Well, the Thanksgiving holiday has passed and so has Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year, but there is still Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday, and I am sure many other created experiences between now and Christmas, Kwanza, and New Year’s. Of course, this year and every year it is different, Hanukkah and it 8 days of celebration are in full swing. Yes, it is the holiday season and there is absolutely a different vibe than last year. While my focus is my clients and arranging their travels now and, in the future, I am also currently employed in what I thought was a seasonal job, which it has turned out to be more and it gives me a balance between getting in front of computer and being on the phone and getting out in public again which I truly enjoy. While it does not replace working with kids, it allows me more human interaction than the zoom meetings that have become a way of life.
Tis the season as they say and it certainly has been, but we will save that for a future blog as we get into December. The Thanksgiving holiday, here in America, is upon us and it has a whole different vibe than last year during the depths of the pandemic. Like most people, we reflect on this time past, the present and what the future holds and for me, I have much to for which to be thankful.
I am still here and at times, I was not sure I would be. I have weathered the storm and not just survived, and, yes, I am a survivor, and many people are in their own way. I thrived, deciding that doing something to help my own cause, taking action, is better than wallowing in self pity or making excuses. I made sure that the time was well spent and wanted no regrets. I was not going to dwell on the negative. It is not energy worth spending, so I stayed positive throughout. I owe so much gratitude to many people throughout this journey.
You know how sometimes you forget to do something!!! Well, it happened here. I forgot to write my post and so you are seeing it now. I guess jet lag really got the best of me this past week or a better excuse, I was still enjoying the glow of my time in Italy and then trying to jump back in the fray.
It has been a crazy week in return and getting back into the routine, although nothing in my life is routine, required an extra effort between the jetlag, working my part time gig and jumping right back into trip planning which has been wonderful, but with any trip, it takes time to gear up again afterwards, and with this one especially. I guess, because leaving this time was much harder, knowing, it would be some time apart again, but knowing we were together, even from a distance, gave me a very warm feeling.
It helped that business was again moving forward and I was much busier. It is a wonderful feeling to know that the world is learning to deal with Covid and figuring out ways and so I truly believe I have weathered the storm. As with anything, including a return from travel, all systems have to be running and that takes time, so after this week back, it has really been one of burning the candle at both ends. I much prefer this to not having any sparks at all, so this is not complaining, just my reality and maybe a way to fill a page that is more chaotic, since that is what last week was, chaotic, getting back into that routine.
If I had come back stateside to little or no business, my current counter balance of no part time job to get me away from my computer and being exhausted from my trip, my outlook would certainly be different. We are not out of the woods yet, but the light at the end of the tunnel gets brighter and both professionally and personally. As always, with not a straight line to my goals, I am staying the course, but of course, mine is never a straight line and I am happy, positive and continue to push forward, and although this crazy little post is late, it is here.
Until next week, your thoughts, comments, questions, concerns are always appreciated, so thank you for your support of this small business and I expect a bit more cohesiveness next week, maybe!!!
Wow, the 40th edition of Weathering the Storm and it is all about Rosa and I!!! This all started when Covid started and now spending this past week with her has solidified my love for her. We got to know each other apart for 16 months and stayed connected via WhatsApp and learned many things about each other. When I first returned to Europe back in June, a first time across the pond since Covid, the 10 days we spent together was a reunion, a meeting, she likes to say and it was definitely more than business and definitely more than a feeling. She said she did not want to dream, but I knew I would be there. After that experience, I told her I would return before the end of the year and when I decided to go to London for a conference, getting to Rome, was a no brainer.
While she was awaiting my arrival at the airport in June, Italian flag and welcome sign in hand to pick me up, this time, knowing the terrain well after those 10 days, and as she was guiding the day of my arrival, I made my way to my hotel, the same as last time, Hotel Villa Rosa, I checked in, showered, changed and hit the road to see her and after a few bumps in the road, we met up near the Colosseum and spent the rest of the day together. Our meeting or our reunion or whatever we now call it solidified, if ever there was a doubt, and really, there never was that she was the one. We even spent the evening at a combination Halloween/ Birthday party with her friends and it was a lot of fun, for sure. I knew she had to work the next few days and so we found the time to spend together including an evening at the Hard Rock Café in Rome, where last time, we celebrated her birthday. This time, and even with the pouring rain afterwards, we enjoyed our time. I spent time that day exploring some of the crypts and lots of wall art and got lost a few times, but that is part of travel and some of the best things happen that are not planned.
