I never really know what I am going to write about for the weekly newsletter/bog until something just comes to me. I am human, I struggle with ideas and concepts to keep readers smiling. I honestly try to think of very useful travel information that with my experience I can pass on to my readers. Sometimes I get an idea or I see or read something that clings to me like pine sap and I just can’t get shake it.
Last week was an incredibly busy one filled with functions and commitments. My calendar was jam packed with things that were not all travel related. I had personal appointments, client appointments and a travel booth exhibit to prepare for last Sunday’s Taste of Home Show in my neighboring town of Keene, NH. I was so wrapped up in preparing a booth that would reflect my craft of designing and creating amazing European river and barge vacations that I didn’t notice right away that my design was actually telling a story.
I think the design result had a lot to do with a story one of my colleagues shared last week about a family vacation that she had organized for her clients. Her story subconsciously resonated with me. The family put off going on a trip for quite some time because of money, schedules etc. They finally had decided that it was time to go on this vacation. It was a mother & daughter journey. The trip had been amazing but what happened next was quite sad. Four months after returning from the trip, one of the travelers who was only 44 years old suddenly passed away. The family wrote my colleague to tell her how grateful they were to have had such an amazing time that even during this very sad time, they had beautiful memories to keep with them for the rest of their lives. After she had shared this story in our private travel professional forum, she followed her story with this quote: “Life is short, take the trip, buy the shoes, eat the cake”
After I set up my booth on Sunday and stepped back a little to look at it, I realized that the design I went with actually was telling a story that I was carrying inside. Like I mentioned above, my colleague’s story subconsciously stayed with me all week. The message I meant to communicate to the visitors at my booth was that I am a travel professional specializing in the craft of designing amazing European river cruise and barge experiences. Since it was the Taste of Home show, I was featuring a wine river cruise in Provence and Spain. It wasn’t until I stepped back and saw something very different.
I decorated with a very retro travel theme. Why? I didn’t actually know when I was initially planning what I would bring. The end result was a reflection of a time gone by. A time when customer service in our industry was pinnacle. Back to a time when everyone’s travel plans ran parallel with their personal travel agent. Travel agents and clients had to have a tight interwoven relationship. Today in the world of instant travel point and click, those relationships appear to be a thing of the past, but they are not.
When I stood back and looked at my booth, the message on display was that I am very experienced and service committed. I wanted the viewers to see that even in a point and click world, there are travel professionals that take you back in time and provide an elevated level of customer service. Maybe the viewers didn’t pick up that message but it was loud and clear to me.
What does that have to do with travel and the experience my colleague had? It has a lot to do with it because my colleague provided and created a very personal customer service relationship with that family. She crafted a memorable vacation for her clients that will forever keep the memory of a loved one alive. My colleague helped write that family’s story and created memories that will live with them forever.
So when you find yourself making excuses to not take a vacation because of money or work schedules or simply because you feel you don’t have any time leave, reflect. Children are young for only so long, humans are physically able for only so long, if you leave on vacation, your work world won’t fall apart. Go, relax, enjoy and take in all the amazing opportunities the world has to offer you. Build a relationship with your travel professional, together we will create experiences and memories that will stay with you forever, let us help you write your story.
Life is short. Take the trip. Buy the shoes. Drink the Wine. Eat the cake.
*Thank you JB for sharing your story