June 2020

What does a committed and passionate traveler do when they they can’t travel? Well, as I’ve admitted in previous editions of Conexión you plan your next trips of course.  In my case you also look back on past expeditions and seek inspiration from other peoples experiences.

I’ve been revisiting shows and documentaries about travel.  Through the TV, I have had the pleasure of going on numerous train rides around the world. There have been travel documentaries about train trips through South America, Africa, the Far East, Europe and here in North America. I managed to share rides on the Maharajah’s Express in India, the El Chepe Express in Mexico, The Rocky Mountaineer in Canada and numerous others.  In the past I’ve personally been lucky enough to travel on a number of scenic train trips including the Ghan across Australia and The Spirit of New Orleans from the Crescent City to Chicago here in the USA (humming the Arlo Guthrie song the whole way!). I have to confess to being a train travel junkie, and as much as I enjoy traveling by plane, I find journeys by rail much more of an adventure.

Luckily we’ve also been able to find re-runs of the late Anthony Bourdain’s series ‘A Cook’s Tour’. On the face of it Bourdain’s program’s were food and cooking shows, but in essence they are travelogues first and foremost. Apparently the later series ‘Parts Unknown’ are about to be re-run too, and I can’t wait. His ability to relate to locals wherever he traveled, with complete empathy was outstanding.

The third string of travel series I’ve been watching have featured behind the scenes coverage of famous hotels around the world. It’s great seeing what really happens to make sure your stay is memorable. Regrettably many of those hotels will remain outside my reach, but it doesn’t harm to dream does it?

All this makes me want to plan for upcoming trips when the current situation eventually changes for the better.  I hesitate to say ‘when things get back to normal’ as from a travel and tourism point of view, I think that those days have gone.  Traveling for pleasure has gone through many changes over the years following major world wide events. The consequences of this pandemic will leave their marks on our future trips, how we plan, travel and where we go.

When we do venture out I believe we will need friends in the business and I do see the traditional travel agent or travel advisor making a welcome comeback. We are going to need travel advisors who can provide personal support 24 hours a day. Knowledgeable people who know not only where, when and how to travel, but also know you. They also appear to have a direct connection to other professionals in the business, and that has to be a good thing in uncertain times.

So, start planning your future trips. Indulge in a little dreaming. Whatever you do, stay safe.