Butterflies & Travel Agencies: Where do they go when it rains?

#JenniferWalkerTravel

When I was a little girl, I read the poem, Where does the butterfly go when it rains, by May Garelick.  Decades later, I can still picture the cover illustration depicting a blue butterfly, hovering above a flower bed.  For some unknown reason, I thought of this book today, and though I had recorded a video for my May newsletter, talking about the current state of the travel industry, I felt compelled instead to write about butterflies.
 
How does a story about a butterfly correlate with travel?
 
In the story, the butterfly protects itself from the damaging weight of heavy raindrops by sheltering in place, such as under flower leaves until the rain stops, and it’s safe to fly and explore its environment again.  We’re experiencing something similar today–staying in our homes, doing what we can to continue to thrive until it is safe to explore again.  In our case, the damaging raindrops represent the Covid-19 virus, the protective leaves are our homes, and the environment to explore is Earth.
 
When will we know it’s safe to fly and explore again?
 
Though physically able to fly during a storm, a butterfly risks getting harmed by the rain and wind.  The same is true for travel today.  Our modes of transportation–planes, ships, trains, motor coaches, and cars–are still capable of taking us where we wish to go.  Unfortunately, flights, cruises, and tours have been canceled worldwide in an effort to reduce the risk of the Covid-19 virus from spreading to more people.  We’ll know when it’s safe to travel again when the Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization, and national governments agree that the virus threat has diminished to a level where people will once again be allowed to freely travel.  Today, we are hopeful that will be July 2020
 
What will the landscape look like?
 
Following any storm, the landscape may have changed.  For a butterfly, that might mean that flowers it previously relied on for sustenance are no longer available, requiring it to seek out other sources for food.  In the travel industry landscape, cancellations of trips due to travel restrictions have financially overwhelmed many travel suppliers and travel agencies.  As with humans, there are businesses which will not survive.  Fortunately, my agency is healthy and will survive this pandemic; however, suppliers I previously relied on for my clients’ trips may change as some suppliers may be forced to close their doors due to financial losses while others I may choose not to work with going forward.  Airlines may require all passengers wear a mask in the airports and on flights.  Cruise lines may add thermal imaging to detect and prevent sick guests from boarding a ship.  Without question, the travel landscape will look differently, post Covid-19.
 
Where will you go when the rain stops?
 
When you perceive it is safe to travel, where will you go?  Did you notice I wrote, “When you perceive it is safe”?  Regardless of what any health organization, center specializing in diseases, governing body, or even your trusted travel advisor tells you, your willingness to get out and travel again is dependent on whether you, personally, feel safe doing so.  Maybe you will feel more comfortable driving your own car to a place where you may explore independently, and in a wide-open space, such as a national park or beach.  Maybe you’ll feel more comfortable staying in a relative or friend’s home, or in a room at a trusted hotel chain’s property, rather than in an unfamiliar destination or residence.  Perhaps this is the year your family decides to organize a family reunion, or you decide to travel with a small group of friends sharing similar interests.   Or perhaps you’ve realized that life is short, the unexpected can happen, and it’s time to take that Bucket List trip you’ve been dreaming about but have been putting off. 
 
Regardless of when, where, and how you travel on your next trip, I hope your first step in the planning process will be to contact me.  Tell me where you’d like to go, and I’ll monitor for sales to that destination.  Describe your travel-related dreams, and I’ll help make them happen for you.  Bucket List or group trip arrangements? I’m your gal. 
 
Despite the current storm, I’ve continued to work full time to support my clients’ needs.  I’ve even provided advice to folks who didn’t book their trips with me because I feel we’re all in this together and no one should have to struggle when someone else may have a solution to their needs.  My agency is still thriving, and I’m ready and willing to provide you with travel-related assistance.  Until then, I hope you stay healthy and safe.  Keep dreaming of those places you’d like to go, follow my Facebook business page for inspiration and travel industry updates, request to be added to my agency’s marketing program to receive supplier sales information via email and snail mail, and when you’re ready to travel again, let me know.  It’s easy to reach me by phone 309-256-2984, email, or through the Contact form on my website.
 
Until next time…
 
Jennifer

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