The year was 2015. The world awaited with open arms, and I longed to help others explore it. Today, 5 years later, though our world looks so much different, some things remain the same—my desire to travel and to help others do the same.
As I celebrate 5 years of being in business this week, I cannot help but think about all of the changes the past several years has brought—a new home, new twin babies, a passion that has morphed into my full-time job, viruses and pandemics, and so, so much more. When I announced the launch of Discovereighng with Dana in August 2015, I was living on a dream, but today that far-flung dream is a thriving business. It has been no walk in the park, in fact this is no doubt the hardest job I’ve ever had, but I have crushed goals, broken barriers, and been able to provide for my family.
Fives Years Later and Still in Wanderlust
But this story isn’t just about me and Discovereighng with Dana. You are the hero of this book! Without your support, trust, and bookings, I would not be where I am, and Discovereighng with Dana Travel & Destination Weddings would not be what it is. TOGETHER, we make yours AND my dreams a reality! I have the absolute honor of bringing your honeymoons, destination weddings, and family vacations to life, and you have the honor of supporting me in my dream job!
So, this week, I celebrate you! Every “like” and comment on social media, every vacation booking, every referral and you’ve sent makes all the difference! You’re invited to join in my big celebration on Instagram beginning Monday, August 17th. I’ll be doing a week of giveaways! You can win gift cards to some of my favorite places for travel essentials, and catch an announcement regarding 2021 vacations. Follow me on Instagram @discovereighngwithdanatravel for all of the details and to enter to win some great prizes.
Again, I cannot put into words my gratitude for you—my clients & supporters.
All the best,
It is no secret that we are all growing so weary of COVID-19, on top of that list being myself (ha!), and the current holding pattern our lives seem to be locked in. Keeping away from friends and family, masks as our newest accessories, and no traveling.
But for us, we’ve decided to start easing our way back to “living” and stop letting COVID control everything we do. So, we put together a little bust out of quarantine bucket list and will start marking off that list stat!
Though with some restrictions, some things might not be possible, we are still holding out hope to cross them off the list soon.
Our big ticket bust out of quarantine items include:
Movie Date | Oh how we are itching for dinner and a movie, just the two of us. Being stuck at home, with minimal outings, we are more than due for a little uninterrupted alone time. Being that catching a movie hasn’t been an option, we cannot wait to mark this one off our list. Currently, theaters here are closed, but we’ll make it happen as soon as possible!
Family Gathering | This weekend we are getting a start on our list! We are headed to the Texas Coast with family to hangout by the beach. We decided to not let this virus stop us from being together on our yearly vacation. I ain’t mad about it!
Mexico Trip | A few months back, right in the thick of quarantine, I couldn’t take it any longer, so I wrangled up a friend to join me on an all-inclusive Mexico vacation! In late September, we be up in the skies headed to the beautiful beaches of Playa Mujeres, Mexico. Cannot wait!
Family Road Trip | The next few weeks are super busy for us with our beach trip this weekend, then next weekend we hit the open road to head north for an epic National Park adventure! With flying not an option earlier on in the quarantine, we started toying with the idea of doing a family road trip to get away and unwind. Thus, our epic family road trip adventure plan was born! We’ll hit up 3 national parks—Rocky Mountain, Grand Teton, and Yellowstone. We are masked up, stocked up on hand sanitizer, and crossing our fingers that all goes as planned!
Couples Getaway | The last big-ticket item on our list is a trip away, just my husband and I. Piggy backing on a great deal and the need for me to get back in the skies to relay back the experience to my clients, we jumped at the opportunity to visit Las Vegas once again. We’ll make our first drive to the airport in over 6 months in early September, and we cannot wait!
Are you keeping a bust out of quarantine bucket list? Let’s hear what you can’t wait to do when you’re ready to start getting out again!
5 Ways Coronavirus is Making More Connected Travelers
Connecting Through Travel in the Aftermath of a Pandemic
In terms of respect, human connection, and even connection to nature will be vastly improved due to the global pandemic that has impacted us all.
Confined to home, with very few places to go the past couple of months, has given me a renewed urge to explore the world, even right where I live. I want few things more than to hop on a plane to somewhere new and start exploring God’s beautiful world! More than ever, my heart and soul long to see more of this Earth, and I’m almost certain, so many of you are feeling the same.
Along with a renewed urge to travel, I have a strong desire to connect to others more than ever before. Being in “lock down,” as its been called, has many of us anxious to connect to others in a deeper way. For me, when traveling, I envision more chatting with other travelers, developing deeper connections to the people in the destinations I visit, and learning about new cultures on a deeper level. After all, connections to others and the world are what drive my love of travel.
In addition to forging those deeper connections, I feel a stronger sense of respect and awareness of others. Whether it be in distancing myself or making a point to creating more conversation, I feel stronger admiration and mindfulness of others. I can’t be alone in those feelings, so I can’t help but think they will only improve our bonds as humans and thus the world as a whole.
A huge factor in why I believe COVID-19 will make us better travelers has to do with the hospitality and service industries. Right now, those industries are getting the long-deserved praise they deserve! Folks are finally appreciating the value of hotel maids, restaurant workers, and especially custodial workers. Without these folks, there is no doubt our travel experiences, even experiences out and about at home, would be far less pleasant, and they have our undoubted respect.
