Meet Women Who Started Over
O, The Oprah Magazine | From the September 2007 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
From Stay-at-Home Mom to Adventure-Travel Company Owner—Karen Berber, 41
In October 2000, Karen Berber—pregnant with her third child and busy with a small but demanding business importing children's clothing that blocks UV rays—meant to run a quick errand. Instead, driving along Miami's Rickenbacker Causeway, she found a new career. Her transformation hinged on four questions that surfaced at just the right time.
What's that? I saw two guys on the ocean, riding boards attached to beautiful kites. I love anything you can do in the water or on it, so I pulled over and waited for them to come in.
How can I do that? They explained they were kiteboarding—a cross between windsurfing and kite flying—and one of them was starting a school to teach it.
Where can I do that? Being out on the water with the wind as your engine is so many things at one time—beauty, freedom, control, power, fear, and awareness. But it's often not windy enough to kiteboard in Miami. I was totally willing to travel, but no one could tell me where to go.
How can I get paid to do that? In 2004 I started Ozone Travel to create custom trips. European destinations had been scoped out, so I researched windy locations and hotels in the Caribbean and South America. Then I sent a press release to three influential magazines: Kiteboarding, SBC Kiteboard, and Kite World. They listed my business in their news sections. We've created about 300 vacations to more than a dozen different destinations. The best part? I have to check out the places we recommend.