This weeks blog title is the only hint of self-pity you will get from me. I am definitely someone who is able to look forward with no regrets. We all know what 2020 dealt us, and as a travel business owner I am proud with how we firstly coped and serviced our clients, and then shifted gears to provide you all with future trip inspiration. It looks like this mode will continue for a while longer, but I absolutely see a very bright light at the end of the tunnel, and we remain Ready, When You Are.
Happy New Year to all our readers from the entire team.
Top 5 - My Wows of 2020
I only wrote about this experience a few weeks ago, but it was a miracle of a trip in many respects. The fact that our group all produced negative Covid tests, many of us had to rebook flights multiple times, and that Uganda only reopened its borders a few weeks before our departure date was enough of a miracle. But then the country itself surprised and delighted us every single day and the people opened their hearts to us and it stirred my soul.
The country is lush, fertile and has the most amazingly diversified wildlife populations. I mean the tree lions of Ishasha haven't even made the photos!
2. Black Lives Matter
It certainly wasn't just Covid that taught me humility this year. As the BLM movement gathered strength through the entire country in late May and June (below) I found myself reassessing my own preconceptions around race even though I had always been convinced I was aware enough of racial dynamics in the country. Some serious conversations with my wise children helped me understand the magnitude and depth of the issues and although it's a work in progress, I am thankful I have the resources to educate myself.
3. Gifted Travel Network
J5Travel can only provide our above and beyond service because we are supported by the best host agency there is. In a year when several in the industry buried their heads in the sand, GTN went in the opposite direction, embracing the new reality of travel and producing educational programs to help us look forward, weekly updates and a lot of hand-holding for all their 300+ advisors. We would not have survived, and indeed thrived, without this group of 14 incredible women.
4. Emirates First Class (above and below)
A self-indulgent over-the-top luxury experience that gave me a 14 hour respite from everything and brought me home safely to the USA after the Uganda and Dubai trip. It was also the highlight of my nerdy specialty, booking flights with points this year. A transfer from my Citi Thank You points to the Emirates loyalty program only 3 weeks before travel nabbed me this elusive First Class flight. Don't forget our award booking service is FREE if you book the rest of your trip with us, and we have now saved many of our clients multiple thousands of dollars.
5. Los Cabos (above and below)
Los Cabos in October meant a lot as this was my first personal trip after a prolonged Covid hibernation. It gave me confidence in the protocols in place out there in the world that safe travel is possible with no loss of enjoyment because of the extra hurdles involved. Travel will remain a very personal decision for many months to come, but myself and team members have now travelled safely in the last few months and we have the answers to any questions you may have. Even if you can't contemplate a 2021 trip yet, perhaps start thinking about a bucket-list item for 2022. The demand is going to be rather extraordinary once a green light appears and we do advise to get ahead of that by starting to plan a long way in advance.
I love travel and I love travel planning just as much. As your personal travel tailors - award reservation and luxury custom itinerary experts - we are here to provide a bespoke service, imagining and creating itineraries for independent minded families and groups. Click HERE if you are ready to plan your trip of a lifetime.
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