COVID-19 is Teaching Us to Not Take Life & Experiences for Granted
Lastly, but certainly not least, this pandemic teaches us to not take experiences and living life for granted! I had come to a place where traveling was just a way of life. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t and didn’t take being able to travel or the experiences for granted, but I also never considered a future without travel. Living these past few months in a state of unknown for the future of our world has reminded me of the blessing I have to be able to experience the world and connect with others.
Clearly, I have a passion for travel, and COVID-19 can’t and won’t put out the flame. If anything, living through these times has added fuel to the fire, given me, and all of us, fresh eyes, and the ability to become better travelers.
Have you thought about how this pandemic will impact your connections with others at home and when you travel? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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As a kid, I think my interest in travel came from my great uncle and a school project in elementary school.
Long before the days of GPS and cell phones, I remember my uncle hopping on his Harley, and hitting the road for Alaska! He sent us postcards, and told tales breaking down on his way back home. But what always struck me most was that he just did it. Also, long before the days of the internet, I was assigned a 5th grade group project to plan a road trip. We could choose anywhere we wanted, but we needed to plan every detail—mileage, snacks, stopping points, hotels, car rental, everything. What was my destination of choice? New York City.
And that is where my travel story begins.
I took a couple of cruises out of Galveston right around the time I met my now husband about 10 years ago, but cruising seemed easily accessible. Getting on a plane and flying thousands of miles away, that on the other hand seemed completely out of reach. Flying was something I had never done, and few people close to me had either, until I met my husband. Airplanes are apart of his daily life, and flying was as simple as getting in a car to him.
After several years together, and eventually married, I guess he'd tired of my gushing over wanting to go to New York City. Finally one day he said to me, "Dana, if you want to go so bad, why don't you just go?" Just go. As if it were the simplest thing on the planet. That very moment changed my life forever.
I immediately started researching, and within a couple of weeks had flights and hotel booked for my mom & I go fly to New York City in December 2013 for a week of mother-daughter bonding and Christmas magic! That trip, far more life changing than the cruises I'd done, changed me to my core. There was something about NYC. And there was something about flying.
Over the next year and a half, we went on several other vacations, creating incredible itineraries for each one, and sharing them with my friends and family on social media. Throughout the time, more than a few people told me I should become a travel agent.
Me? The girl who had only flown for the first time a short couple of years ago? Did travel agents even still exist? Could I really make a living out of something I was actually passionate about and loved?
I scoffed at the idea for 6 months or more, then finally decided to look into it. Until that trip to NYC, I never realized how doable, how attainable travel was, but with careful planning and saving, it could be done! And I wanted to share that with everyone I knew and beyond. I soon found myself launching Discovereighng with Dana Travel. In August 2015, something I never thought I'd do, fly on a plane & travel the world, became my life's purpose.
So here I am today, running a successful travel design company, helping others create incredible vacations just for them. More importantly, I'm showing God's world to more and more of his people. Over the past few years, my passion for this career have grown immensely, and with each passing day I know that I am doing exactly what God designed me to do. What great joy to see my passion and purpose collide!
I could not be more grateful to my husband for his simple words of "just go" and to New York City for opening my eyes to a whole new world. I hope that through this passion of Discovereighng with Dana Travel, I can help you discover a whole new world too!
Awhile back, I had a chat with my mentor, business coach, and friend. He was giving me a much needed kick in the pants about self-confidence. We all have moments like that right? Anyway, he said something that really struck me about YOU, my clients & potential clients clients. Without me, you could be gambling you time & money away! Wow, that is something I certainly would never want!
Would you put thousands of dollars in a slot machine, hit max bet, then pull the reel?
Would you throw thousands of dollars down on the roulette table, bet zero, and hope for the best?
Would you hit "purchase" on a website for a vacation that is thousands of dollars to a resort you've never heard of without speaking to an professional that could help you select the best destination and resort for you & your budget?
I hope not.
I don't know about you, but my precious vacation time and hard earned money are something I do not want to gamble away. But, without consulting a travel pro, you could be leaving your vacation up to complete chance.
You're short on time between work, kids, life, all of the things, so you do a quick Google search & book your vacation. You just know it is going to be wonderful, because those website photos were incredible! Several months later, you arrive at the resort only to realize the beach isn't swimmable or the resort is undergoing renovations with intrusive construction crews.
Or you are so busy wedding planning, you don't have much time to research honeymoon spots, so you book a resort you saw on Instagram. The photos you came crossed looked to sexy and romantic! You arrive for an intimate honeymoon, only to find kids.every.where!
These issues, among many others, could all be easily avoided by working with a travel designer like us for your vacation!
I've been in trenches, been to the destinations, seen the resorts, and I want to share my first hand experiences so we can curate the best vacation for YOU and your wants & needs!
Stop gambling away your precious time and hard earned money, and work with Discovereighng with Dana Travel to plan your honeymoon, vacation, or even destination wedding! Contact us here to start planning today!