REAWAKENING THE POWER OF TRAVEL

Every day across our great portfolio of TTC brands, we work tirelessly and passionately to reconnect the world back to travel. After two plus years of being grounded, we are inspired by a world of travellers keen to discover and explore new cultures and experiences once again.

Every day we conscientiously work at our computers, on our mobiles, and through our global networks, spending our time reconnecting others to travel; to the places they could go. Yet at this time of great change and transformation, what is being overlooked, is the need to reconnect to ourselves.

I am in fact writing this blog at 40,000 feet, traveling between LHR and LAX. A rare moment of quiet up amongst the clouds. I am on the tail end of a sensational six weeks. A period where I have had the privilege and the pleasure, to completely rediscover the gift of travel. And what a remarkably life-affirming experience it has been.

In the space of these few weeks, I have visited the United States, Argentina, United Kingdom, Australia, and Singapore – trips that have distinctively been for both business or pleasure. But what was reaffirmed in both, was just how our planet and its people are more interconnected than ever. I will shortly return home, to the beauty of Switzerland, with a new invigorated way of seeing the world around me, and a powerful reminder of what I have missed over the last few years. How through travel, all our senses are brought to life.

The last week of September I arrived in Patagonia. From a travel industry perspective, the trip could be easily categorised as a ‘destination holiday’ – a few family members and close friends celebrating a milestone birthday. It was a place I had never been before, and aside from the itinerary provided by my host, I didn’t really know what to expect. It was extraordinary to see the openness of the big skies, the cool snow-capped mountain peaks, the crisp blue waters. All the landscapes around us were raw, and yet so inviting. They were so real.

Our view of extraordinary Patagonia, Argentina

The place was a dream – a perfect canvas for me to see how travelling the world reveals not only incredible beauty, but incredible meaning. In addition to being delighted to travel to honour a loved one’s milestone birthday, I was also able to do so through the culinary lens, or should I say the culinary palate, of a country. The planning was meticulous – every moment, every meal – crafted with great love and care.

Everything I saw, touched, smelt, tasted and heard, felt new, felt fresh, felt just for me, and felt to be an incredible blessing. I had forgotten how eye-opening, and heart-opening, it is to be exposed to our diverse world. When we see how people live, what they do and what they value, one instinctively desires to try new things. It broadens the mind and pushes new boundaries. This incredible, natural, humbling inspiration comes purely because you are in a different place, unknown to you. Soon, very soon, it becomes a part of you.  

Over the last three years, Teams has been our business saviour. And whilst calls on them can be convenient, reconnecting in person with both fellow team members as well as travel partners on three continents – Australia, Asia and America – over the last month has reaffirmed that there’s no denying the greater value of meeting in-person.

Experiencing Sydney with great industry partners

Arriving in each of my destinations, I was reminded of the distinctiveness of each – the greetings, the pace, the natural or man-made beauty of each place. Being together, discussing business seems less formal, less rigid and even with challenges, more fun. We shared stories, found out about each other. We smiled. We laughed. We recognised the power of human connection. A welcome change as we light heartedly untied the knots of our new world. Sitting across from one another, exploring the answers to the unknown was intoxicating. It was remarkable to feel that openness, that freshness, that purity of spirit once more, not just in a place, but in myself. It was a breakthrough in our post pandemic world. Being there, in an unfamiliar place, again reiterated for me the power of travel.

Reunited with our superb Singaporean team

Returning to the office, releasing the pause button on my new working world, what will linger with me is the acute awareness of just how limited our world had become because of the inability to travel. Being back out in the world again as a ‘leisure and business traveller’ it was remarkable to see not only how much I have learned about the travel experience, but by traveling somewhere new, how much I have learned about myself. Travel whether for work or pleasure gives us the rare ability to not only see the world more closely – to understand it, to appreciate, and to learn from it – but to see ourselves more closely with understanding, appreciation and learning.

Over the past covid years, we have each been so immersed in ourselves and our own daily lives, that we are only ever focused on today. As a result, we have forgotten that we can be somewhere, or someone else, simply by choosing to move tomorrow. And as we do, there are no limits to what we can discover in the places we can visit, as well as what we discover for, and in, ourselves.

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