Travel

All is well in Amsterdam

Canal view

Canal view

As I sit here this morning with my cup of coffee, admiring my canal view from my Airbnb window, I cannot help but reflect on the past couple days in this vibrant city.

My initial thoughts go to the tragic victims of yesterday’s bomb blasts in Brussels, Belgium. Innocent people lost their lives due to barbaric individuals with lack of consciousness for human life.   Amsterdam is a short couple hour train ride away. As a tourist, one cannot help but be on vigilant watch as well as harbor some fright and apprehension. However, for one thing I know security has been heightened and I am safe.  In addition, this can and has happened in the states, and can happen anywhere in the world and not just in Europe.

With that in mind, I know I must not let this stop me from enjoying my present surroundings with my two beautiful daughters. With greater awareness of my surroundings I will continue to enjoy where I am and pray for the best. If one lives life from the standpoint of fear one will live a much more restricted, sheltered life. I promised myself I would not be that person. I intend to live life big, and enjoy what has been afforded me. What makes me happy is to travel to Europe  and explore new lands, meet new people, learn new cultures, and thus enrich my life.

Out of respect to those who lost their lives, it is difficult to write about all the fun adventures I have had the past few days in Amsterdam. Yet, I know in keeping true to myself and my present surroundings I must. I will however keep this brief.

I love Amsterdam! It is a vibrant city. People everywhere, enjoying life to the fullest. The Dutch have it all in my opinion. From the outside looking in, I notice happiness. Happiness in a sense that people do not look stressed and exude a positive vibe. Like most European nations, egalitarianism is present. I have experienced nothing but warmth, friendliness, and very welcome as an outsider.

Over the past couple days I have had the pleasure of taking 5 trains, visited Delft, The Hague, Gouda, walked more than 20 miles, got locked in a restaurant bathroom, experienced a food hall and outdoor market while enjoying a fresh made Stroopwaffel!   We have nearly been run over by bicycles as they whiz by! And we learned there is a vast difference between a cafe for coffee versus a “coffeeshop” for cannabis!

My hosts at our Airbnb could not have been more accommodating. Toyah met us as we arrived and has been most gracious. She immediately made us feel at home. Our home away from home has everything we could desire. She even left us wine, beer and chocolates! She made us feel special.

I promised our new friend Ryan I would mention his impeccable service with a smile at our dinner last night at Mook pancakes. A recently opened eatery with vegan options, fresh ingredients down to the fresh squeezed juices.

Mook is an enchanting place with exceptional service and superb out of this world fluffy pancakes! Ryan’s generosity made our visit special. It was as if Ryan had invited us into his home for dinner. He plied us with food, wine, champagne, and fresh squeezed juices. If we stayed any longer my pants would have needed to expand a few inches! Well worth a visit! Thanks Ryan, you are a special guy!!

In closing, I know without a doubt I will go home a changed woman. I am in a special country, with generous, warm people. I am safe in their hands.

Safe travels, Debbie

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Categories: airbnb, Amsterdam, belgium terrorists, brussels, European security, Travel | Leave a comment

Reykjavik: a not so sleepy town

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when u think about Iceland? Perhaps some might say cold, remote or even never heard of it. After experiencing Iceland for the second time, what comes to mind for me is a serene, beautiful land. While somewhat small in size and inhabitants (approximately on 320,00), it is big on ambience and adventure.

Reykjavik is quite diverse in that it has a great deal to offer visitors. It has everything from history, museums, fine dining, shopping, culture, nightlife, adventure, and health and wellness.

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The settlement museum as depicted in this sign is an interesting way to start your visit. Archaeologists dug up remains from the first settlers of the land. This exhibit not only explains in detail the beginning, it also visually displays the first house that was found in this site. In the end, one leaves knowing and feeling what it was like to have been an early settler.

Another great vantage point from which to see the entire city of Reykjavik is from the tower at the top of Hallgrimskirkja. On a clear day you can see the entire city from the top of this church tower. While the church itself is architecturally unique , there is nothing ornate about it.

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There is an abundance of eateries, cafes, and coffee shops to try.  One of my favorite fine dining establishments is the Grill Market. On the lower level, my table was positioned such that I felt as if I had walked through a forest. My favorite dish is the fish sampler which comes with Icelandic cod, salmon, and snapper. It was served with fresh bread, roasted vegetables and potatoes.

