Life during lockdown Part II
What a year it’s been, and like millions of others my life has been turn up-side down like never imaginable.
I took the difficult decision over 13 years ago, to leave a well-paid job and follow my passion. To run my own travel business. Whilst there has been many things to deal with during this time , Ash clouds, Civil Unrest, and the collapse of Thomas Cook to name a few) I never looked back or regretted the decision.
From day one of this pandemic, we have been guided by our CEO, Directors and team at Manchester head office. I have never once doubted that the company would survive or indeed my own business. Being on a commission-based salary and travel cancelled for 12+ months now ,it of course hit my pocket hard.
Much more than the financial aspects, it’s being such an emotional roller-coaster. To see the business I’ve worked long and hard to build up then disappear before my eyes through no-fault of my own. There have been some very dark days I’ll admit and felt not sure how much more I could take thrown my way.
I am very thankful. I have a very supportive husband, close friends, as well as an Army of fellow Travel Counsellors. We never feel in competition with but support one another wherever and whenever we can.
Like many of my colleagues I’ve sought alternative work in the last year. From running a Facebook group selling Body shop & fund-raising for Reuben’s Retreat. Working part-time in a friend’s Jewellers shop last year when retail was still open. As well as delivering Amazon parcels with my husband at the weekend and a short stint on the 119 calls.
Many customers have called or emailed to check how I’ve been. To know that customers have become more that that , and are now considered friends has been very touching. Many have thought that as no-one has been travelling that I’d not be busy . It has been quite the contrary. Having to unpick travel plans, and chase rebooks and refunds daily. Often in the office until very late answering emails etc. I have also enhanced my business. I know work with 100's of UK hoteliers and suppliers supporting popular Staycations.
Travel Counsellors once more came out with glowing reviews on customer service. Voted top by a poll from Martin Lewis, on the way we have taken care of our clients during the pandemic – was never in any doubt.
I’ve also kept busy by joining a new networking group. I enjoy meeting up (albeit via Zoom) on a fortnightly basis with like-minded business owners. We collectively look to getting back on our feet following this dreadful time. I am positive and confident for the future. I know it’s not going to be a quick-fix. Many clients are still sceptical about overseas travel. Perhaps continuing to holiday here in the UK – but either way I’m here to stay. Happy to help and support you-whenever and wherever you want to travel . I can finally feel like there is some Sunshine breaking through these dark clouds.