…Kind of a rough relationship we’ve gotten off to. You started off with a bang, a real shooting star! All records broken!
Now? Well…I’m tired of being in quarantine. So very tired of it. I could really use an actual vacation. HE Travel will be okay, but the world will look much different when we are released from house-arrest. I’ve been thinking a lot about this, and what it will mean for the future of travel styles, demands and future destinations.
First off, here are some Covid-19 quarantine updates from our staff:
My little brother Brian no longer works for us. We love him and will miss him. His other job is booming in the crisis, so he had to go. They run a system of relay communications for deaf people. Everyone is suddenly at home now, including deaf people needing this service, and demand is through the roof. Congrats Brian!
Robert, our web-admin is the most extreme of us with self-quarantine. He hasn’t left his property for 6 weeks. We live next door to each other, so we hold our web meetings through opposite sides of our shared chicken coop. We do our best to maintain a minimum 15 ft. distance. He’s been practicing being a hermit for years, so only the coop meetings are different.
Amber, our Client Services Manager is mostly staying home and making sure her two young sons take full advantage of their online classes. However, Covid-19 quarantine is a challenge for her family. Her husband, Flint, is a medical professional on the front line, so they must be extremely careful. If you know Amber, I am sure she’d like to hear support or warm wishes from you.
Phil, the President of HE Travel lost his mother this past week. She passed away peacefully in her sleep. Phil had plans to fly to Chicago to see her, but the assisted living facility where she was a resident was under quarantine, and his plans were therefore canceled. They are waiting till after everyone is out of quarantine to hold a celebration of her life for friends and family, so instead, Phil is currently enjoying long conversations with his mom’s friends. If you are close with Phil, now would be a good time to reach out and say hello. This is the obituary that Phil wrote about his mom: https://www.sheehyfh.com/obituaries/Jean-M-Sheldon?obId=12583585#/obituaryInfo
Trisha, our Chief of Tour Operations is going the most nuts with changes. We’re rapidly changing how we handle operations, updating policies, rescheduling tours, increasing our tours that are listed online for the future, etc. We wouldn’t be able to handle it all without her.
Greg, our in-house Travel Advisor has been a lifesaver. He’s been helping people get where they need to be, evacuating them from foreign countries, and then navigating the intricacies of travel for our customers that are still in transit. Thank you for all your hard work, Greg. Even though most people are not traveling right now, these folks are still hard at work, making sure you get where you need or dream to go.
Jeff, our Director of Custom Tours is living in the thick of it. From isolation in Sitges on the coast of Spain, he’s keeping us abreast of the situation in Europe. He says the local people have adopted the old World War II adage, “Keep Calm, and Carry On.”
So now the burning question:
Where should we go post-COVID-19 pandemic? What’s changed, or will change? Considering what we’re seeing from the airlines in terms of fares and inventory/staff reductions, the world will see a massive decrease in flight routes, at least in the short term. Sure, we will still be able to get you where you want to go, but it’s going to take longer, and may require more airlines to get there. Planning will have to occur earlier than we’ve all become accustomed to.
Due to this, I expect an increase in demand for domestic travel. To that end, we’re pouring through all of our local western USA contacts and designing new remote-destination itineraries. We will be adding additional Grand Canyon launches, more departures on our gay dude ranch, increasing our domestic hiking and multisport and camping options, and finally our newest concept: HE Travel Houses.
HE Travel Houses is the latest potential addition to our LGBTQ+ lineup of tourism services. Our B&B houses program will allow a permanent HE Host, living in their own private home, to give year-round HE Travel departures in a town. Much of this project is still in the works, with the first pilot launch scheduled to come online as soon as COVID-19 stay-at-home orders are lifted. If all goes well, we will have a new line of socially-distant experiences on the horizon!
On a personal note:
I’m spending a lot of time in my garden. A LOT of time. I’m currently laying a roman style road to my chicken coop.
2Here’s an awesome piece of news: I have been selected to give a TEDx Talk in Ogden Utah at the Peery Egyptian Theater. It’s based on my holistic concept for restoring the saline-lakes of the Great Basin with a series of pumped hydro energy storage batteries. The plan would profitably reverse local climate change, increase freshwater, clean our air, and stabilize our renewable electric grid. What can I say? I’m kind of a nerd, and like solving huge problems…no big deal.
As for my political campaign? Well, the Governor’s race has gotten very interesting indeed. Everything has gone all digital and the field feels very equalized for every candidate, if not awkward. I have no idea how it will change the outcome of the race, but on April 25th, I’ll know if I’m the official Democratic nominee for Utah. Please reach out if you’d like to help me secure the nomination! #Moses2020 #PartTheRedSea #PioneersOftheFuture
How’s your quarantine?
I’m serious, how is your quarantine? I want to know. Because regardless of all the negative things that have happened in our world recently, I sure feel freer than ever. I mean, sure our headquarters was struck by like 250 earthquakes a few weeks ago, and we’re all currently stuck in quarantine, and everyone is having staff shakeups, and on and on and on…but whatever happens, we’re all in this together…and we all need a good vacation. Tell me your stories, positive or negative. Also, please let me know if you’d like any of your COVID-19 stories to be shared on our website. #OneHumanFamily #PostCovidHoliday #HeTravel
I hope to see you on tour!
Zachary Adam Moses
Candidate for Utah’s Next Governor: ZachMoses.com
To read Zachary’s notes from last month, click here!