Updated: Oct 23
This has been such a hard year for the tourism industry, and small operators like Adventure Alchemy are taking big hits. Lots of pivots, lots of problem solving, lots of travel restrictions to stay current on. I'm not going to lie and tell you everything is fine because it's been a heartbreak of a year... and I know many of you reading this can relate in very real and unfortunately, very devastating ways.
I haven't been consistent about emailing or blogging, and let's be honest - I've posted only sporadically on social media - I've for sure been depressed and unmotivated. I think about travel and cool trips I can plan - all the time. Yet, no one to send on these imagined itineraries!!
So many of you have become friends to me and have been wildly encouraging; so, after a pretty quiet year, I thought it would be good to let all you know I'm still here, Adventure Alchemy isn't going anywhere and to tell you my story of 2020...so far.
After a mind-bogglingly successful first 6 months of existing, 2020 came in with gusto. I had huge goals for the year - hire my first employee by mid-summer, exhibit at 4 bridal shows across the United States, and plan 200 trips in 12 months. And, in January? We were looking so good, right on track with the monthly forecasts (Ahead, actually). February? I was registered for 4 trade shows, had the whole booth design complete, and bought all of the set up I would need to exhibit successfully. Even better - an awesome feature in The Boston Globe.
Web traffic was up, I could barely handle the volume of inquiries. I was already thinking about my first hire and it was only 6 weeks into the year!
You know what happens next. I recently looked at my web analytics (which I've intentionally avoided this year) and it told the entire story in one picture (graph). Days after the Globe feature, COVID things happened. Web traffic bottomed out instantly and has remained a flat line ever since. It's devastating. The numbers don't lie. Trip after trip postponed with a handful of cancellations. Doing the work of cancelling trips is heartbreaking. No one did it maliciously - there was heartbreak all around, to be sure.
Some new trips have come along, and those have breathed life into me along the way; but, for the most part, I've been taking up other work to help my family pay the bills. For the first many months, I became an Uber Eats drive. It's exhausting and I got to spend a lot of time thinking about the future of Adventure Alchemy.
In July, I casually started a new business in a completely different industry (feel free to ask me if you want to know about it) that meets the needs of the current world. It has, like Adventure Alchemy did, grown quickly and is seeing a great deal of early success. HOORAY! So, now, I'm running TWO businesses and, oh yeah, homeschooling my kids. Oh boy!
Recently, I've felt a little bit of a shift. I'm getting more inquiries - lots of honeymoons (which I love) - and sensing an excitement to travel returning to the world. I'm here for it, so ready for it, and so excited to help you navigate the unique requirements of each destination in a mid-COVID world.
I've been planning a lot more road trips than ever before and answering a lot of questions that never would have been on my radar. Many places that never needed reservations or tickets booked in advance, now require them. EVERYONE is adjusting.
I'm not sure I have any huge point to make here, I just wanted to say "hi," tell you I miss you, and let you know I'm here and not going anywhere!
I still plan to be at the bridal shows in Indianapolis, Huntsville, and Nashville next year if they happen- so look for me if you're in attendance! Know someone getting married? Definitely send them my way! Want to get a weekend away? Definitely reach out to me! Planning your trips is what I LOVE doing and it means everything that you trust me to do it for you!