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Joy Rissmiller: ‘Passionate About Travel’

Fast Facts about Joy Rissmiller

Travel Program: Joy Rissmiller started Adventures in Travel 10 years ago. Though her customers vary, most are people of faith. Adventures in Travel’s customized itineraries range from day trips to international tours.

Favorite Bible Verse:

Proverbs 3:5-6

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Hometown: Columbia, Missouri

Favorite Destination: Rissmiller can’t choose just one, but found Kenya, Israel and Jordan especially life-changing.

Hobbies: Rissmiller has collected antiques for over 30 years. She also enjoys gardening, home projects and watching her granddaughters play sports.

When Joy Rissmiller was young, travel made her ill. Severe motion sickness made family vacations a queasy nightmare during childhood. Dramamine helped but also made her drowsy. So, although she was present for those vacations, she wasn’t enjoying them much.

It was not an auspicious start for someone that has made a career in travel.

“God has a sense of humor,” said Rissmiller, owner of Adventures in Travel. “When I told my mom I was going to start leading bank trips, she didn’t think I was going to be able to do it.”

Not long after, Rissmiller’s mother watched a television program on ginger root’s positive effects on motion sickness. She stuffed Rissmiller’s Christmas stocking with bottles of ginger root for her to try.

Just in time, Rissmiller found the one thing that abates her nausea without putting her to sleep.

“I live on ginger root,” said Rissmiller. “Luckily, it’s all natural. What are the odds my mom would see that show on ginger root right after I got hired at the bank? There have been big and little miracles in my life.”

Rissmiller began her travel career leading group trips for a local bank. When she left the bank, she started her own faith-based travel company: Adventures in Travel.

“I quit my job in 2009 at the worst possible time,” said Rissmiller. “It was the economic downturn. But I felt that starting that company was what God wanted me to do. I’ve never advertised, but I’ve been successful from day one.”

Rissmiller’s fervor for faith-based travel began while bringing an elderly widower home after a church retreat.

“He said, ‘Thank you for getting me away from my four walls. They were closing in on me,’” said Rissmiller. “I realized these people would never have traveled without me. I have become so passionate about travel planning because it helps people live an exciting life instead of just existing.”

Adventures in Travel plans trips for people of all faiths. Rissmiller starts every tour with a prayer and ends with a Scripture verse. What happens in between is largely customized for each group. Many relish faith-based entertainment, which Rissmiller includes when she can.

“Whenever I am anywhere near Nashville, I will hire Chris Golden to deliver an exclusive gospel concert,” said Rissmiller. “I like to use Chris as a surprise on our last night of a trip. People love it.”

Since each trip is customized, Adventures in Travel’s experiences run the gamut from day trips to motorcoach domestic trips to international trips. Rissmiller can recall a long list of impactive travel moments, from traveling to the Holy Land to listening to Jimmy Carter teach Sunday school in Georgia.

Although she is grateful for the chance to explore the world, it is her connection to her travelers that drives her. Their regard for her is evident, as during the pandemic, many have reached out to her to check on how she is doing.

Though her trips are now on hold, she expects to start again at full speed based on how quickly her tours normally sell.

“My success is because of the people traveling with me,” said Rissmiller. “I don’t have whiners and complainers. We bring our dancing shoes and dance in the rain if we have to.”

Whenever Rissmiller’s next travel adventure comes calling, she’ll be ready with her joyful attitude, friendly personality and ginger root.

Travel Tips

1. Always have a Plan B.

2. Encourage your travelers to get out and experience new adventures.

3. Travelers always enjoy great entertainment and surprises. For example, in Nashville, I often hire Chris Golden for a private gospel concert.