell in love with the French language in high school, yet I failed to see it as one of my passions until after my sophomore year in college. I began college as a political science major, then I became a computer science major, but I was always minoring in French. One day it dawned on me, “French is my calling.” I talked to my parents, crying, as I told them I wanted to major in French. They supported my decision and gave me their blessing.

Between my junior and senior years, my dream of studying in France came true. I spent a summer in Paris, the Loire Valley, and studying at the University of Provence in Aix-en-Provence. From that sprang my second passion, travel.

I continued my studies in French, Spanish, and language education through the doctoral level and taught French and Spanish at a Virginia community college for 24 years. I was in a long-distance relationship for 15 of those years. While the relationship ended in 2012, the one thing I learned from it was how to travel. In 2008, a virtual frequent flier friend of mine saw my love and gift for travel, and decided to take a chance on hiring me as his company’s travel manager. From this, my part-time travel company, C’est Beth, was born. I also began blogging about travel and subsequently created a Twitter and Facebook presence for my new business. I took the next step and became an independent travel agent with Montrose Travel’s home-based travel agent division.

Most of my travel clients are in the wine industry, so they began to send me wine as a thank you for going above and beyond. From tasting those wines, my third passion was born: wine. I began participating in virtual tastings in 2010.  I started a wine and travel blog in June 2011 and attended the Wine Bloggers’ Conference in Charlottesville, Virginia in July 2011. In 2012, my career direction took a sudden, unexpected turn. I decided to take Wine and Spirit Education Trust’s first two wine certification courses. I passed them with distinction, but I still only thought wine would be a hobby. However, in March 2013, the same friend who hired me to manage travel asked me if I would like to work as an executive assistant for his wine marketing, sales, and importing businesses. I said yes, and now I find myself embarking on a new career in the wine business.

If there’s anything I have learned in the past year, it’s that change is inevitable. The key to adapting is to keep your passions in the forefront of your mind and keep chasing them.  Wherever your passion lies, seize it and live it now, for all we really have is today.

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Passaggio Wines

2 thoughts on “Chase Down Your Passions – Elizabeth Smith

    […] Cynthia Cosco has been a friend of mine for just as long. She’s written for my blog and I’ve written for hers. I’ve reviewed a past vintage of her rosé. We go way […]

    […] I have had a few passions in my life: music, French, travel, and wine. For me, A Year in Champagne showcases all of these passions as renowned importer Martine Saunier pays visits to six Champagne houses: Champagne Saint-Chamant, Stéphane Coquillette (S. Coquillette), Gonet-Médeville, Bollinger, Diebolt-Vallois, and Gosset. Written and directed by David Kennard, the movie is the second in a series, the first being A Year in Burgundy, which I also reviewed. […]

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