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In downtown, the main shopping street is Laugarvegur. Wool sweaters, hats, gloves and scarves are abundant. A variety of souvenir and jewelry shops as well as a variety of other goods can be found here.

For the adventure seekers there are plenty of activities. The other night I went on a northern lights tour. One can walk on a glacier, take the golden circle tour, see the Icelandic horses, or even go whale watching.

 

The icelandic people are warm,  and quite friendly towards visitors. The weather changes rapidly. It is often said, if you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes, it will change! Last year when I visited it was quite snowy. This year quite rainy, with brief periods of sunshine.

Reykjavik has so much to offer that one can return several times and not have the same experienc twice!!

Safe journeys, Debbie

Categories: adventure, iceland, reykjavik, Travel, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

A day in Helsinki

Woke up early with great anticipation for our walking tour of Helsinki. We were met promptly at the cathedral by our guide Ansie (forgive my Americanized spelling!). Ansie greeted each one of us in the group. According to Ansie, Helsinki does not get many tourists due to its physical location being far away from the rest of the European nation and its close proximity to Russia. (Www.walkingtourshelsinki.com)

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Our tour began promptly at noon from the Cathedral. Ansie said that as a whole, most Finns are not religious. 78% being Lutheran, 1% Russian orthodox, and 26% have separated from the church. Since most Finns do not support the church, 1.5% of each paycheck goes directly to the church. Some Finns have chosen to separate from the church by going online to separatechurch.com and declaring their separation.  By doing so, it allows them to keep the 1.5% on their check!!

One perk Finns do enjoy is the law that says an employee must receive 5 weeks vacation each year. They work approximately 6 hours per day allowing for time off for other activities as well as family time. It is mandatory to receive 2 days off per month.

Speaking of perks, the Finns are the originators of the sauna. There is one sauna for every two Finns. Not only is the sauna beneficial for ones health, it is also used for socialization aspects. It is not uncommon to visit the sauna, drink a beer or two, and talk. Ansie said the Finns love getting naked in the sauna and it is quite normal. He said it is one of the few places say a common person can be sitting across from a CEO or someone important, and yet when naked in the sauna you are their equal.

Speaking of naked, we visited a statue known as the naked lady!

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This statue is  a symbol of Helsinki. Back when Helsinki had a conservative government theirs statue was commissioned from an artist. However the government decided they did not want to pay for it after all. So the artist pointed the lady’s ass facing towards city hall!! Quite a clever artist!!

 

Russia and Finland share a 150km border between the 2 countries.  Russia takes care of the border. Ansie  said men only are required to serve , 6, 9, or 12 months in the Finnish army. This is determined by an aptitude test. Finns are very peaceful people and do not get involved in war. They are confident they can beat the Russians as they already have twice before.  Upon completion of your service, you are free to resume normal life. Some join the U.N. And go serve in the Peace Corp.

While eating lunch, I gave this further thought. In the U.S. We are always putting our nose in other countries business and fighting their battles. This creates great strain on the country and forces us to have allies as well as enemies. And let’s not forget the economical strain and resources it takes to manage an army and fight. My curiosity go the best of me so I struck up a conversation with a couple next to me. They explained that Finland continues to remain politically neutral and mind their own business. The woman said they are always conscious of “big brother” (Russia) watching them. For this reason they do not wish to makes friends with other countries because it does not put them in a favorable light with Russia. They depend on Russia for oil, wood, gas and electricity. The Fnns need Russia, but Russia does not no them for anything. As a matter of fact, the Finns are upset that The U.S. Is bringing troops to Finland next week for training. They feel this will put them in a bad light to Russia as if they were trying to become an ally, while they wish to remain neutral.  As this couple were leaving, the man said to me he had one piece of advice “never trust a Russian!”

At the close of my day, I felt knowledgable about the people and their beliefs. Finns are a very mild mannered, kind people and I thoroughly enjoyed my visit!

Next stop Reykjavik Iceland! Safe journey,

Debbie

 

Categories: lodging, Travel, Uncategorized, vacation | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

United Airlines: The friendly skies??

  It’s the initial ascent. As the plane climbs higher, I cannot help but get lost in my thoughts about my present surroundings.  I look around to see who is seated immediately around me, and I am caught up in whether my seat mates are friendly and non-aggressive or not. I also wonder whether my airline is as friendly as they advertise themselves to be. 

