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Future Travel Planning, with Empathy

"Let perseverance be your engine and hope your fuel." — H. Jackson Brown

A year ago yesterday the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in New York City. Over those next 10 days I went to a happy hour with tourism colleagues in town from Colombia, ushered the previews of Gnit at Theatre for a New Audience, attended a BNI meeting, networked at the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, had coffee with my rep from Virgin Limited Edition, enjoyed a semi-regular lunch date with a neighbor travel blogger I met at the NY Times Travel Show a couple years ago, shared breakfast at my favorite local spot with a Radisson rep visiting from the French Riviera, and walked over to a class about Scotch whiskey at Brooklyn Brainery - with whiskey tasting included. Such was my life in early March 2020, a life I loved - even as the news grew more ominous.

The Crown Heights, Brooklyn zip code where I live is just 1.09 square miles. I share it with about 64,000 other people. I've thought a lot about my neighbors in the last year. There was a period of time at the beginning of April when the sound of ambulance sirens never waned. I could hear them outside my window, near or distant, constant, with no silence in between, not even the briefest moment of stillness, hour after hour, never a break, for not just a morning, or an afternoon, or a day, but for two solid days. I couldn't understand how it was even possible, that many ambulances. Those were the darkest days, for me. I grieved for them, for all of us. I watched Governor Cuomo's daily press conferences for the comfort of his steady reporting on the situation but would see my zip code listed on his slides of the hardest hit. In the end, 12% of my 1.09 square mile zip code tested positive. This is why I was so relieved to receive my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine on Friday at Medgar Evers College.

After the shot, which didn't hurt at all (maybe because I was a little distracted by the handsome US Air Force man who administered it?), I felt like I was floating down the street as I headed home. It was the lightest, the happiest, the most ascendant I've felt for a year. I looked at the calendar for my second shot, added two weeks, and started planning ahead again for places to go and things to do. I have ideas brewing for a river cruise with American Queen Steamboat Company to start....

And I know I'm not the only one! This past week I've booked clients on a gorge-ous Columbia and Snake River cruise in the scenic northwest, also with American Queen Steamboat Company. Others booked a delightful Danube River cruise on Avalon Waterways for next spring. I was on Zoom with a client yesterday to discuss an extraordinary itinerary for her and her family to experience the mountains, desert, beaches, and capital city of Oman this fall. A longtime client received both doses of his vaccine and is ready to return next month to Miami, a place he loves.

I want you to know that when you're ready to travel again, you're working with someone who lived in an epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S. I empathize with your wariness and concerns. I invite you to bring your questions to me, and let's talk about them. Let's talk about the suppliers I trust and the generous cancellation policies they have. Let's review travel insurance options. Let's see how far ahead you feel comfortable planning for your next trip. I've never been more proud to offer my professional services and to be a valued member of your network. I am YOUR travel advisor, and I'm always here to help you travel better and create journeys designed to inspire you, again.

I design journeys that inspire by highlighting local arts and culture, history, and cuisine for intellectually curious clients longing to feel deeply inspired by exciting destinations, culinary delights, and authentic cultural experiences on a life-changing, joyful journey of discovery.

Danielle Dybiec

Founder & President


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