As the first two pieces I have written are more of my personal journey and not business oriented, I thought it was time to give my thoughts on the current state of affairs in the travel industry as now a year has gone by this pandemic has started. As most in the travel industry, I too, have been hit hard and have had to find ways to keep myself afloat, help my clientele sift through the debris that has landed all over including cancelled and postponed travel planned, sometimes more than once in some instances and trying to make sense of it all as the rules and regulations have been in constant flux. It has offered me a chance to continue to train, experience the zoom meetings and in some few and far-reaching opportunities, planned adventures for those of my valued clients, mostly domestically and inspire others to keep the faith.
After the fallout from last year, I was able to arrange an amazing Amtrak train adventure for clients, which thrilled me that there were still chances to help make dreams come true. This year, looking at sending clients to Hawaii and Alaska, and yes, there are still restrictions in place, but armed with the knowledge and understanding, we expect them to happen. Most others, are truly hoping that in the 3rd or 4th quarter, we see movement to other places around the world, but those may still be further on the horizon, albeit the desire to travel is building up. Those whose trips were re-scheduled to this year, now moved to next year, but as the winds change, the vaccines given, the borders, hopefully opening up as the desire to wander and explore build, I remain cautiously optimistic that I will see business build and the passion for travel flow again. Let me know your thoughts and thank you for your support of the Wandering Puffin.
This 14th year in business, as with many, started as the last business year ended, mostly bleeding cash, but giving me a chance to re-connect with kids. I had been working in one of the local school districts, but this had been supplementary income. Since I am former school teacher and as a side gig, in good times, became a full time adventure, first in childcare, then hybrid learning, distance learning and now back to childcare and a little building security on the side, has allowed me to pay the bills and give my life meaning as the kids continue to keep me feeling young. I run around the gym with the kids, and that is them, but also my lifestyle change and walking 3 to 5 miles a day and eating healthy, now coming up on 11 months. Even with my primary income, essentially at a standstill, this allowed me to at least try to keep up the best I could, but the kids helped keep up my spirits up, even though the world could not travel. I started in the district back in 2006 and never left, so I met so amazing people and even my admin and multi-media person, was one of my very first students.
All this is to say that my love of educating, be it my valued clients or working with kids in some capacity, never left me. Being a travel planner and advisor, it is key that I educate my clients as part of my profession. Being flexible and finding other sources of income, but also the enjoyment of working with kids, has kept me going. The time also gave me a different perspective in keeping up with friends and family. I even had a chance to visit one of my brothers last September, when I was working for Census Bureau and was flown to Georgia for 3 weeks. As I mentioned in my last post, the most important lesson I have learned is appreciating the simple things and this is how I have been able to weather the storm to the best of my ability. The kids and the light at the end of the tunnel, staying connected with others important to me and staying up on the relevant news in my industry has allowed me to remain hopeful that there is a future in what I am passionate about. Thank you for following the Wandering Puffin. Your comments, questions, thoughts are always welcome, so please join the discourse. I look forward to hearing from you.
Weathering the storm in this year of Covid, has at the very least, been a challenge and very stressful. Throughout this year, I have written about various subjects, both professional and personal.
What I have realized is that trying to focus on the simple things is what is most important, not things, of which we have no control. Focus on the positives as much as possible, which even in the best of times during this past year, has been a stretch. I can, however, name a few in review, as I start this blog experience and maybe this will entertain, education, inspire or provoke thought and conversation. Your comments, thoughts, questions and concerns are all welcome. Before Covid or BC, the Wandering Puffin was rockin’ and business was good and travel was a most important part of my life. I lived and breathed it and in all the travels I planned, I lived vicariously through each and every adventure I planned for my valued clients. My colleagues and I were looking up. I was in the heart of my 13th year and not being superstitious, I remained optimistic and like others, thought I could weather the storm, but reality set in.
Not all was bad and with downtime, I tried to be there for others to listen, discuss options with my valued clients, worked on professional trainings, videos, and other ways to stay on top of what was going on in my industry, which is forever changing and challenging, as it were and stay relevant. These were tasks, while busy, always seemed to be put on the back burner, but now I had the time to do them and so I did. I was not going to regret the open time I had for those 2 months or so, so I used them to my advantage versus nothing. It helped to keep my mind sharp, learn new things and also be there for others. The biggest positive of all was Rosa and from Facebook posts, you have met her and she was my inspiration and motivation to start a new journey with my health, where to date, I have now lost 110 pounds and have become a different person. Thank you for following the Wandering Puffin. Your comments, questions, thoughts are always welcome, so please join the discourse. I look forward to hearing from you.