The coronavirus situation changes daily, but there are moments when a post-COVID-19 future begins to take shape amidst the turmoil. Although we may be ready to imagine what it would be like to socialize as usual or to board a plane for a much-needed vacation, that doesn't mean that the post-COVID world will be the same. Travel will be different than what we've grown accustomed to, and the changes that the travel industry has already begun to implement may be here to stay.
Before we can speculate on the future, let us first examine our current situation. Political leaders have felt pressure to restart the economy. Consequently, most states have developed phased reentry plans, and are monitoring infection rates to identify the resurgence of the virus quickly. Some public recreational spaces have opened with limitations, and companies in the hospitality and tourism sector have developed rigorous cleaning routines.
Despite some progress in implementing social distancing and upgraded cleaning protocols, the US still has much to do to control the virus and minimize the scope of its impact on our day to day routine. The EU recently announced that its member states would not be admitting US citizens, for the time being, a decision the EU will review every two weeks.
Those of us fortunate enough to be working from home during quarantine look forward to returning to a state of normalcy.
And "normalcy" includes the desire to travel.
Not immediately, and not the same way - but wanderlust is returning.
Google Trends Search Term Data
To illustrate this returning demand, we've consulted Google Trends, a tool that shows the popularity of a search term relative to total search volume in a given time frame. For ease of comparison, Google converts search volume into an index ranging from 0 to 100, with 100 being the highest possible interest for a given term. You can compare trends over time or analyze the popularity of search terms to one another. Below, we've done both.
"The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away." - Pablo Picasso
The quote above is attributed to Pablo Picasso. I came across it as a framed print in a dental office and it stopped me in my tracks. You see, in my business I work with brilliant entrepreneurial mentors, and critical to the success of one's business is understanding what sets one apart from others - in other words, one's Brilliance.
I will admit I've struggled with figuring out my brilliance, yes, I have a passion for travel, yes, I like to help busy people create memories that will last a lifetime - but let's get real - I'd wager every travel advisor can honestly claim these reasons for being in this business. But during a conversation over a leisurely dinner, with a travel colleague I'd just met in person after many online collaborations - it struck me - my brilliance is helping people do something for the first time.
So what does this mean? To me, it means I'm here to help you experience things that are new to you - to do things for the first time. From getting your first passport - to taking your first cruise - to taking your first river cruise - to your first hop across the pond - to coming face to face with magnificent beings as the elephants pictured above - and someday, traveling for the first time post-COVID - I will here to help you do something for the first time.
In closing, I came across another Picasso quote which seems entirely fitting: "Everything you can imagine is real." And somewhere on this beautiful blue planet that's our home, it's likely true - so think about it and remember it is my privilege to help you do it - for the first time.
This week as the US celebrates July 4th, I'm featuring a guest author, Kevin Vo of Premier Wellness Travel. Rich and I are observing the holiday at home; we have been using our grill - a lot - and today are going to be grilling ribs with a side of scalloped potatoes from Kent Rollins' new cookbook. We miss being able to see our family and friends, and look forward to when it's safe to get together and greet each other with a hug.
Happy 4th of July to you all,
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