"Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it." ― Roald Dahl
Last week was filled with so many travel events and live performances, it was like the "before times" - only masked. Last Tuesday I attended a lovely cocktail party on a shared terrace outside connecting suites at The Langham, New York, Fifth Avenue and heard updates from the five-star Langham hotel group, like the new beachfront property opening next month on Australia's Gold Coast. The next night I made some new hotel and marketing contacts at a quirky event at Sunken Harbor Club, nestled above Brooklyn's historic Gage & Tollner restaurant. I wish more travel events were held in Brooklyn!
Then came Thursday's day-long "Re-think South America Travel Show" envisioned by LATAM Airlines as a way to bring all the South American countries together to promote the entire region. Throughout the event I kept thinking how I too would like to visit Machu Picchu one day or the Bolivian salt flats I find so fascinating, but with my travel list growing longer every day, how can I possibly get there? I fixated on thoughts like this all day, then at the end it was time for prize drawings. A few prizes in, the slide came up for an 11-day trip to Peru and Bolivia (Lima, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Cusco - all in Peru, then in Bolivia: Lake Titicaca, Island of the Moon, La Paz, and Salt Flats). Of course I thought to myself how amazing that trip would be - to the places I'd dreamed about all day. Plus the package was with Condor Travel, who'd just arranged a trip for a new client of mine departing today for Bolivia, and I really enjoyed meeting their Peru and Bolivia sales reps in person (as you can see in the photo). So you can imagine the shock and joy when MY business card was pulled from the bowl for the prize! Had I actually manifested my winning by wishing all day for this dream trip in my life? I'm awe-struck each time I read the incredible Condor Travel itinerary. I love working in this industry!
That night I got to celebrate over dinner with an old friend who's now General Manager at The Joyce Theater, then together we watched the return of the Stephen Petronio Company to The Joyce. He said in a program note, "We are still here. We want to remind you of what we can do and of the possibility that we can challenge you and lift you up." During the performance, I wondered when was the last time I'd seen a dance company live. I couldn't remember. I did need to be reminded of what dancers can do, and it felt like seeing modern dance for the first time all over again - a wistful, wonderful feeling.
On Sunday, I got to see another dear friend in town to stage manage the annual Dance Africa festival back live again at BAM's opera house before walking over to the BAM Harvey for the closing performance of Cyrano de Bergerac, which won the Olivier award for Best Revival and starred the jaw-dropping James McAvoy, who led a phenomenal cast in a flawless production. The only review my friend and I could ever manage was a flabbergasted, "It's SO good. It's just.... SO GOOD."
Next stop on my train ride to normalcy is preparing for the League of American Orchestra's annual conference taking place this year in Los Angeles - and in person again! I've been a League member since 2019 because the Nine Muses Travel community is comprised of artists, arts lovers, and the culturally curious and because non-profits can benefit from working with a professional travel advisor to craft a hand-tailored itinerary for donor group trips that deepen engagement with their organizations. I'm looking forward to reconnecting with League members and seeing LA friends and some shows too!
It's taken two years, but the past week felt like the life I used to live, a life that I love - full of art, travel, friendship, and inspiration.
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