WMU student puts a twist on traditional travel

Contact: Zack Zagula and Tonya Durlach
WMU student desi taylor.


KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Many of us remember spinning a globe, eyes closed, as a child. We'd stop it with the tip of our finger and open our eyes with anticipation as we discovered where we'd be heading on our next imaginary adventure.

Western Michigan University student Desi Taylor has made this youthful concept a reality with her personalized travel agency, Cluventure Travel.

Realizing that the thought of planning a vacation was overwhelming to many travelers, Taylor set to work devising a creative solution that would ease the pressure of deciding where to go, how to get there and what activities to plan.

Cluventure takes the stress out of vacationing by providing full-service, customized planning, scheduling and coordinating. But unlike traditional travel agencies, Cluventure adds an element of surprise.

Upon choosing a Cluventure package—domestic or international, basic or luxury—customers are assigned an adventure specialist who gets to know them through a one-on-one interview process. Using the information gleaned, the specialist then chooses a surprise destination, takes care of all travel logistics and sends personalized clues to the travelers, ultimately leading them to their vacation spot.

Much like a Cluventure-planned getaway, Taylor's own journey as an entrepreneur has been full of adventure and surprise. While studying Spanish at WMU, she became involved in the Starting Gate student business accelerator, which she says opened up a world of opportunity for her.

"The connections and opportunities gifted to me have been paramount to my success as a student and entrepreneur," she says.

She believes lifelong learning and professional networking are crucial to building a successful business.

"Learn as much as possible and never stop learning," she says. "And it really is all about who you know, so don't be afraid to talk about your business and your ideas."