Worst of Times Best of Times
Sometimes the worst of times brings out the best in people. We have seen extraordinary good deeds by ordinary people this past couple of months, a testament to the basic kindness of humanity. It is a blessing to know that people do pull together when times are tough and dire situations are staring us in the face.
On my recent journey leading a group to South India, I experienced the very best in the professional staff at Craig Travel. Through very difficult circumstances, there was comfort in knowing that they had my back, working tirelessly to make alternate arrangements for our group and I to return home when finding airspace for a group of 21 was next to impossible. Their complete dedication to getting us home as smoothly and safely as possible, making many, many changes in a very short period of time was remarkable. In addition to the international flights, new domestic flights had to be arranged for group members who live in cities across the country; overnight hotels in Toronto had to be changed, ground transfers rebooked.
To know that staff forged ahead and registered the group with SOS International so that the Canadian government knew where we were in the event we needed emergency assistance was so appreciated by the group. Our land operator in India worked with our guide to come up with short day excursions until our new flights were confirmed, after our original itinerary had to be aborted. The hotel manager at our last hotel twice provided me with a car and driver to take a passenger to the hospital, taking that staff member away from the hotel for an entire day and a half. When we were the only guests left at the hotel, the chef came to me each day asking what our group would like for lunches and dinners. They took special care to make sure we were looked after and happy.
And this group of travellers was the best ever. Knowing each of my days were filled with new challenges to solve, they took it all in stride... and continued to insist they were having a good time. Several have requested that Craig Travel put together another South India tour starting with all of the fantastic parts we missed and adding some time in the beautiful beach region of Goa. I would love to lead it and if you care to join me, please add South India to your WISH LIST!
In so many ways, the worst of times can also be the best.
A return home early
Below are some of the nice comments sent to Donna from group members on their return from the disrupted South India trip...
"Thank you! You worked so hard on our behalf and made this a truly memorable trip. Your effort into righting all the obstacles put in our way was truly amazing. No more 4am wake ups I hope. It was a wonderful group of travellers. I hope our paths will cross again. Thank you again to you and all the staff of Craig Travel." - NW
"Thank you very much for your outstanding effort. David had sung your praises prior to us meeting you for this trip. I think that he undersold your talents and patience. Although the trip did not pan out as planned, you made the best for all of us of a most challenging situation. Thank you. As we say in the navy – BZ (international code for “well done”). We look forward to “vacationing” with you again." - SK (from day 1 of isolation)
"We want to thank you and Craig Travel for a job well done under extremely difficult conditions." - TM
"Thank you for your message and all your support during our trip. You did a great job of handling the situation especially considering the "additional challenges ". Some of us would like you to escort us to Goa and Kerala to complete what we didn't cover and add another amazing place that I gather Craig Travel did have on itineraries before. Take a well deserved rest and let me know how you are doing. All the Best." - VS
"Hello from the sunny west coast! We finally crawled into bed after midnight our time. We slept soundly and almost feel human although an afternoon nap might be in order. A friend just dropped off fresh fruit and veg - it feels like Christmas!! Thank you for your lovely message and good wishes. If things had to turn out as they did, I feel very fortunate we had you guiding us through the crazy time. Fingers crossed that we will meet again for the Upper Mekong trip. Take care. Stay well. 'Elbow bumps'.” - CE