Featured Traveler: Cindy from Dallas

A Tale of Two Siblings:

After over 20 years of owning Zoom Vacations, Bryan Herb’s sister Cindy finally was able to join a Zoom Vacations tour. She is certainly not the first sibling to join a Zoom Vacations tour, and she won’t be the last. If you have ever wondered if a Zoom Vacations tour would be right trip to bring a gay-friendly family member or friend, the following interview may give you some insight.

Bryan: What made you finally decide to take one of our Zoom Vacations tours?

Cindy: After working several years in a very stressful corporate sales environment…I decided to take a much needed break! I was FINALLY going to do something for ME! I knew this was the time to explore more of what this life has to offer and I knew Zoom Vacations was not only reputable, but would be able to offer me the luxury vacation I needed without it going way above my budget!

Bryan: How was it, traveling as the only straight female with a group of gay men?

Cindy: Honestly- it was AMAZING!! I felt like I was on a trip with my favorite family members and/or best friends! Every person was so incredibly warm/friendly and extremely funny! We all genuinely enjoyed each other’s company and all managed to be on the same page (which I imagine could be difficult in a group setting). I think we all needed a trip like this and wanted the same things out of it.

Bryan: You have been hearing about Zoom Vacations for years. Was the experience what you expected or hoped it would be?

Cindy: I feel like Zoom Vacations exceeded my expectations. I didn’t really have any major “expectations” because I didn’t want to be let down. Lol. I felt things were very well planned and it was nice to have different fun activities and adventures planned out for you versus trying to figure it all out yourself! I felt like no matter what…I was going to get the best of the best because Zoom Vacations had my back and wouldn’t have it any other way. It was really nice to feel taken care of and not have to worry about things.

Bryan: We had a lot of changes on this trip, due to various things in Peru that were beyond our control. Did these things make you nervous?

Cindy: I was nervous at first…I was like uhhh what if I don’t get to climb Machu Picchu!?? Or see the Sacred Valley!?? However, I also knew that things would work out somehow/someway. I knew you were working really hard behind the scenes to ensure a great travel experience for all of us.

Bryan: How do you think the trip impacted our relationship?

Cindy: I feel like this vacation brought us even closer together! There is a whole different level of trust and connection you get when traveling with others…especially when you’re in a different country! I trusted you and trusted your knowledge from over 20 years in the travel industry! There were so many special sibling bonding moments that we will get to hold onto for our lifetime- this to me is priceless!

Bryan: Yes! I feel the same way. It was also really fun to watch you interacting with my travelers, who I know got a kick out of you! I feel like many of our travelers would have a great experience bringing a gay-friendly sibling or straight friend on a Zoom Vacations tour.

Cindy: How did it feel to have a female in the mix with a bunch of guys?

Bryan: For some reason, I have always felt that our trips are even better when there is at least one female present in the group. But like our dad taught us, diversity is everything. Speaking of diversity we had quite a diverse array of food on this trip. You and I got to eat at the 2nd, 11th, and 32nd best restaurants in the world while in Lima, plus other restaurants and unique venues throughout the trip. What did you think of the food in Peru?

Cindy: One thing I would say in explaining Peruvian food is that everything is very fresh. I didn’t realize how fresh it would be, especially the seafood. There is a unique spin on flavors that was a nice surprise. Some of the most expensive food was at times as good as the food I had in places that appeared more basic. Peruvians are incredible at elevating the most simple food. Also, I am even obsessed with the fresh squeezed orange juice we had at every hotel in Peru.

Bryan: Get a group of gay men together, and the conversations can go pretty wild. You seemed so comfortable, and I could tell that our travelers were really able to be themselves around you too. Were you comfortable?

Cindy: Absolutely. I felt very comfortable, and it was a nice breath of fresh air to be around like-minded genuine people. Plus, we seemed to all like doing the same things: eat great food, do some shopping, enjoy the spa, the hiking. For sure, being open-minded was key.

Bryan: What was your favorite single moment:

Cindy: I would say being at the top of Wayna Picchu, and for once in my life not feeling afraid of heights. Instead, I felt a sense of gratitude, excitement, and accomplishment, which overshadowed any feeling of fear.

Bryan: Lastly, I know you love nature. Did Peru give you the experience in nature that you were wanting?

Cindy: Absolutely. I think I was most impressed and inspired by our time in the Andes Mountains and the jungle around Machu Picchu.

Bryan: Anything else inspire you?

Cindy: Big Time. I was inspired by the art and design at hotels and other venues Zoom Vacations brought us to. I wasn’t expecting the colonial vibe in Peru, and I really loved it. Plus, they have such a beautiful usage of color in textiles, paint, etcetera. I actually really miss the vibe.

Bryan: Anything else you would like to add?

Cindy: If you go on a trip with an open mind and know that you may go outside of your comfort zone, it can be such a powerful moment of growth. This trip certainly was for me.

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