It’s nothing short of astonishing that I have been writing a blog all these years, yet never succumbed to the temptation of using this obvious title in all that time! But if ever there was a time to use it, it is NOW! Last month I addressed the Covid crabbiness that has affected us all (except maybe Dolly Parton. That woman is the most positive-thinking human on the planet!)
Would you look at that? I’m only one paragraph into this month’s blog, and I’m already digressing.
Now where was I? Oh, yes: the road. Since Covid rudely disrupted our lives back in 2019 we have all been impacted in one way or another. Not only were we faced with dealing with a thoroughly mysterious, deadly disease completely unarmed, but also family disruptions caused by school and child care closures, and loss of income with no end in sight.
But the sad fact is that no industry worldwide was more impacted than the travel industry. From cruise lines to airlines, hotels, restaurants, recreation, transportation, CVBs, tour operators, wait staff, entertainment venues - and many more - all went dark without any reassurance that we would ever be able to pursue our chosen careers again.
I have marveled at the resilience of my colleagues in the travel industry who doggedly planned tours which were unlikely to go (myself included), and then after cancelling an entire season of tours, starting in on bookings for next year (when there was absolutely no reason to believe they wouldn’t suffer the same fate)!
And yet, here we are - doing tours again. Is it the same as before? Of course not. And it never will be. But if there is anything we have learned from this cataclysmic experience, it is that we are stronger than we thought.
We at Shebby Lee Tours (that’s me and the cats) planned and actually conducted three tours in 2023 - all pre-formed groups - and were thrilled to have them! Next year we will be returning to some of our more popular history programs open for booking to individuals, couples and family groups which we have missed dearly. But these are harder to produce because we need a minimum number of passengers to make it financially feasible. And I am loathe to go back to disappointing Lewis & Clark enthusiasts when we couldn’t reach that magic minimum number.
We have been receiving an unusual number of requests for the Oregon Trail in recent months, and that too is on the list of possibilities for 2024. If you have a yen for a certain program and are ready to travel again, please let us know.
To quote one of my favorite sayings: God willing and the creek don’t rise, we will see you on the road again next year!