The highlight for us was traveling together away from Rome for 2 nights and 3 days down to the Amalfi Coast and staying in Sorrento, away from the craziness that is Rome. She and I were together, enjoying the moments that make our relationship special. We tried different restaurants, walked many steps, experienced Herculaneum, Positano and amongst the rainfall, the bus and train rides and laughter and smiles we shared. These few days were magical and we did our first Facebook Live together and in the future, I hope many more and even though we did not get to some of the places we had planned, it did not matter. Other experiences replaced them. She is a natural in front of the camera and I so enjoyed this experience with her.
We were together and we were one. Another chapter in our story, a love story that, while once again, brings physical distance between us, brought us even closer together than we have ever been in these nearly 21 months. She said we need to live in the moment and I do understand, but it does not change the melancholy I feel as we are once again apart from each other. When I wrote the poem in March of 2020, and the lines that became the chorus of the song I wrote for her, yes, Rosa of Roma, saying distance won’t keep us apart, as what we have comes straight from heart, is more powerful than ever. She and I will be together again, this I know, no, we both know this and hopefully, with less time in between when we are together again. Rosa, you have added years to my life in all you have been to me. I am happier than I have ever been in my life. I am excited to walk many more steps with you through this journey called life wherever they may lead!!!
As always, I am interested in your thoughts, comments, questions and adding to the discourse is always appreciated be in on the site itself or on Facebook, Twitter or wherever you read this. Thank you for your support of this small business and it is truly appreciated!
Another week in transition, but one with my future in mind, not just short term, but long-term.
I mentioned last week that I had returned from Iceland, stayed grounded in my temporary New England domicile and worked not only on travels for my valued clientele, but also my part time gig, albeit more than part time or even seasonal, and almost feeling that I am part of something. I have had several people ask when I am coming “home”, meaning Minnesota and that is a very hard question to answer, one I am not sure at all. I feel like I am becoming part of something in New England, and Minnesota, is my past, not my future. Please don’t get me wrong, I was there for 30 years and was raised there with a stint in New York City in between, the place from which I am originally, and a year in France when I was 12 which some of you may know. Of course, short term and long term are two different things and maybe this time in New England is simply a detour enroute to a bigger picture.
I know I will have to return to Minnesota in the short term. I still have feelings there and friends, of course, but the longer I am away, and in reality, I don’t have a home there, and don’t want to settle in for the long term, it becomes a more distant memory, one now, going back to simply to gather or get rid of my worldly things, and moving forward, whether here or across the pond, where I am now. Yes, I am currently in London and when this posts, I will have moved on to where my heart truly is and that is Rome and home is where the heart is and when you read this, I will be with her.
My short time in London has been fruitful to say the least and I enjoyed the short time here. I was, like when I was in Iceland a few weeks back, able to re-connect with some very good colleagues and start potential future business partnerships and that is exciting. This being the third time across the pond (or the second), since Iceland was only halfway, included my third live and in person meetings and that bodes well both for my business future, but also travel in general as we more and more get used to living with Covid, which will be with us for a while, but optimism was truly felt at this latest conference by those with whom I had conversations and positivity brings more positivity. We do not want to dwell on the negative, unless, of course, it is a Rapid Antigen or PCR test.
I also enjoyed an evening out with colleagues at a hosted wine and food tasting from an Enoteca the Kensington High Street and that was very enjoyable. The other very enjoyable experience I had here in the UK was to get out of the city and head to Blenheim Palace, which if you do not know, was the birthplace of one Winston Spencer Churchill, and the day turned out quite nice. The palace and the grounds are very nice, and I enjoyed the day traveling by train and re-acquainting myself with this very important figure in modern history. Thank you for standing up to Nazi Germany.
Arrival day in Rome was fairly straightforward. Negative Covid test uploaded, health declaration form uploaded, vaccine card, uploaded into the British Airways system, all which must be done to check in and even after this as part of check in, you have to fill out a form on the aircraft. Not sure if this is a BA policy, but more likely, a government policy. Anyway, the pandemic has added to the bureaucracy around the world beyond the usual passport controls and customs declarations, but I am here in Italy for the week and after checking in, I reunited with Rosa and we spent the rest of the day together, which made me very happy!!! That is what this week is for, she and I and while she does have to work and I have travels to arrange for my valued clients, we will make the time for each other and that is what is most important!!! Ciao until next week’s edition.
As always, I am interested in your thoughts, comments, questions and adding to the discourse is always appreciated be in on the site itself or on Facebook, Twitter or wherever you read this. Thank you for your support of this small business and it is truly appreciated!!!
Weathering the Storm with the Wandering Puffin