By Norma Stanley | March 2022
Even while building her career in medicine, traveling the world and exploring other countries and cultures, has always been a favorite pastime for Katherine Erwin, owner of Worldwide Phenomenal Travel. Now the former Doctor of Dental Surgery and lecturer, enjoys seeing the world and sharing cultural experiences with fellow travel enthusiasts, who book her travel agency when looking to explore distant shores outside of the U.S.
Based in Atlanta, Erwin’s company, Worldwide Phenomenal Travel, takes pride in offering travelers advice based on her own personal experiences in those faraway locations, which she says helps to quell anxieties for new travelers interested in international travel. Erwin has traveled to various countries in Europe, Australia, Africa, Asia, and South America, numerous times, which resulted in friends and family wanting to tap into her personal knowledge and travel experience of certain locations.
“I’ve been traveling internationally for more than 25 years and have been blessed to have visited six of the seven continents so far and have visited some places multiple times,” says Erwin. “I was encouraged by friends to start a travel company, because of the extensive traveling I was doing and was happy to help facilitate the global travel of others and make it less intimidating. I was able to do this by starting with small groups to see how I liked it first, and also by working with a seasoned travel agent,” she continued. “ I decided that I really enjoyed it and, in fact, actually helped that travel agent make lots of money as a result of people signing up for trips I worked on with her, which proved to me I could make it work with my own company and we’ve been doing great for about eight years now,” she said.
In addition to customized individual vacations, family reunions, business travel, offsite visits, and continuing education seminars, Worldwide Phenomenal Travel offers about five major group package trips every year, which include extended cruises and cruise/land excursions. Already In 2023, Erwin has traveled to Singapore and Dubai with her clients and has group cruises traveling to Australia and New Zealand; Greece, Israel, and Turkey; the Mediterranean (Spain, France, and Italy) through October and into 2024 with Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia in January; Dubai and Abu Dhabi in February, Ghana, Africa in March, etc., and that’s just the first quarter.
“I’m in a space where I have the freedom and luxury to live the kind of life I want to live and travel as often as I please,” says Erwin, the mother of two adult children. “Having had a successful and hectic career as a doctor, this is really more of a part-time thing for me. I’m not really trying to grow into a huge business and have found that doing five trips a year at seven or more days each is plenty because there’s a lot of work that goes into the planning and preparation in between each trip,” Erwin continued. “Not only is that more manageable, so I’m able also to enjoy some downtime by myself and with my family, but the earned revenue also is actually very lucrative, so I don’t really have to do much more than that,” she said.
Erwin, who gets much of her business from referrals and repeat customers, says she enjoys traveling with her clients on the cruises and land excursions she books. Generally, her group trips are small-- between 25 and 50 people, which Erwin says she prefers.
“Keeping the groups small allows me to have better control of the entire process and ensures the travelers always have access to me if needed, and ensures things go smoothly for both the beginners, as well as the more seasoned travelers,” shared Erwin.
“Our group packages are very affordable, so more friends and family members can participate and experience international travel, if on a budget. In addition, I also like to make sure people have options to really experience the different sights, sounds, and cultures in the places we travel,” she said.
“Traveling is about fun, food, adventure, culture, camaraderie, exploration, and memorable experiences,” says Erwin. “At Worldwide Phenomenal Travel, we are intentional about offering our customers the same things I know I want to experience when traveling internationally—which is a seamless, wonderful time filled with great memories, wherever and whenever I travel,” she continued. “I’ve been blessed to travel to places around the world a few times before starting my business and since starting it, and I am now working on visiting some countries and continents I’ve never been to, like Antarctica. That’s the one continent I have yet to visit, and plan to coordinate a trip soon to see the Northern Lights from there, which I hear is an incredibly beautiful sight and would love to have some of you join me!” she said.
For more information about Worldwide Phenomenal Travel’s upcoming trips, visit wwptravel.com.