United airlines slogan is “fly the friendly skies of United.” Just what makes an airline friendly or not?”  I chose United for this flight not because of their friendliness, but because they got me to my destination for the least expensive.  Flying “least expensive” however can be costly on United. I despise the current airline trend of charging for seats at the front of the plane and calling them “economy comfort” all the while charging  an arm and a leg for the same convenience we used to have in prior years.  Just how much did my comfort cost me? A whopping $59 one way. Friendly? I suspect not. I mean come on, at the very least you could give me priority boarding or an extra snack or something!! 

Carry on or checked? In this case, checked will cost you a minimum $25. Unless you have the United mileage plus card, then first bag is free. Carry on? Still free at this point, however I do not care for the multitude of announcements prior to boarding letting us know that there are insufficient overhead space to accommodate all bags. Another pet peave  of mine, charging for checked luggage  and now hassling us to check what we have now learned is a free inconvenience.  Friendly? Again I must give it a resounding NO!

We have reached our cruising altitude the pilot remarks.  Great! Free coffee! And out of United’s move to enhance guest experience following a profitable year, the airline now serves complimentary snacks! A delicious Stroopwaffel from Holland. In case you are not familiar with a Stroopwaffel, it is a crispy round wafer, filled with a rich, gooey caramel sauce. Tastes good with coffee or alone.  Friendly? Yes! A good choice on United.

Let’s consider the flight crew for a moment. The pilots are always “friendly” as they tell us who they are and when we will arrive. I keep waiting for the pilot to give us a good monologue or even a joke here or there! Instead I take note of the rest of the crew. There were 4 flight attendants with an average age of 50+. I cannot comment on age since I am no 20 year old, however when did “seniority” turn into seniority? Lol. I can only hope that in case of emergency they can think straight and move faster than most.  As far as the friendly meter, I would have to give them a thumbs down in that department. Lack of smile, lack of conversing or even kindness left me feeling unappreciated. 

United’s Hemisphere magazine asserts that they are working hard to improve onboard experience throughout the cabin. How concerned are they for my comfort and enhanced experience when their in flight entertainment service comes with a price tag?  Another thumbs down to friendly skies in my opinion.

If United ever wants to attain a loyal audience and enhance our experience then United has a great deal of work to do. For myself, I will continue to fly other carriers who peak my interests with little perk and great service.

#unfriendlyskies.  #epicfail

Safe journeys,

Debbie

Categories: airplane service, airplane snacks, flying, Travel, vacation | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn?

Lodging 101

You are contemplating a vacation.  You have the location selected and now you must decide where you want to stay.  Ever realize how many options there is in our world today?

The choice used to be simple.  Some folks went camping, some stayed at motels, and some at hotels.  Today lodging has amplified into a conglomerate of multiple entities all vying for your vacation dollars.

The typical mainstays in the lodging business remain today.  Those range from campgrounds, to hostels, motels, and hotels.  This option is not as complicated as some think.  Campgrounds are an easy choice if one is looking for an inexpensive close to nature experience.  I for one am not a camper as I prefer to have a room with a view and minus the weather elements that camping requires.  Motels are not so plentiful today as larger hotels have been built to accommodate corporate events and convention business.  When choosing a hotel there are many features one needs to consider besides the price.  Some choose a close proximity to city center or where the most sightseeing will take place.  Others prefer a unique experience, such as an ice hotel.  Some like luxury experiences, others just prefer a clean room with a bed.

Having been in the travel industry a long time, I have  my own list of hotel requirements that suits my needs.  When I began searching for Helsinki lodging, my main requirement was to use my American Express points.  Further, I knew that I wanted to be city center and near transportation options as I prefer to get from the airport to town on my own accord utilizing public transportation.  My search continued by checking out Tripadvisor ratings and reviews and what previous guests experiences were.  I then narrowed down my choices and went to the membership page of each hotel to see how many points it would take to stay at each of the hotels.  The hotel I was looking at was a luxury property, city center, and part of the Starwood group to which I have a membership.  I looked at how many points it takes booking through AMEX and how many booking through Starwood.  In the end, the Starwood (SPG) had a better rate than AMEX.  I moved my points from AMEX to my Starwood account and booked directly with Starwood. Helsinki done!

