My last trip, domestic or international, was in February. For me that is a long time being home. As a self defined travel junkie I miss traveling a lot. Sure, the comforts and amenities that come with a certain level of travel that Zoom Vacations offers are nice, but I have come to realize that what I miss most is traveling with like-minded people and sharing experiences and laughs. What makes connecting with others while traveling together on a Zoom Vacations tour easy is that so much is thought out ahead of time so that our guests and I really focus on making friendships and building life long memories.
Sometimes this happens in the most unexpected ways. Let me explain. I am a pop culture junkie, my second addiction after travel. As a kid I would watch a lot to TV and dream about travel. One of the experiences while traveling that blew my mind was casually mentioning to one of our guests that my all-time favorite show growing up, that really fed my love of travel was The Love Boat (in fact, I used to tape it on cassettes and listened to them – this was before VHS or other methods of recording), and him confessing that he was one of the producers of the show; or when I mentioned to another guest that one of my all-time favorite movies was Steel Magnolias, and learning that he wrote the movie and that it was based on the women in his life; or laughing all day long with one of our guests that turned out to be one of the writers on Golden Girls. And who doesn’t love Golden Girls? I am not that impressed with celebrities. So, I appreciated these guys, very normal people, for their contribution to my growing up and the way I see the world. And then there are the ones that I connect with that are not famous but are just hard working, smart, driven and kind who have shared their life experiences, dreams and consternations with me. In these cases, and there are others, we had the time and the desire to delve deeper in conversation in a place where we felt safe to talk about those things.
I am very fortunate that I have made friends over the years on many Zoom Vacations trips, and I know from other guests that they have as well. Good relationships are the building blocks of a meaningful life. I am glad to be doing my part at Zoom Vacations towards that goal for me and my guests. Now if I could only get Dolly to come on one of our trips and hang out with her, I would be in heaven!