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Conversations with the Inspiring Mary Beth McCabe

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mary Beth McCabe.

Mary Beth, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Briefly, I will share how I have been traveling independently since I was 15 years old.

My story begins with my father dropping me off at O’Hare Airport, the busiest airport in the world and lets me fly to New York for three weeks at age 15. It was my second time on a plane, and I was excited to travel alone and visit with friends. Since then, I’ve been traveling all around the world, to all continents (except Antarctica) since that trip. In 1993, I wrote “The World’s First Guide to Independent Travel” and self-published, including promotional visits to KPBS and NBC-TV. I was featured in several national travel publications and in many independent bookstores.

Now, 25 years later, I’m writing a new edition on travel, geared to the active senior woman traveler, and my co-author is my daughter, Tina. My pen-name is Dr. Mary Travelbest, and I’d like to invite you to find out more about travel by visiting my website, social media platforms and reading the soon to be published next edition.

Sun Marketing was founded with the publication of this book, and we have been known as a Hispanic Marketing and Media buying service, with thousands of clients served. I’ve also taught marketing courses to thousands of students in San Diego universities since 1987 and was the first salesperson at KUSI-TV, San Diego.

When I’m not traveling or teaching, I’m in Carmel Valley, where we have converted our family (husband and four kids) backyard into a mini-farm, and we give away all of the veggies to friends and neighbors.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The challenges for travelers are many, including being lost in downtown Shanghai at night on a bicycle. I’ve been hitchhiking among sheep in New Zealand and Ireland. I had the door to my hotel room kicked in by a painter in London. I’ve broken bones on a bicycle and skiing accidents.

Advice for women starting their journey as a traveler? It’s like a muscle, you need to keep practicing. Keep a level head even when you get lost. Put the journey in perspective. Pray constantly. Be grateful and thankful. Be flexible and respectful at all times. Plan your next trip on the way home.

Advice for women in business? Find an advisory board and get good counsel from trusted parties who have a different background from you. Surround yourself with people from different cultures and languages, so you can keep an open mind.

You may be the “first” at something, but surely there will be others to follow you. Give them your support along the way.

what should we know about Sun Marketing? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
The Dr. Travelbest work is being re-launched right now, so this is something I have a passion for. I’m a very good marketer, and I’ve done this for so many clients, that I am loving doing it for my own product now. I am known for excellent advertising and media buying. I have clients that are with me for 25 years and counting. That is special. I have been a sole owner since I started my company. I am willing to listen and to learn from others.

I may not look like a millennial, but in many ways, I act like one, because I am willing to adapt to the most current social media platforms.

As Dr. Travelbest, I hope to teach active senior women how to travel independently and with confidence. I’m in the process of submitting my proposal for this book, with video, marketing plan, and sample chapters, and the pre-order stage begins in August. I sold 10,000 copies of the first edition, so I hope this next one is more successful than that. I’d love your ideas on this, too.

Do you have any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general? What has worked well for you?
For the first 25 years, I stayed away from women networking groups because I did not believe that they would be useful or valued. Now, I have changed my position and feel that these women can be the most supportive and encouraging and that I can give back to them as well. So, instead of just being a woman in the men’s only club, I’m now broadening my scope of influence and interest. Being a business owner for 25 years now has been a challenging and valued part of my life. Being a mentor to my four children and other women is very important to me now, more than ever.

My mother and my father have both been excellent mentors to me during my education and career. I am very blessed by their valued lessons.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 5367 Harvest Run Drive
    San Diego, CA 92130
  • Website:
  • Phone: 1-858-488-2867
  • Email:
  • Instagram: @marybethmccabe
  • Facebook: @solarmarketing
  • Twitter: @drmarytravelbest
  • Other:

Image Credit:

San Diego American Marketing Association, Raquel Giraldez, Patti Christensen, Mary Beth McCabe

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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