One of my new favorite types of lodging is Airbnb (www.airbnb.com).  I have used Airbnb on a couple of occasions last year.  Airbnb is a very popular and less expensive alternative to hotels for the right person.  For one thing, one has to be an independent traveler.  By that I simply mean, one has to be willing to explore on one’s own.  In addition, there is no daily maid service, and one has to be open to living in someone else’s space.  My first experience in Copenhagen last year was a very good one.  I chose a 2-bedroom flat in a nice neighborhood approximately 20 minutes from the airport.  My biggest fear was arriving after dark and trying to find the place.  That fear was soon conquered as my host gave very implicit directions.  It was a breeze.  What I like most was my ability to get to know this little neighborhood and talk to the people who live there.  Further, I prefer to have a large space with a couple bedrooms, versus a small one-room hotel for a fraction of the cost.  And, I enjoy having my own kitchen to make coffee as I watch the world go by below.  Getting to know about the life of my host is very important to me.  Learning about other cultures and being able to experience life as a local versus as a hotel guest makes a huge difference!

This year, I decided to look again at an Airbnb flat in Reykjavik.  Having been there before, I knew approximately what area of town I wanted to be in.  I searched on http://www.airbnb.com for available properties and added a few to my ‘wish list.’  Contacting the host and asking questions gave me a great deal of knowledge in making my decision.  I prefer when the host is a good communicator.  And my choice in Reykjavik was soon made when my host responded quickly to my questions.  I will update you following my trip with all the details!

For my latter trip to Amsterdam, I chose similar lodging.  I chose a hotel close to the central train station in Amsterdam (again using my AMEX points) avowing me to come and go by train for my day trip down to Delft and The Hague.  I chose a 2-bedroom flat in central Amsterdam for 4 nights.  I have a wonderful host, Brett, and he has been offering to help with my travel planning or anything else I need.  His flat is on a canal and I look forward to living as a “Dutch” girl for a few nights!

Whatever type of lodging you choose, whether you are a conservative traveler and prefer to be on a tour, an independent traveler, or an adventurer, the choice is yours to make.  My choice is to be an explorer/adventurer and learn about life around the world, departing feeling enriched and fulfilled in my journey.

Safe journey,

Debbie

 

 

Categories: airbnb, hotels, lodging, motels, Travel, vacation | Leave a comment

Airplane Food: Whats a person got to do to eat around here?

airplane food

I have been flying for a really long time.  Used to be that all airlines served meals in economy class, while first class got their upgraded meal served on china.  Those were the days when getting a meal meant you would get ‘real’ food and enjoy what was served.  Eating while flying was an experience, good or bad.  Yet, it was something to look forward to while passing the time en-route.  Airlines used to appeal to consumers of flight by their service with a smile motto.  Along with deregulation and mergers, came a new way of flying that appeals to some palates and not to others.

Today, eating while flying has taken on a different dimension.  One can no longer fly and expect something to be served.  There are choices.  Many, many choices and options to consider before boarding a flight.

What happened?  If we look back to 1978 when the Airline Deregulation Act took place, the government imposed price restrictions were removed.  Airlines were freed of their boundaries and given the opportunity to change the way consumers purchase flights.  With this important change, airlines discovered they could set the prices, and have complete control over their own profits and losses.  And losses there were.  One of the first to go bankrupt if I recall, was Eastern Airlines.  Following 9-11 airlines took a big hit and profits declined rapidly.  The government had to bail out some of the airlines to help them stay alive.  Airline merger after merger helped the airline stay afloat.

Profits began to soar!  Most in part thanks to baggage fees!  Yep, by charging fees for things such as checked luggage, carry-on,sitting near the front of the plane vs the back, and fuel surcharges the airlines are finally turning a huge profit.  At this point the air carriers became less service oriented and more profit oriented.  As a consumer, we lost all perks of flying and soon fell to the mercy of the carriers new rules.  Food, was no longer a perk, overhead bins were filled to capacity, and service with a smile is now just, well, service with a lack of effort.  We now fly according to what the airlines dictate.

