I take my business very seriously and my clients even more seriously. Without my valued clients and my valued colleagues and partners in the industry, I am not here in business as long as I have been. I am happy to say that I am having the best year of my 25 years in the industry. From the ashes of Covid, the Wandering Puffin has risen here in 2022 and now better than ever. I have many people to thank including my colleagues, my suppliers, of course, my many valued clients that hung in there with me and the many new clients I have earned this year through various sources including ASTA’s TravelSense, Yelp, Facebook, the BBB, Google searches and most importantly, repeat business and referrals of my client base. I was not going to quit on this industry of which I am passionate and have dedicated my life these 2 ½ decades. But even more important than the business and all its trials and tribulations, I have one person that I must thank more than any other and that is Rosa.
I remember when Covid came about in February 2020, at least publicly, and I was in Rome at a travel trade show near the Vatican. I had met a colleague who suggested I try her tours and she suggested the Borghese Gallery, a place I had not been in the several times I had been to Rome prior to this time, so I accepted and the next day, after enjoying food at the Hard Rock in Rome, huffed and puffed my way over to the Borghese Gallery (remember at the time, I was well up there in weight) and after a while, there she was, the person with whom I want to spend the rest of my life. Little did I know that it would 16 months to the day after I met her for the first time, that we would only be able to stay connected via WhatsApp, but we were there for each other, commiserating (you know she is a tour guide), and by the way, she seems busier now than she has ever been, as well. I remember hanging out with her for those few hours the second time we got together, but I knew then what I know now how much I love this lady, more and more each day. And yes, it was 16 months to the day, at a time when things were still unsure that Italy would open and it did, literally 2 days before I saw her again. I took a chance and was so happy I did.
As they say, the rest is history as I had 10 wonderful days with her in Rome, last June, and then we saw each again in November after my conference in London and you know that she came to America in February, and we spent 3 weeks together traveling around America where I gained a totally different perspective, from her eyes and it was all new again. And now you know. The kitty is out of the bag now that in less than 3 weeks, June 30th, I will be flying across the pond to be with her, not for a few days, not for a few weeks, not a month, which was the combined total of time I was in Europe between Croatia and Italy last June, when Europe had started to open up, but for 2 ½ months. I will be living in Rome for almost the legally allotted amount of time which is 3 months without needing a visa and we are moving into the next chapter of our lives, one which I hope continues further. I will be working on my valued client’s travels from there and tutoring English, so I get my practicum done and receive my certification to teach English as a Foreign Language as I have finished my coursework.
I will have meetings with hoteliers, suppliers and do some traveling around the country and beyond as I expand my knowledge and base to better assist my valued clientele and just because I am across the pond, does not mean I am unable to help. In fact, I will be able to help better and I will be well connected all the time. What has happened since Covid reared its ugly head? Well life has been a challenge, but I have not let it deter me from what is important, and I have, as I have written in a past blog, simplified my life. What is important to me is my relationship with Rosa, first and foremost and the business, both which bring me pleasure every day. I was up for the challenges before me before Covid and I believe even better able to handle the challenges now as I move into the next chapter of my life. Remember that it is never too late to make a difference and find what makes you happy as long as you have breadth in your body.
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!!!
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Weathering the Storm with the Wandering Puffin