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  • Tracey Bockhop

There is no crystal ball!

Fast forward, rewind, fast forward rewind…. Thoughts that have been going through my head since this pandemic started. As a travel blogger and business owner of a meeting and event company; this year was set to be the best year yet. I started 2020 with such aspirations and reflections on how I had made it finally, after 5 years, after starting my own company, with a lot of hard work and dedication in an industry I love; bringing people together. As our world has become all about experiences and what we make of it and less on what we possess or own. Memories are the one thing I hold dear to me other than my relationships with friends and family. My memories this year have not been what I had expected them to be, but they have not all been bad, even though this is the hardest time our industry has ever endured.


When we were going through the economic crisis, travel had slowed, and we were all worried what the future would look like. Come 2020, we all know people who have lost their jobs, their livelihood and personally the economic lost has been heartbreaking at times. Then you look at the gains and this is where I say it is not going to be all bad memories. I was able to see my nieces and nephews more, we celebrated everyone’s birthdays with driveway parties. When we were brought back to social gatherings within our family, my hugs became tighter and my smiles brighter. As a meeting planner I feel this will make us all realize the impact a face to face meeting can bring to an organization and when we are ready, we will have to work even harder to make it safe and comfortable for all involved. I know I am not the only one who is over a zoom event! This pandemic is bad and bad is the worst understatement I have ever stated, but without this, would we realize what we know now?

The times I want to fast forward are the times I want it to be business as usually, travel as usually. No face masks, champagne in first class, not having to be six feet apart, sky clubs open, hugs as a greeting and so much more. Then I think if I rewind, would I even know how important face masks are? Or what social distancing even meant? That binge-watching multiple series in a week was possible? What it meant to take a deep breath and relax?

This pandemic has not only made me realize that life is short, as I personally know people who have lost their short battle with this virus, but also that life was moving too fast for me and I was not able to fully appreciate where I have come in my personal and professional career. As I sit here overlooking the Pacific Ocean with my best friend Nicole and my mom on what would have been a group of 8, things have defiantly changed in the travel world. Our experience coming here was a different world, from the entrance of the airport to the exit at San Diego airport we wore a mask. Very limited service on the plane and a mask requirement for Uber and Lyft rides. Our hotel has limited housekeeping, face masks required in all public areas, pool closed for half an hour ever two hours for cleaning and many other changes. When we sit back and look at these changes, I often find myself wondering is it worth it, can we overcome this, what will meetings and travel look like when this is over? Hence, I want to fast forward.


The rewinding thoughts are few and far between these days as I have learned some very valuable lessons that I hope I hang on to forever. One that I really needed that has hit me hardest these last 4 and a half months is “Expectation is the root of the heartache.” -William Shakespeare. My expectations for others was too high, I thought others would give as much as me, appreciate as much as me, and value the same things as me. Now I know this is naive and I have been burned by this recently and for this have eliminated the mean spirited and unkind people I surrounded myself with. Whether it be family and friends, if you cannot bring joy to my life, I do not need it. We must always remember it is our life we must take ownership in and live the life we want not what others want from us.


Fast forward to when this is over, will we go back to not using single use plastic for everything? Will we still take things for granted? Will we appreciate the screaming children on the planes, long lines, and flight delays? I am not sure, but I hope that I will live with a higher level of appreciate and take in the moments with my family and friends.


I hope that when we are ready to meet again and travel again that we all learn to take in the moments and not put value on what others think we should do, but what we feel we want to do. Our world will look different, what we choose to do with it is up to us. When you are ready, I wish you safe travels that bring you much joy. May this time allow you to reflect on what is important to you and what you choose to spend your time on. Travel experiences will come again, in the meantime look within your home and your community to make these current moments matter and bring joy into your own life. Every day brings new beginnings and knowing we cannot fast forward or rewind I will have to train my brain to relax as this is the only moment I have to make the most of, and I hope you do as well.


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