Food on-board the airplane has suffered the most.  Snacks are gone for the most part, and so are economy meals.  I will be flying economy on Icelandair next month.  I soon discovered Icelandair has a 3-tier flying class.  Economy, free non-alcoholic beverages only, no snack, no meals.  One has to pay significantly more to fly ‘economy comfort’ in order to receive a free meal.  While Saga Class has more perks such as bigger seats, meal and lounge access.

I chose economy because it was such a good round-trip fare that it allowed me to travel twice overseas rather than once.  I don’t really care whether I eat on-board or not because I will eat at the airport prior to the 9 PM overnight flight.  I do however, have the option to purchase snacks, food and alcoholic beverages on-board should I choose to.  Because I have flown Icelandair in the past, I am a Saga club member.  I have points which I can use to purchase these items en-route if I choose.  I cant say I have had a bad ‘meal’ onboard Icelandair, however it was nothing I care to brag about. I much rather prefer to grab my favorite open-faced salmon sandwich at the Keflavik airport before my next flight than to eat what the airline serves anyway.

As a travel agent, I would prefer to see the airlines return to the days when the consumer mattered, and service on-board was a flying perk that everyone received and not just the select few.  Airlines should be happy that we chose their company to get to our destination and thank us by providing more consumer oriented service.  I want to get back to the days of flying when I was not stressed out over whether I had to pay for a ‘comfort’ seat or not; whether my overhead bin would be filled, or even whether I needed to bring my own meal or not.  Flying should be flying, and consumers of flight should be rewarded for being loyal to continuing to do so!

Safe journeys,  Debbie

Categories: airplane food, airplane service, airplane snacks, flying, Travel, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Weather or not, here I come!

I live in a warm part of the U.S.  I am in Florida.  I have lived here most of my life.  I did not choose to move here, rather my parents chose it for me, back when I was a teenager.  As I grow older, I realize that I am bored by the constant,  warm climate the majority of the year.  I am tired of running my air conditioner 24/7 for 9-10 months of the year.  Further, I cannot stand sweating every time I open the door or attempt to blow dry my hair!

I long to see the trees in Autumn when they change colors.  I also dream of winter wonderlands!  And just like my thermostat on my air conditioning unit, I wish I had the ability to change outside temps by the turn of a dial!  But, the warm weather is here to stay whether I like it or not.

So whats a girl to do with all this hot air?  Travel!  Yep, I immensely enjoy my winter travels.  Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Estonia are some great winter destinations.  I get to put on my down-filled coat, strap up my boots, and cool off!  Winter travel has it pros and cons, but for me, it is all a good thing!  I have been snowed in during my travels to Iceland, and I have lost countless hours waiting for the winds to die down enough to fly.  I wear layers upon layers to stay warm, and traipse through snow, wind, and rain to explore my surroundings.   But all in all, it is worth it to me!

We have had our share of ‘cooler’ temperatures this past month in Florida.  I have loved the few drops to 50 degrees (fahrenheit) and the sweaters I have been able to wear.  But there is nothing like preparing myself for a winter trip.

In two short weeks, I will take out my wool socks, my winter boots, sweaters, hat and gloves.  I will pack my warmest and wear them all with the excitement of knowing I am traveling to far distances to explore people, places and things I have never before seen.

Has weather ever stopped you from traveling? Or are you an adventurist who travels with total disregard knowing what awaits you on your journey?

Safe journeys,

Debbie

 

Categories: adventure, iceland, Travel, travel delays, weather | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

To Travel is to Live

world is a book I have often wondered why some individuals do not choose to travel.  I know for some, travel is expensive and thus not within the budget.  I also know that for some, routine is what makes some individuals happy, so even the thought of anything outside their ‘normal’ routine is not acceptable.  Further, I know that some have no desire to travel.  And some are fearful and do they have the courage to step outside their comfort zone into new and unexplored territory.  Of course, there are those who have never in their life set foot on an airplane nor have any inkling how to plan a trip.  Whatever, the reason behind not traveling, I find that it puts some individuals at a disadvantage in life.

 

collect memories Every human being has his or her own way of going through this journey called life.  For myself, I prefer to have experiences that influence who I am and how I relate to my world.  I cherish the times I travel with loved ones to faraway lands.  As the image states, I “collect memories” and not things.  I would rather spend my hard-earned money on feeling connected to others and sharing my experiences.  Unlike myself, many Americans spend more of their money on material things to make themselves feel good.  I make no judgement here as what works for one does not work for others.  I simply appreciate my shared experiences more than what I own or not own.  I do not care if I drive the most expensive car, nor do I care if I live in a humongous house.  I care more about feeling good from what I see and where I go.  I guess I am more of an emotional creature and moved by my emotions in life rather than caring whether I am living up to someone else’s standards or not.  I also do not care whether I have money left at the end of my life or not.  I care more about what I do with my money and who I share it with while I can still enjoy it.

