FOERSTER TRAVEL IS…
and as usual, I am late to my own party. February 12, 2021 marked 10 years since I decided to open my own company and travel the world. I have visited over 70 countries and experienced some of the most amazing adventures that some never even dream possible. I would own a vacation home in some destinations, and to some, I would likely never return. People do often ask me which countries are my favorite to visit, and I give them a standard reply that goes something like this: (it helps if you read my reply in a very monotone voice to get the full effect)
“Every destination has touched my heart in a different way, so I can’t say that I have a favorite,” and for the most part, that is true.
But I think it is time to start expounding on that colorless response and share my experiences with the world. The catch? I have never written a personal travel blog. I have thought about it before. Honestly though, I have always been too busy traveling and immersing myself in the moment to actually write about my adventures, and by the time I get home where I could reflect and share my story, my mind is already preparing for my next getaway.
Travel is rarely a vacation for me, as I try to use every opportunity to cultivate new partnerships with hoteliers and key industry personnel, but as I share some of my most memorable experiences, my hope is that the pages of my story will inspire you to fill the pages in yours; one destination, one connection, and one ridiculously magical jaunt at a time.
HOW TO GET THROUGH THE TERRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD TIMES
I think I speak for everyone when I say that 2020 was a complete and utter train wreck of a year. A global pandemic grounded us from travel and visiting family, kept kids from going to school, unemployed millions, and left us all wondering what the hell was going on in the world as some of our closest friends and family members were passing away from a virus that even the world’s best epidemiologists knew very little about.
From a travel industry perspective, the pandemic devastated tourism around the globe. I couldn’t help but feel so helpless in a time when many of my colleagues were being furloughed and dozens of travel agencies shuttered. How did we fight through? Like so many times before, those businesses left standing had to shift from Resistance to Resilience.
For the past several months, I have had to work on getting out of my head and digging deep within myself to keep my business alive. It has done me absolutely no good to think of every future worst case scenario, so I have had to learn to live in the present. What do you do when your present feels less than optimistic or just downright sucks? Well, a sucky present doesn’t change the mission; at least it hasn’t changed mine. With each border closure, travel ban, and hotel closure – and every travel protocol since – I have had to find ways to pick myself up and focus on what I can control. We know that absolutely nothing is certain, and if we are being honest with ourselves, nothing really ever was. Thinking things never change gives us this empowering illusion of safety, and then boom, our safety net is gone as soon as we accept the reality. We use the term “fluid” so often these days (which by the way, I despise that word), but the real reality is, everything has always been ever-changing (and I am not one for change).
EMBRACING CHANGE AND CHOOSING GRATITUDE
So what happens when we start to embrace change? Grief upon grief has been a normative behavior for many of us in today’s world, but coping with adaptation can promote a sense of accomplishment and gratitude as well.
People who wonder whether the glass is half full or half empty miss the point. The glass is refillable. – Unknown
Life is all about perspective, is it not? With all the blows I have been dealt, I started trying to find small wins in my day. An employee booked a trip? AWESOME! My three year old son said a new word? COOL! I actually cooked dinner? FANTASTIC! Looking at life through the gratitude lens allows us to become resilient, and RESILIENCE IS THE KEY!
In a world and life full of so many unknowns, how do we continue to press on? First, we must accept that the future is full of so many unknowns. Then, we must allow ourselves to feel the anger and grief of our current situation(s) and then experience that anger and grief without resistance. Doing this over and over every single day allows us to surrender, and surrender allows us to hold on to hope without specific attachment. From there we can make better decisions, because we make them from what is, and not from what we wish it was or fear it may be in the future.
Stephen Covey, author of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, says “[We’re] not a product of our circumstances. [We’re] a product of our decisions.” So, today, right now, I challenge you to make the decision to carry on or start over, if you must.
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