Sometimes this “job” gives me goosebumps. I’ve helped clients celebrate last vacations because cancer is ugly and takes mom or dad away soon after. I’ve helped clients get away after dad passed and mom, kids and grandchildren can’t handle being home during that time the following year. You see, travel is so much more than just going somewhere. It means many things to every person we help every year.
I love when clients share their story with me. We are all living a story. Yesterday I had the pleasure of booking a trip for a client with an amazing story. I know that travel is expensive. It’s not a true necessity like water or air, but it is very therapeutic and for some of us is a necessity. But not everyone is as blessed to travel every year or whenever they want.
This trip is one of THOSE trips. It’s one I do every single day. 6 nights at Walt Disney World. Resort, tickets, memory maker and dining plan. I can do this in my sleep. I’ve done it on my phone. I’ve booked this very type of trip waiting in line for rides while at Disney! I know how and what to do. But this story is the most beautiful story and my client graciously granted me permission to share it.
Greg and his beautiful wife Karen are high school sweethearts. They have been married over 30 years. A couple of years ago I got to send them to Disney for their milestone anniversary. I’ve known Greg since I was probably 10 years old! I know his voice immediately! Its a smooth radio voice! His sense of humor is sharp and on point always. I know this couple.
Greg shared his ‘WHY’ for this trip with me. I nearly cried when he did. Greg has had health issues over the years. He has to be mindful of his diet because of diabetes, he’s battled cancer. But his attitude is everything! He is a fighter physically and mentally! When they made their 30th anniversary trip, their only son and daughter in law had just had their very first granddaughter. Greg said Mia, it’s a love you never imagined. He said it’s complete and full. You can love without responsibility. You don’t have to worry about where her next meal is coming from, you don’t have to buy her clothes. Now, if he needed to, he most certainly would, but his son and daughter-in-law are awesome parents and take care of his granddaughter’s every need very well.
While, Greg and Karen were at Disney, missing their new granddaughter who was a newborn, they noticed more than ever little girls. Everywhere they turned were little Princesses running up to hug a character. Or holding an ice cream while it dripped down their chin. The sight was sometimes overwhelming for Karen who would say, I hope one day I can come with Isabella and see her excitement as she hugs Minnie Mouse for the first time! This didn’t go unnoticed by Greg, who told me he even took pictures of his wife with tears streaming down her cheeks at the thought of such an amazing sight.
He said, “Mia, I made a decision that no matter what I had to do, I would make the money to take my wife and my granddaughter to Disney together when she turns 5”. He continued that they aren’t wealthy. They don’t struggle but they make the money they need to make to live a comfortable, happy life. Another trip to Disney wouldn’t be easy but he was determined.
In the fall of 2019 I got a message from Greg asking me about costs for a trip in 2020. I explained we won’t know until June of 2019 but this is what it is right now. He said ok, I will be back in touch when we are ready to do it. They are ready! Greg knew he needed to create income to pay in full without debt for this trip. He could easily get a loan or credit card, but that isn’t how he lives a happy life. Greg found things he could sell on Ebay and set out to raise $5,000 (what he figured would pay for the trip and give him Minnie Mouse ear money). In two months with a lot of determination and apparently great products to sell, Greg had his Disney money raised!! He thought it would take longer, but he is a determined grandpa!! (I think he’s a poppy but not sure lol)
Disney (or any vacation) doesn’t have to be filled with debt. We don’t use credit cards for our trips. I start paying on ours as soon as I put the deposit down. I figure out how much I need to pay monthly and it becomes part of the budget. If I happen to have a better month than projected I pay earlier. But it’s not something we have to pay off when we get home. In fact, when we get home we are planning the next one!
Find your why and you’ll find the money. We don’t all have a 5 year old Isabella with big brown eyes looking at us saying Poppy when do we get to meet Mickey? We may have a big brown eyed senior getting ready to step out into the world for their first adult job. We may have a parent that has a not so stellar diagnosis and memories we want to make while we can.
One thing that is certain in this world is life is uncertain. I tell people every single day, every trip is different. You went 2 years ago when the kids were 6 and 8? A trip today when they are 8 and 10 is totally different! A 10 year old is completely different than an 8 year old. Attitude is different. Their understanding/knowledge of the world is different, expanded. Their likes, dislikes have changed.
I will celebrate my 30th High School Graduation on June 10, 2019. That is the hardest thing in the world to say. It’s even harder when you find out I have a niece that was born in July of 1989. She will be 30. I was with her the first time she went to Disney World. At the end of the month I’ll be at Disney with her and her 8 year old twins! The old timers were right, it goes fast!
Our world hasn’t been perfect. We’ve had our share of downs but boy we’ve had some pretty good ups too. We have a passion for something in Orlando, Florida. It has nothing to do with rides! It has everything to do with the transformation it creates in our entire family! We become our best us when we are on Main Street U.S.A. When we are standing on the edge of a tulip field in Amsterdam, we hug a little tighter. When we watch the the sun rise with your 17 year old and realize we have more blessings than we deserve.
Your WHY is important to me. It’s why I LOVE WHAT I DO! Tell me your why! Tell me who you love and why you want to do this for them. I can’t wait to help Greg celebrate Isabella and Karen in my favorite place on Earth. I can’t wait to see his pictures, hear the stories and just cry tears of joy upon their return home. We are more than someone that simply books hotels.