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.
Want more travel tips, insight, and inspiration? Sign up for my newsletter here to receive a free packing list and inspiration to your inbox monthly.
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!
When I first set out on this venture of being a travel designer, I struggled with what to name my business. I wanted something catchy and unique that would capture the essence of my personality, fun, sophisticated, and down to earth, and what I wanted to provide my clients—an unforgettable vacation planning experience that ultimately lead them to discovering the world! I quickly landed on “Discovereighng with Dana Travel” as my business name. But, what does it even mean?
Today, I wanted to break away from my usually musing, and share a bit about me and my business. I hope you’ll indulge me!
Taking the plunge into starting my own business as a travel designer did not come lightly to me. In fact, it took several years of friends and family encouraging me to do it. Honestly, without their prompting, it was something that never even crossed my mind. I mean, did travel agents still exist? Not only was the answer yes, but I already had people asking me to help plan their vacations so they could get the most value for their money and not have to stress over researching and creating itineraries. After I finally opened my heart to the idea, it was a no brainer to get started!
Travel had changed my outlook on life, brought me immense joy, and lead me to discover a deeper, more meaningful relationship with God. The idea of helping other experience those same outcomes has been a driving force for me since the very beginning. I wanted people to not only experience the world, but to discover themselves along the way. As an added bonus, I have found a happiness, empowerment, and satisfaction I have never felt before! I have the great pleasure and joy of helping couples and families make life long memories. It is such an honor to play a small part in that.
Anyway, back to the name! So with all of these thoughts in mind, researching verbs and adjectives, and other business names, my eyes landed on the word “discover.” That eventually lead to Discovering with Dana. I loved it! It had a great ring to it! But something just wasn’t quite right. It needed just a littlesomething more. I thought back on a past business I’d started up, more for a fun hobby—creating handmade greeting cards and selling Stampin’ Up! With my middle name being “Leigh,” my card business was named Loveleigh Letters + Loveleigh Stampin’.
So I thought and pondered, how can I too use a play on words with “discovering.” Before long, Discovereighng with Dana Travel, and eventually Discovereighng with Dana Travel & Destination Weddings, was born, and, as they say, “the rest is history!”
Today, I am so happy I took the time to really think about what I wanted to achieve and bring to others with my business before choosing a name. My business name reflects what I hope to inspire clients and others with, discovering the world & meaning of life. So if you are trying to decide on a business name, I encourage you to really think about how your business will benefit others in the long room and what about yourself and your personality will help you achieve that, and think about a name that will reflect you AND your business!
Lao Tzu said, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a one step."
My journey has involved more than a few thousand miles, each bringing me one step closer than the last. Closer to what? Well, this journey of mine has no end in sight, and I am more than ecstatic about that! Goal after goal. Achievement after achievement. I just keep striving for more.
One goal of mine for quite sometime was to begin a newsletter to share my heart, thoughts, and travel tips. But, I put it off for years out of fear. Where would I start? What would I say? Who would read? William Wordsworth put it so simply, "To begin, begin."
So that is where my journey is today, thoughtfully creating my very first newsletter.
Each quarter I'll send a newsletter with current happenings, noteworthy blog posts, travel tips, and so much more!
The first edition is all about new beginnings—newsletter, certification, look.
Take a look at a peek below, and be sure to sign up to receive my future newsletters.
I PROMISE I will not bombard your inbox, I don't have time for that! Ha! My newsletters will come once every few months. Looking forward to you signing up!
the best travel tips & inspiration to your inbox
SIGN ME UP!