Q&A with Brian Chima
Welcome! We're excited to get up close and personal with leisure sales agent Brian Chima and learn a little bit more about him and the company. As a 4th generation travel agent, Brian has always had a love of travel and enjoys booking unforgettable trips for others.
Q: What was the first trip you remember taking?
A: My grandfather George Chima (2nd generation Chima Travel agent) took all 4 of his children and all 10 of his grandchildren on a Southern Caribbean Carnival Cruise. We boarded in San Juan, Puerto Rico and got to visit the islands of St. Lucia, Grenada, Guadalupe, St. Thomas, and St. John. I was only 9 years old but I remember the crystal blue waters in St. Lucia & St. John specifically. I also remember thinking the cruise ship was one of the most beautiful things I’d ever seen. The entry alone (full of chandeliers, glass elevators, and a smiling crew to greet me) made me feel like a young king.
Q: What makes Chima Travel different?
A: I must begin by saying that we have such an excellent staff, excellent clients, and a great working environment. Where I also believe we’re set apart from other avenues of booking travel is our ability to provide suggestions to clients based on personal experience. My grandfather and great uncle always said “You cannot substitute personal experience”, and that motto remains on our agents’ business cards to this day.
I also find we can provide an extra means of value by presenting multiple trip options to clients. We’re not pinned down to one specific supplier and therefore we can objectively choose what’s right for our clients needs.
Q: What made you want to join the family business and become a travel agent?
A: I always say I knew it was my destiny to join the family business (it must be in my blood). However, I joined the agency sooner than I anticipated. When I graduated from The University of Akron in 2011 I had no luck finding a job in Akron. At that time my brother was teaching English in China and asked me to join him for 1 year, which I did. That was such a special year of my life, as my brother and I traveled all around China and Japan. Those travels planted in me a strong desire to continue traveling. After moving home from China in 2012 it just made sense to join the travel agency as soon as possible. I began on October 12, 2012 and I’ve learned more than I could have ever imagined in the time I’ve been here. Now, I’ve had the privilege of traveling to 29 countries and feel comfortable helping others plan international travel.
Q: Which city / vacation have you enjoyed the most?
A: My 2 trips to Israel have been life-changing for a number of reasons, and therefore I hold those trips higher than any other. But besides those two trips, one of my most enjoyable trips (as well as being beneficial to my job) was my first extensive European trip. My friend Stephen and I embarked on a 17-day adventure and we visited (in this order) London, Paris, Rome, Florence, Lucerne, Zurich, Frankfurt, and London Heathrow. I still think back to that trip almost on a weekly basis because things here at work often spark a memory from that trip. I hope everyone gets to do at least one European travel extravaganza in their lifetime!
Looking to book your next great adventure? Feel free to call, email, or stop by. We'd love to see you!