Chuck Olson took the round- about route to become a travel consultant, and he sang his way all the way there.
“All of my degrees are in music,” Olson explained. “After teaching for a few years, I went through a doctoral program in choral conducting and literature at the University of Iowa.”
Accepting a Fellowship in Sweden to work on his dissertation for his PhD, it was there he and his wife, Enid, began their ministry of music. Being asked to perform as a soloist for a Thanksgiving service led to his concert work around Sweden, and eventually to sending a tape to producers in the States.
“They listened because it was from another country,” he laughed.
Returning to the States, the Olsons spent the next 25 years traveling with their music.
“My wife is a pianist, our two daughters are accomplished violinists. We traveled the world.”
That, naturally, led to learning about booking travel, which they put to good use when asked to design a tour for Paradise Park, Pharr, after doing a concert. Realizing his style of gospel music was being replaced by progressive contemporary music in churches, he knew he needed to find another career path.
One tour led to another the following year, and by October of 1994 Chuck Olson Tours and Cruises was created. Thousands of tours and cruises later, they have also become Travel Consultants specializing not only in cruises, but also in Disney.
Working with businesses to develop a travel reward system for their employees, Olson explained, “It’s an easy way to reward. The companies don’t have to do a thing. We do all the work for them.”
It’s safe to say that Chuck Olson has found his passion more than once – first, and still, in music, and then, luckily for all those people the company has sent on adventures, in travel.
“After all, travel is my business. It’s in my blood.”