By Tina Shands w/photos by Elizabeth Smith
Protecting the environment and the habitat is of utmost importance in The Galapagos Islands. Due to the strict rules and regulations of visiting The Galapagos, it is one of the easiest sustainability trips one can take. The government of Ecuador requires any tour company operating in The Galapagos to follow very stringent rules. I have never personally been on this trip but recently I sent a traveler. It had been a long held dream of hers to travel there. Like many of us, we put off travel because life just seems to get in the way. This traveler had waited 40 years to travel to the place she had first read about in high school. She had dreamed about going ever since. This is the land of the blue footed booby and she was going to see them… and she did!
I always fret over my clients when they leave. Not because I don’t think they will have a good time, but because I want everything to be absolutely perfect. I never want one, tiny, little thing to go wrong. This traveler was traveling solo. She was in her 60s and had some knee problems. I remember her asking me “do you think I’m crazy to take this trip?” and stating, “my friends and family think I’ve lost my mind”. I assured her she was not crazy and it would be an amazing trip. I told her I would take care of her and make sure all went smoothly. When I make statements like that, it puts some added pressure on me to get the trip right. So, I worry. It’s just what I do. I worry about all of my clients when they travel the way a mother worries about her children. So, as is my way, I worried about my Galapagos Traveler. I had done everything in my power to make sure she would have a wonderful trip, including making certain she could have an ice pack each day after a long hike. My night was made on the last day of her trip when I received a text message that said “My best trip EVER” with an adorable picture of a seal. Two more pictures followed with a comment of “I’ll talk to you Wednesday [the day after she returned]. Those texts are the stuff that makes my job the best job in the world.
I guess my point of this post (other than to show you these amazing photos) is to encourage you all to take that trip you have been dreaming of and do it now. Whether you call it your bucket list trip or a trip of a lifetime, just don’t wait. You never know what twists and turns your life will take. Take a page from my Galapagos Traveler and do what you’ve dreamed of doing, even if you have to go it alone. You won’t regret it and, I promise, you haven’t lost your mind just because you do it. I’ll do everything in my power to make it amazing for you. I’ll be the one to worry about every detail. I’ll worry about you from the time you depart until the time you return. I have to. It is in my nature and it will warm my heart to get your text telling me you’ve had “the best trip EVER”.
Keep your travel dreams alive! When you are ready, contact Specially Designed Travel. We’d love to make your travel dreams a reality. Tina Shands firstname.lastname@example.org 512-217-9147 (phone or text)