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There is No Right Road, Only the Road We Choose

"My motto was always to keep swinging." – Hank Aaron

The great Hank Aaron became great because he kept swinging. He said, "Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was keep swinging." No matter how positive, proactive, and optimistic you are, there will be days you feel in a slump in this era of evolving data, rules, and requirements surrounding the pandemic. Just remember to keep swinging. For me, that means not only continuing to run a travel business but also staying engaged with the communities and associations Nine Muses Travel supports.

Last week I was fortunate to join a League of American Orchestras (LOAO) managers meeting as an exhibitor with a virtual booth. You can see in the photo above I'm unabashedly dorky enough to screen shot myself in a virtual networking room to look like I'm conducting on the background image. Much like the annual conference of Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) earlier this month, there was candid, thoughtful, and inspired dialogue around inclusion, equity, representation, and accessibility. Someone pointed out during a Zoom break out room that there have been no viral outbreaks in U.S. orchestras or symphonies. That fact alone struck me as hugely hopeful for the arts community. A sentiment I heard at the APAP conference was repeated among League members too: "There is no going back." Going virtual has meant greater access for those with disabilities and mobility issues. Remote working may stay. What role can, will, or should virtual access have in the arts? Simon Woods, President and CEO of the League, gave sage advice: "Be gentle with yourselves. There is no right road. There is just the road we choose." We're all on an epic road trip with no map or compass but our own insight, intuition, and audacious imagination to create the world we want to arrive in. That's true of arts managers and those of us in the travel and tourism field too.

So why does a travel professional keep swinging, as it were, among arts and culture professionals? Before the pandemic, I'd worked with arts organizations to create donor travel programs for their patrons, and I also keep involved to support and stay informed about the arts. Another important reason is because the hard-working, creative, intellectually curious world travelers who lead and work at arts institutions are also ideal individual clients for Nine Muses Travel. I specialize in bespoke itineraries for lovers of authentic local experiences relating to arts, culture, history, and cuisine, and the preferred, VIP access I can provide clients are perfect for this community.

Lastly, you may be aware of recent changes to CDC requirements regarding testing and travel; starting tomorrow international airline passengers entering the U.S from abroad need to show proof of a negative test or documentation of recovery from infection. Keep in mind no tests are needed for re-entry to the U.S. mainland from Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands and that all of this is subject to change any time - another reason to not try navigating this on your own without a travel advisor! Capitalism is very, very good at turning challenges into opportunities, and already I have a LONG list of excellent resorts and hotels offering onsite testing and providing drastically reduced rates OR FREE stays should you need to quarantine. Mexico and the Caribbean are all over this concept, and hotels around the world are beginning to follow suit in Central America, Brazil, Morocco, and more. I don't think I'd mind a quarantine so much if I had a free oceanfront view and room service. Concerned about medical access? First, great doctors can indeed be found all around the world! For even greater benefits beyond a robust trip protection plan (which I'll always strongly encourage you to add), scroll down below to learn more about MedJet and the exceptional added peace of mind they provide.

Both the arts and travel communities are replete with innovative problem solvers, and it's a pleasure and privilege to go down the roads we choose to forge in these days ahead, together.

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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