Staying Calm Amidst the Chaos: Someone has to Do It
As someone who makes a living selling luxury travel to high-end clients desiring life-changing experiences, trust me when I say that I’m the last person who wants to stop sending people all over the globe. It’s what I have done for the last 15 years. And before I was selling travel, I was writing about travel as a journalist covering everything from hotels to aviation to travel industry news on a global level.
I just want to shed perspective from someone who’s not only in the business of promoting and selling global travel, but as someone who struggled with serious health issues that were exacerbated by traveling when I wasn’t “well.” With all of the focus on the current “virus” wreaking havoc on the world, especially those with pending travel plans, it’s essential to share my own story before pushing anyone to hop on a plane if they’re not feeling up to it.
Also, I apologize in advance to anyone I hugged/kissed/shook hands with at travel industry events back in 2013 and 2014 as I unknowingly had a virus known as MONO which isn’t super-typical among adults. I thought it was a cold I couldn’t kick and that the strep throat I kept battling would eventually go away. I had no idea I was in such bad shape, until I literally almost passed out on the tube and thought I was going to die while on a business trip in London. I pressed on. I went to my conference, shook hands with way too many people, suppressed my symptoms with heavy-duty cold medicine and collapsed into bed each night at 7pm while my colleagues friends were out networking and partying it up. It was NOT like me, but it opened my eyes to how important my health is, as nothing else is possible — including enjoying traveling — if you are not well.
Ever since then, my own health has been my top priority. I no longer travel if I am not feeling well. It’s not good for me, but it’s also not fair to anyone I might sit next to on the plane or share space with in an airport or at a hotel or wherever. This has become common sense to me, especially over the past six years when I saw the toll over-traveling had taken on my physical and emotional health. I had to slow down. I had to stay home and get well. So I did.
And now, with all the hype swirling around about the current “crisis”, it begs the question: why are sick people traveling, anyways? When is the last time you got on a plane and someone wasn’t coughing or sneezing? There are ALWAYS sick people traveling; I am sure some cannot afford to stay home as their livelihood depends on it. However, it would make much more sense to just stay home, get well and THEN travel as planned. It shouldn’t take threat of a global pandemic to instill this kind of common sense in people, but that’s the current reality.
I love traveling. I love selling travel. I love playing “matchmaker” between my curious clients who have the means and desire to explore their bucket list destinations, but are time-challenged and highly-value the opinions of someone like me who has been there, done that. When I switched from writing about travel to selling it back in 2005, it was because I saw the demand by a new wave of young luxury travelers hungry for curated opinions and insights that would shape their high-dollar vacation spends in a way that they’d remember always and value deeply.
Only a few years into running my business, we hit the 2008 recession and then came SARs, Ebola and then ZIKA. It would have been easy to freak out because that’s the “normal” knee-jerk reaction when the world is proclaiming to be in a crisis. Not to downplay ANY of the past or current crises, but history has shown that typically giving into the hysteria, cancelling ALL travel plans and freaking out is NOT the answer.
I don’t have the answer when clients ask me right now if they should be traveling, because as a recovered travel-aholic who traveled too much when I wasn’t “well”, I have a different perspective than most. I have read so many of the articles with numbers swirling around about how it’s minor compared to the annual flu statistics, but that doesn’t seem to matter when people are DYING daily of this virus we have no cure or vaccine for in the immediate future…and a government that’s making a mockery of our country by downplaying the seriousness.
That aside, I am not encouraging my clients to cancel plans, I would never tell anyone what to do or not to do despite WANTING everyone to keep traveling and life to be restored to “normal” with people not calling me this week to cancel luxury trips to Spain, Italy, China and postpone booking cruises to Alaska. But, it is what it is and my responsibility both as a travel business owner and a HUMAN who understands putting my own health and wellness atop the priority list to encourage clients to make their own decisions based on their own personal health history.
I’m amazed at how many people run around the world, hopping on and off planes, forgoing sleep (which is my key for good health!), downing hot tea at luxury hotels and popping cold meds in hopes of a quick recovery (I know because this used to be me). These are the people putting the masses at risk on a daily basis, because they are ignoring their own health and wellness.
Please, if you have upcoming travel plans, think about what’s best for you before you give in to the hysteria and cancel just because there are “sick” people out there. There are always sick people out there, on planes, in hotels, on cruise ships, in the streets, in your hometown grocery stores, schools, movie theaters, baseball fields…honestly, everywhere.
If you are NOT dealing with health issues, regularly take good care of yourself and have a strong immune system, up your vitamin C + D, take Hyland’s cell salts by the handful, get a check-up and if you’re in good shape, why cancel travel plans you’ve been looking forward to? Maybe reschedule, maybe look at a different destination if needed, but I’d encourage you to think twice before cancelling out of fear. The antidote to fear is love (as a sweet friend reminded me today).
As your health-conscious spiritual travel agent, I am recommending we all stay calm amidst the chaos that’s been created, and travel when we are feeling well, and stay home when we are not. Simple as that.
P.S. If you decide you don’t want to travel to a foreign country right now, hit me up for information on my one-on-one Maui-based @SpiritualTravelAgent life-changing weeks. I am launching pilot pricing right now, and for the cost of just a typical weeklong “luxury hotel stay”, you get a full week with me as your personal guide on Maui to peace + joy, a detachment from the chaos. I’ll share my secrets to finding aloha and living pono during these crazy times, and open up my blackbook of healers and wellness friends, and together we will customize a prescription for your path to peace and joy. Intrigued? Email me, firstname.lastname@example.org.