The past two weeks have been pretty cool. For the first time ever, I have finally been able to binge watch the first three seasons of Downton Abbey (special thanks to my friend Nancy) I knew I was hooked from the first episode. I literally have scheduled watching it around my lunch hour and when you work from home and you are your own boss, that hour may have stretched a bit longer a time or two. I got so drawn into the series that I couldn't’t stop watching to find out what would happen next.
It’s not just the characters and the unique story lines of each of them that has drawn me in like bees to honey. What I really discovered was how easily I was transported from 2016 into 1919. After a taste of being there, I now try to imagine a life without cell phones, television and social media. I transform to a peaceful and simple life and imagine what it was like for my own grandparents in their time.
If I let myself, I truly go there. I haven’t yet discovered if I would want to be a Lady or be like Anna, her ladyship’s maid. Her attitude of always looking on the bright side in all situations is so admirable and I see a lot of me in her in that respect. It’s rich, it’s poor, it’s part of England’s history. The trials and tribulations these characters of Downton Abbey magically brings you to this state of mind and you can’t help but wish you could just live a week in their life. The music, the sounds and the spirit honestly just come alive and swirl around you. It’s hard to describe because you can’t describe it with words, it’s a feeling. I humored myself just yesterday when I realized that I have been drinking a lot of hot tea this week and hot tea is not even one of my favorite things.
Then I started to think about my own life and what I have chosen as my career path. As a professional travel planner, it is my job to reach into the minds of my clients and extract their vision of a perfect vacation. Then plan it out and put it on paper. I have been successful at this for my clients. I really think to do an exceptional job, you really almost need to have a 6th sense and the ability to capture the client’s vision. What has just happened to me this week is that I came to understand that I don’t just create a trip for clients, what I do is transport them to a different time.
As you may recall, in the January 2016 newsletter I announced that I would be specializing only in custom crafted European vacations with a deep concentration on river cruising. I have always had a heartfelt connection to Europe for many reasons. I knew that deep in my heart it was the right direction for Fitzgerald Travel.
Why this was the right direction to take for Fitzgerald Travel? Oddly enough, by watching Downton Abbey these past two weeks, it has occurred to me that I don’t just plan vacations to Europe, I take you do a different time and place. I transport you and surround you in history.
What is river cruising really? You are being transported back in history and as you glide through these very old rivers. You can’t help but think about the history and the stories of the towns as you pass the shore line. In the distance you can hear the conversations of a time long gone. As you walk through the cobblestone streets, you can imagine the hustle and bustle of the street markets, smell the chestnuts roasting and business men making their way about.
While gliding past a castle alone the Rhine, you imagine the Lords and Ladies who resided there a long time ago. Do you sail by it and take a photo or do you perhaps stop to think about a different time. Do you imagine the struggles and celebrations of a time so far in the past? Would you transform your mind to a place and imagine what the life of a resident in that castle was like? What is the story behind that castle?
This entire two weeks of being so self-absorbed in a story that took place 100 years ago really made me start thinking about what a European vacation really is about. What I really hope and wish for is the opportunity to take you from your current life and transport you to a place that is magical and exciting. I want to help you exit what is and deliver you to a place you never thought was possible, to surround you with a feeling and moments of enlightenment.
What is YOUR story? If you could, would you want to be transported to a different time? Where would you go? What will happen in the next episode of your life?
Until next week. Lisa
Lisa D Fitzgerald, CTA, is the owner of Fitzgerald Travel. Lisa has 23 years of full service experience and is a graduate of the Travel Institute. She is knowledgeable in all forms of travel, with a focus on European Itineraries.