My father set the bar high early on with his leadership of our company, ensuring we worked exclusively with the Travel Advisor community, and he went so far as to make it a tagline in our brand to secure its place in our company’s history; The Travel Advisor’s Friend since 1967. This has been a fundamental principle of our company that will always remain, both to honor my father’s legacy and to renew our commitment to you.
But as the impact of Covid-19 started to roll out last year, we found ourselves in a position that would challenge us as a company and as historical leaders in the Industry: to either enforce our Terms & Conditions or do what we knew was right. Little did we know that our decision, which for the record was a no brainer, would place us in the category of few and far between, and I have my father and our friends/partners around the world to thank for that. My father set the standard early on by instilling this spirit that who we are is not just measured by how well we perform when things are going well, but who we are when they are not, and our partners stand by our side with this philosophy.
A team, whether part of the same company or a partner company, is not just a group of people who work together. A team is a group of people who trust each other. And we trust each one of our team members, not just for who they are and their strengths, but for their belief in what we are doing and how we are doing it. And while it is easy to look back and be disappointed in those who have failed you, even longtime colleagues, or in losing someone you thought was also a friend you can count on, I feel we are all better served if we embrace and appreciate those who stuck by us, those who were exactly who we thought they were, professionally and personally.
The saying that the apple does not fall far from the tree is normally something you reserve just for family, but I can tell you, our partners are our family, and we are grateful for each one of them and look forward to working together again, side by side, as we emerge from a time in all our lives that we are happy to put behind us. So, I just want to acknowledge our partners below, from around the world, and say thank you for being there during one of the hardest times any of us could ever imagine and for being a true friend. We cherish our global friendships, and because of them it was easy for us to stay true to you.
Zehava-USA, Dan-USA, Lin-Canada, Alida-Croatia, Ante-Croatia, Penelope-USA, Enver-Albania, Flor-Argentina/Brazil, Natalya-Armenia, Kathie-Australia/New Zealand, Patricia-Austria/Latvia/Lithuania, Melvyn-Bali, Patricia-Belize, Amit-India/Bhutan/Nepal/ Sri Lanka, Wendy-Bolivia, Valentin-Bulgaria/Romania/Hungary, Linh-Cambodia, Pablo-Chile, Xingang-China/Tibet, Manon-Colombia, Stephanie-Costa Rica, Johnny-Cuba, Leonardo-Ecuador, Ashraf-Egypt, Ken-EL Salvador, Laura-Estonia, Desale-Ethiopia, Mark-France, Veronica-Germany, Gabriel-Greece, Leslie-Guatemala/Honduras, Jody-Hong Kong, Linda-Iceland, Melvyn-Indonesia, Alberto-UK/Ireland, Mushi-Israel, Marco-Italy, Hiroki-Japan, Hani-Jordan, Mark-Kenya, Linh-Laos/Myanmar, Mike-Malawi, Erika-Malaysia, Ivonne-Mexico, Hisham-Morocco, Tristan-Nicaragua, Alexis-Panama, Luz-Peru, Donna-Philippines, Pawel-Poland, Luis-Portugal, Valentin-Romania, Alina-Russia, David-Rwanda, Laura-Scandinavia, Carol-Singapore, Matej-Slovenia, Dani-Spain, Raheemah-South Africa/Zimbabwe, Elvis-South Korea, Dani-Spain, Laura-Spain, Amit-India, Paul-Taiwan, Romain-Tanzania, Aruwee-Thailand, Rui-China, Sule & Billur-Turkey, Libin-UAE, Shelia-Uganda, Natalia-Ukraine, Paola-Uruguay, Linh-Vietnam, Mike-Malawian/Zambia.
Like many of you, it took me some time to accept the reality of how much Covid was going to impact us, our families, friends, businesses, and livelihoods, and that it was not going to be over in two weeks, two months, 6 months, and now a year. It was right around that 6-month period that it became clear that the undertow of this pandemic was pulling us out to sea and there was nothing we could do to get back to shore, other than to learn how to survive. For some, survival was not an option, and for others it was something we had to work on day by day to ensure that our sanity and financial well-being did not completely dissipate. But now, to ensure our continued survival, it’s time to stop looking back rehashing what just happened and to commit to looking forward so we can begin a new chapter, for all of us.
In my last newsletter, I shared the hope that our team and partners around the globe were beginning to have as we started looking to the future. But hope is meaningless unless it is followed up with action, and over the last few weeks and months, we have taken quite a bit of action to be ready to help you be ready when more borders open, herd immunity is a closer reality, protocols are streamlined, and airlines and cruises start adding routes. We believe the time is now to start taking small steps, first, with getting our heads back in the game, second, getting back to routines that have worked for us over the years, and third, growing our knowledge that in turn will give us energy to support our goals. As I have said many times in the past, we did not come this far, to only come this far, and we are excited to start sharing with you all that we have done, starting with our newsletter next week, to help get prepared for tomorrow….
And finally, I want to share another personal experience which inspired this writing for me. My 83-year-old mother had a heart attack last week at 4:40 am, and by the grace of God, woke up knowing something was wrong, called my sister and told her she felt she was dying and was calling 911. Within an hour, my mom was at the hospital having an emergency Angioplasty, and within 48 hours was checked out of the hospital back home. The doctor told us my mother saved her own life, but more times than not, this is how many her age die, in bed, alone, having a heart attack while sleeping. Come to find out, my mom’s heart stopped as she arrived at the hospital, with one of her arteries 90% blocked. So, I asked her, looking back on how easily it could have gone in another direction, if she had an epiphany from this experience. She answered, “I didn’t realize how much my children loved me and would be there for me.”
Hard times do not just reveal true friends…. they also reveal true love and commitment.
IWorld of Travel…. The Travel Advisor’s Friend since 1967
IWorld of Travel
An Ady Gelber Legacy Company.
P: 212.507.9204 M:916.835.6499