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Unexpected in Common Hours

I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” ~ Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Perhaps you remember the 2006 best seller, The Secret. The self-help book, authored by Rhonda Byrne, spoke to the Law of Attraction – the idea that we create our own realities by being open to possibility and attracting to ourselves the things we most want. The Secret describes gratitude and visualization as being two of the most potent forces in our quest for manifesting our desires.

It may seem a bit suspect to be calling on a book written in 2006 and as controversial as The Secret for a topic. But as this year begins to wind down, I actually think it a good place to pause. Because what the vast majority of us endeavor to do each and every day is take small steps toward the realization of our dreams. I think it worthwhile to consider the extent to which positive thinking memes like The Secret or Napoleon Hill’s famous Think and Grow Rich can influence our efforts to achieve what we most want in life. Read the rest of this entry »

River cruising and ocean cruising seem miles apart. Well, that’s because they are – or at least oceans apart. A small ocean cruise ship is characterized by a guest capacity of 1,000 passengers or fewer, meaning that river cruise ships can be ten times smaller than these small ocean vessels. Because of the lack of space on the rivers, it means that river cruise companies may have to give up certain amenities to make room for guests onboard – but that’s not always the case.

The amenities that you give up on a river cruise may not be those that matter most to you. In fact, you may not feel like you are giving anything up at all. Sure, there are certain river cruise ships with one dining venue, no fitness area, no spa area, and little onboard entertainment. For some, this is appealing. There is less distraction, guests spend more time off the ship, and variety in meals every night is seen throughout one main dining room rather than in multiple venues. For others, especially frequent ocean cruise passengers, this isn’t enough. Read the rest of this entry »

If you chose entrepreneurship over employment this is an important message for you. Out of the blue, I received an email asking me if it’s possible to start a business fast and avoid the inevitable stress. As a seasoned entrepreneur, I believe it is highly unlikely.

How do I react when somebody wants to ‘pick my brain’ – particularly on such a weighty matter? I am not bothered, I am humbled. I regularly receive random high-mileage questions like this one. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Ace your Next Video

Have you ever watched a video and realize it’s a total waste of your time

Maybe it didn’t live up to the description or deliver what the title promised. Or, maybe it was such horrible audio quality you just couldn’t stand it for more than 3 seconds.

When I first started shooting video, a dear client let me know gently (and luckily early on) that my audio was scratchy and hard to listen to for more than 3 seconds. I had no idea!

Why does all this matter for your travel & tourism business?

Video is the fastest way to engage and reach more of your social fans.

Here’s 5 video success secrets I’ve learned along the way. Read the rest of this entry »

As a small business owner you wear many hats. If you are a single person travel agency, you wear all the hats—from CEO to the janitor that mops the bathroom floors! No one ever said it was easy. But there are steps you can take to ease some of the burden. I am sure you know of some, but here are five big steps that come to the top of my mind! Read the rest of this entry »

What’s Your Biggest Challenge?

Recently, I asked my Facebook followers, “What is your biggest challenge standing between you and your 2020 goals?” The answers were pretty much what you would expect.

By far the biggest challenge was “a lack of qualified clients.” This is not surprising considering most independent contractors are responsible for sourcing their own clients.

A number of folks chimed in with their opinions on how to overcome the various challenges that were posted. To many, their only outside connection to their fellow agents is via social media.

A word of caution: Before taking their advice as the gospel, consider the source. Read the rest of this entry »

This is the seventh of seven articles in a series titled Discover Your Group Niche. You will be able find the others in our Point-to-Point section.



Oscar: I just wanted you to know that you can’t just say the word bankruptcy and expect anything to happen.

Michael: I didn’t say it. I declared it.


Fans of The Office will instantly recall this hilarious segment from Season 4, Episode 4. Michael believes he will solve his financial woes in three words. His staff accountant is quick to correct him. The solution requires more than words, it requires him to take action! Read the rest of this entry »

The Ease of Cuban Travel

Conflicting news has travelers confounded about whether they can still travel from the US to Cuba. Caribbean Tours USA has the answer, a resounding – Yes!

