Travel agent celebrates 50 years

Travel agent celebrates 50 years

Travel agent celebrates 50 years

A local travel agent has wandered the globe for the past five decades but said the best part of her job has always been returning home to Scripps Ranch.

Jayne Gomes, founder of Cruise Company of So Cal, remembers the exact day she set foot in Scripps Ranch: “April 15, 1970. When we arrived, there were only three streets. We must have been among the first 100 families to move in.”

Gomes was a stay-at-home mother in those days, and once her children enrolled in school, she said she took up tennis.

“One day my husband said, ‘since you have so much time to play tennis, why don’t you get a job?’ So, I did,” she said.

Being in a military family, Gomes traveled a lot. She was born in Oxford, England and raised in Bath. She met her husband in Spain while he was serving in the U.S. Air Force. From there, the Gomes family moved to Wichita, Kansas; Riverside, California; Panama; and Minot, North Dakota before settling in Scripps Ranch 50 years ago. Traveling was something she knew well and thoroughly enjoyed.

“I’ve been in the travel business now since 1974,” she said. “It’s been a long time. Where haven’t I visited? I’ve travelled to China, Vietnam, Iceland, all around South America, Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina, Egypt, Africa, Jordan, Israel, you name it.”

In 1981, she opened her own travel agency, one of the first to specialize in cruise vacations, she said. Before Gomes would recommend a voyage to one of her clients, she was likely to explore the ports of call herself. She has cruised down the Nile, up the Amazon, through the Suez Canal, around Cape Horn, amid the Scandinavian fjords, “and of course I’ve been to Alaska,” she said.

At one point, Cruise Company of So Cal boasted four storefront offices and about 40 agents. The last office was in Point Loma, but she closed it a few years ago and moved her business into her home.

Her daughter, Anita, attributes her mother’s longevity and success in the travel business to her personality.

“She’s very vivacious and outgoing, and people have always been drawn to her,” Anita said. “She’s established great relationships with her vendors, and because she loves to travel, she can speak to clients from a personal perspective because wherever they’re going, she’s probably been there.”

Gomes said business “hasn’t been the best” this year due to the worldwide pandemic.

As far and frequently as Gomes has travelled, she said that the best thing about touring the world has been returning to Scripps Ranch.


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