My name is Sarah Ellen Coiner, and I am the travel agent that owns Family Trips Inc [www.familytripsinc.com]. I also a Facebook group, and that is https://www.facebook.com/groups/TravelforMompreneurs/. My purpose in writing this blog is trying to attract more people to use me as their travel agent.
I am disabled. I have had Cerebral Palsy since I was born. I am a bicentennial baby. My parents grew up in the same small town, and they dated in high school, and married while Dad was in college. I was born two years later. And Mom says when talking about my birth that I was smaller than she thought I should be. But she didn’t think much about it until later when at ten months, I wasn’t even sitting up. So they took me to the doctor and found out I had CP.
Dad took a job with the government, and we ended up moving around every five years. He retired when I was in my early twenties, and I’m happy to say we haven’t moved anywhere since.
Family is important to me. I am the oldest of eight children. It has been kind of hard to watch my other brothers and sisters leave home. But I’m getting used to that now. Becoming an aunt has helped that as well. We will pretty much all gather at least twice a year, and those are some of my favorite times. I love being together, having all the good food, catching up with all of my siblings, having times of pure silliness, and also having times of serious discussion. I am blessed to have a family that truly loves me and supports me.
I first started thinking about working after I had finished high school. All my siblings had jobs during high school. I think it was because of my disability that I was not told to get a job before that. My first “job” if you can call it that was I was wrote newsletters.. I did not have a communication device at that time. I had a normal computer I would type on… I guess you could say that I had a blog before I knew what the internet was.
I was nineteen when we moved to Georgia which is where we live now. That is when I started working with Vocational Rehabilitation. One of the first things they did was get me into a speech-language pathologist who helped me find and then learn how to use a communication device. My initial training took about six weeks of my speech-language pathologist coming every single weekday. She would come for a couple of hours, and then I had homework to do most the rest of the day. I would meet with another speech-language pathologist once a week for about a year after that. I was telling VR that I wanted to get a job doing data entry. I think I was mostly thinking that that would be something I could do without going through college.
My first paying job came through a friend at church. He owned a restaurant, and he kept records of how many people in for lunch and dinner each day.. I was just putting his old records into the computer. That job took a couple of months. I knew that would be a temporary job.
I can’t remember how long it was after that that I started volunteering for a Christian school library. I started helping them out because they needed some data entry stuff done. But it wasn’t long before I started talking to the classes of children that were coming in about my disability. I loved that job.
But that summer, Voc Rehab got me a job with Goodwill industries. I was to do data entry there. When I first started there, I took one day a week off to volunteer at the school, but sadly soon the library gig fizzled out. I think I started working from twenty to twenty-five hours a week.. I’ll be honest, I was never crazy about that job. I had never known how boring data entry could be until I was doing it day in and day out. Goodwill’s mission is to help disabled people find jobs. And from time to time, they would give me other jobs I could do, and usually I would enjoy those jobs more than I did data entry. But the other work would always run out, and I would have to go back to data.
I think I had been with Goodwill for about four years when I got connected to a grant that would allow me to start a business of my own… I was always part time with Goodwill, and I have always loved to read and write. I was always working on writing on some kind of novel, still am actually. And so I decided to start a writing and editing business.
I had a lot of help in the beginning with figuring out my business plan, getting ideas for marketing. And I loved having the freedom to write for as long as I wanted. But I had trouble making any money. I was always shy when it came to editing, quickly learning that I only knew a small part of what it took to be a competent editor. And when it came to writing, the pay was nowhere near decent. So after months of research, I decided to become a travel agent.
My hope is to grow my client base a lot in this coming year, helping families figure out and enjoy their dream vacations.. If you are interested in letting me help you plan a trip, please e-mail me at sarah@familytripsinc.com, I would be more than happy to help you.

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