With almost 20 years of experience in travel to Cuba, 11 in in the Dominican Republic, Caribbean Tours USA wants to help travelers get the real information about traveling to the land of classic cars and gorgeous beaches. As they are already welcoming 25,000 customers per year to Cuba and the Dominican Republic, their knowledge of what is required for Cuba travel is tried and true. Read the rest of this entry »

With interest in UK customised pre and post cruise extensions on the rise, this week’s collection of 2-3 nighters for Southampton arrivals and departures will certainly catch the eye – especially with those who want a closer look at the living history and traditions of their old friend Britain.

I’m a great fan of matching UK tours to niche markets ON YOUR DOORSTEP and if you know any flower arrangers, my final story will really grab their attention for a unique tour next September.

Read the rest of this entry »

I’m doing something a little unusual for this TRO installment! In order to maintain privacy, I’m answering a question without providing the specific exchange. Over the past two weeks, several travel advisors reached out to me to let me know that their host are not paying their commissions (sometimes to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars). Read the rest of this entry »

Do What Is Right

Somebody once went on record to remind us that bad news travels light-years faster than good news. This may be true but today I am going to focus your attention on a little good news that happened to me a few years back.

I want to share this true-life experience with you. It happened when I was traveling to Europe on business. I was taking a river cruise, which I hesitate to call “work” but that is exactly what it was.

It wasn’t until I was packing to return home that I realized that I was missing my Kindle reader. I had over 75 business books loaded on this device, so this more than a slight inconvenience. In fact, I was very disappointed in myself for letting this treasured device slip away from me. Read the rest of this entry »

Born and educated in the Netherlands, Gordon Dirker has enjoyed an extensive career in the travel industry. Prior to being appointed VP of Business Development, Americas for Celestyal Cruises in January 2018, Gordon spent nearly 18 years working for the Travel Corporation. This was followed by nearly 4 years with the Norway based expedition cruise and ferry line, Hurtigruten. He started as a BDM for Contiki Holidays based in Baltimore, MD. After 1 year, Gordon was promoted and moved to London to lead their sales and marketing efforts in the UK and Europe. This was followed by a move back to LA where he spent 6 years at Brendan Vacations in a similar senior role. He left the Travel Corporation to become the regional VP for the USA and Canada with Hurtigruten. Gordon is married and resides in Seattle. In his free time, he likes to ski, hike and explore the Eastern Mediterranean. Read the rest of this entry »

The Temples of Abu Simbel

In southern Egypt, just above the border with Sudan, sits Abu Simbel. It is a small town that houses lesser-known temples that stand out as grand sites. Along the river considered to be the cradle of civilization, Abu Simbel rests next to where the Nile opens up to Lake Nassar. The desert region is home to perfect examples of Nubian monuments and musical traditions that date back thousands of years.

Read the rest of this entry »

Thailand’s Colorful Charms

Bangkok, the land of delectable street food and colorful temples. This capital of Thailand was once called Siam, until the late 19th century. It is a mix of modern technologies and buzzing streets with an admiration for ties to tradition. The culture contains a sense of fun, whether it be the nightlife or haggling at a floating market. Bangkok and its surrounding areas of jungles and beaches are quite the pleasure to experience. Read the rest of this entry »

The Tastes of Tokaj

In the northeast area of Hungary is the Tokaj-Hegyalja Region. Here, the famous Aszú wine flows and the cuisine is topnotch. The nearby Zemplen Mountains offer up rugged wilderness, while just outside of those mountains nature trails and ancient castles are ready to be explored. From luxury to cozy, this UNESCO World Heritage site is a getaway for travelers that has much to offer in the way of luxury and adventure. Read the rest of this entry »

When it comes to a world tour, it means to go and explore. There are a number of tours which exist and you will need to understand what each one of them really means. There is the hosted, independent, and escorted tour. The independent tour means that you are traveling on your own. This is where the travel company only takes the initiative to book your hotel and then seating on your own for any train or boat rides. When you land in the country you are going to, you will have to find your way to the hotel and make arrangements of what and where you want to go and see on your own. Read the rest of this entry »