Today is Labor Day. It is a National holiday that is to “celebrate the works and contributions of laborers to the development and achievements of the United States.” And while we are not considered “laborers” in one sense, the travel industry has been laboring for the past 18 months and quite frankly, we deserve a break.
In my near quarter-century of being in the travel industry, I can safely say that the past year has been the most challenging. As I look back over the past 25 years I recall (in no particular order):
- Commission reductions
- Commission eliminations
- The Iraq War
- A pair of recessions (or was it a trio?)
- 911 and the travel fallout from that
- Avian Flu
- Plane crashes
- International violence
- And probably a dozen other seemingly unsurmountable obstacles that I have long since forgotten
My point is that through it all, we persevered. We knuckled down and got to work. We re-invented ourselves time and time again in reaction to outside influences over which we had no input. And here we are today, coming out of COVID-19. Breathe. Breathe deeply.
If you are here, still standing, and seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. Pat yourself on the back. Many of your colleagues did not make it. It has not been easy. We’ve tapped into savings accounts and retirement funds. We have maxed out credit cards and borrowed from family. We have put off paying bills that were due. And somehow, we managed to come up with a plan on how to move our agencies forward.
If that ain’t labor, I don’t know what is!
So today, take a break. You deserve it. Put down the phone. Let emails go unanswered. Hang out with the folks you love. Celebrate the “win” of coming out on the other side. Be thankful for your health. Fire up the grill, toss on some burgers and dogs (mustard only, no ketchup on dogs, that is just wrong), pop open a cold beverage, and enjoy the day knowing that we made it!
Happy Labor Day Travel pros—we earned it!