I have said it before however it is worth repeating many times over, travel broadens one’s horizons and makes them a better person.  Better how?  Better in respect to being open and understanding of other’s cultures and ways of life.  Travel creates open-minded, intelligent individuals in a way that a travel book does not.  These unique life experiences in other lands opens the mind up to acceptance, and compassion for others in the world.  Those who do not travel often are narrow-minded and cannot see beyond their rose-colored glasses.  This is not to say that all individuals are narrow-minded, rather, many cannot fathom a world outside of their own spectrum.

ones destination

Travel is exciting!  Just as a kid in a candy store for the first time, travel is just as enticing and delightful!  Seeing things for the first time adds to the excitement and takes one’s senses to new heights!  Think back to childhood, every time you saw, or tasted, or smelled something for the first time, you were renewed with feelings you never before experienced.  Travel does this as well.  Travel enhances one’s emotions and feelings and brings a sense of renewed life into a boring routine.  What once may have been is now renewed and hopeful and opens new ways of looking at the world we exist in.

i travel alot  We only have one journey in life.  Why subject ourselves to the same routine day in and day out?  Why not explore this amazing world we were given and travel to new destinations beyond our present reach?  Imagine, explore and reach for new experiences!

Where would you go if there were no obstacles in life to get there?

Safe journeys,

Debbie

 

Categories: Travel | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Wanderlust

According to dictionary.com, wanderlust means to have  “a strong, innate desire to rove or travel about.”    In this particular instance I am sick with ‘wanderlust!’  I desire to travel when I am not traveling.  Exploration of new places and meeting new people is very enticing to me.  I never quite considered myself to be ‘adventuresome,’ however, in some sense I am adventurous to have the courage to travel to new places and explore new territory.  

What entices me to travel is not only the experience of getting to a new land, but also the idea that I get to see something I have never seen before.  Like a newborn who opens his or her eyes for the first time and sees their mother or father, travel to foreign places is a similar experience for me.  There is renewed excitement and anticipation, unforeseen thoughts pop into my head, and I become like a small child who craves the taste of chocolate over and over again.

Visiting new lands and meeting culturally different people than myself sparks my brain cells into a display of fireworks going off in my head.   The implosion of information and sights leaves me feeling as if I ran a marathon of sorts.  I am renewed with a zest for life unlike anything I have ever experienced before.

I crave travel.  I breathe, eat, smell, sleep and desire travel experiences.  I am akin to an addict who craves his or her favorite drug.  For me, travel is my drug and I choose to travel for the ‘high’ it gives me.  Nothing else can compare to this ‘high’ like travel.

Are you sick with wanderlust?  Do you crave new experiences and new journeys?  What are your favorite places that you lust for?

Safe journey,

Debbie

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When things go wrong..really wrong: Germanwings Plane Crash

It comes with great shock today to learn that the Germanwings plane that crashed this week was an intentional act by the co-pilot.  It is hard to accept that someone so callous would do something so horrendous and take the lives of innocent people.  There is no way that one can know for sure what was going through this man’s mind at the time he made this decision to take the plane down.  And there is no way of knowing if those onboard knew what was going to be their fate, other than the screams that were recorded on the black box.  All we can know for certain is that there are a great deal of families who today are trying to come to grips with the loss of their loved ones.

How do we as travel professionals ever explain such a bad scenario as this?  How do we explain to those who choose to travel that this is a rare happening and that air travel in and of itself is safe?  How can we, move forward and get back on the travel bandwagon and presume it to be safe?

These and many more questions will arise out of this tragedy.  I do not wish to ponder the why’s and the what for at this point.  I only wish to honor those who lost their lives as well as pray for those who lost their loved ones.

I hope if nothing else, that Lufthansa (the parent company of Germanwings) as well as other European carriers implement new policies that make the pilots and passengers safer.

My condolences to those who are suffering from their loss.

Safe journey,

Debbie

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