Twice a month travel news from Charting Memories Travel
As we approach the peak of the holiday season, I wanted to take a little time to reflect on the past year. 2020 has been interesting to say the least.
At the start of the year, Charting Memories Travel was benefiting from some improvements in business practices and a roaring economy. We started the year with our best January sales in the history of the business. February started out equally strong and I was fortunate to spend time at Club Med Sandpiper Bay for a week of industry training and updates.
While at the resort, the news started airing stories about an unusual virus in China. By the middle of March, our world had changed. The US had almost 700 confirmed cases of COVID 19 and the CDC issued the first no-sail order for cruise ships.
Since that time, we have seen nearly all types of travel come to a virtual halt. Millions of people have seen their jobs and business vanish. Families have lost friends and loved ones. The projected “Red Wave” or “Blue Wave” turned into a ripple and we still do not know the outcomes of all the national political races or the balance of power in Washington. Many cities held peaceful protests and unfortunately some had violence and riots. People have spent weeks in isolation and wearing a mask in public became something normal. Who would have thought that you would ever be able to walk into a bank with a mask and ask for money?
With all the negatives of the year, I felt like I needed to look for some of the positives. I can happily state that none of my family or close friends have had serious complications from COVID. A few friends have tested positive, but all have made complete recoveries. My friends have not all been as fortunate as I have been, so I feel very lucky.
I have a love-hate relationship with Zoom. I would rather see my friends and family in person but Zoom allows me to see them much more often. I have had weekly Zoom meetings with friends from around the country for the last 7 months now. These have helped us form stronger relationships than we would have been otherwise. Beyond the Zoom meetings.
My parents and I took a mini-vacation together and I have been able to rekindle some old friendships that I thought had been lost
My hounds continue to do well and have become even more affectionate. Pleakley virtually never leaves my side and Delbert hangs out with us much more than he did a year ago. He must be getting accustomed to us after only 8 years.
My business remains open and am still working with clients planning trips. There is a light at the end of the tunnel for the cruise industry. I have people booked out as far as February 2023. More people are looking at domestic trips and I have expanded my offerings to include more land-based vacations. I made my first trip to Cancun in September and have been able to visit the Florida theme parks multiple times. Even in a year like this, I have visited 3 states and 2 countries. In just 88 days I hope to be setting sail on my next adventure.
Some strange positives also stuck out to me.
• Working for the Census this year exposed me to some cool new neighborhoods that I did not know existed. It also let me see some that I hope to never visit again. Getting a lot of doors shut in my face has helped me to avoid taking things personally.
• My running group went from 1 or runs a week that I did not always look forward to and has evolved into a group of friends who get together for a few runs, conversation, breakfast, and craft beer.
• Teaching college courses has made me feel truly lucky that I am not trying to complete a degree as an adult learner.
As 2020 comes to a close, I am sure that she will throw us a few more curveballs, but we will find ways to deal with them. As we work our way through the holidays, stay safe and healthy, and look for the good. Let your family and friends know how much they mean to you. Make plans to spend time together. If nothing else, 2020 has shown that nothing is certain and that we don’t know what the future holds.
Keep Charting Memories