What can I say, it’s been a year like no other I have ever lived through. Even with encouraging signs for vaccines in sight, there seems no clear end to the pandemic that continues to disrupt our lives every day. Who could have imagined just a few months ago that all 4 of my international trips planned would be cancelled and our hard work would evaporate through cancellations and service suspensions. That borders would be closed down, effectively preventing me and many others from visiting our families or that local lockdowns would ask us to stay home for weeks.
I was reminded of the strangeness of 2020 as I reflected on our 24 year tradition of picking international getaways over the holiday season. Among the many memorable trips we have taken was the one two years ago when we met my cousin Evelyn and her husband Michael in Berlin. Then there was last year, to the day, where my activities were quite different to say the least. Instead of this year’ pajamas and TV on Black Friday, adventurous experiences in Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo and Buenos Aires had awaited me last year.
As I slowed down from a disruptive and hectic 8 months it became crystal clear that a season for thanks is in order. Put in context of decades of free movement and exploration, this pandemic made me appreciate and fully recognize the transformative power travel has for so many of us. A power that works both, in anticipatory and commemorative directions.
As an anticipatory look forward, you’ll be able to join me virtually on my birthday trip to the Yucatán over the coming days. Planned on short notice after our Germany/Switzerland Christmas plans got cancelled with renewed lockdowns in Europe, I am thankful to this opportunity to get some rest and relaxation.
From a commemorative perspective, I invite you to look back and reminisce on past adventures that shaped your life. It is from this vantage point that I am particularly thankful. For 3 decades now have I been given opportunities to do professionally what I love most – travel the world and share experiences with colleagues, advisors and clients alike.
As the sun set over the San Francisco Bay, I am thankful, hopeful, and I very much look forward to a day when once again the world opens up for all to explore in safety and health. Thank you