People & Stories

Our Trafalgar Travel Directors share their stories from isolation

Just like you, our Travel Directors are staying safe at home right now, but that doesn’t mean they’re not missing the open road! We chatted to some of our Travel Directors about how they’re spending their time in isolation, and what they can’t wait to do first once the lockdown is over.

Maria, Italy

I live in the Tuscan countryside near the sea so there is beauty all around. It’s the first thing I see in the morning and I’m lucky to be spending the lockdown here. I’m also very lucky to have more time for my hobbies.

I have a large garden and I really enjoy having extra time to care for it. I’ve expanded the herbs in my garden and studied wild vegetables that are very nutritious but mostly regarded as weeds. My husband and I prefer a natural way of gardening and we’ve been watching wildflowers grow and fruit trees bloom. There seem to be so many more birds flitting around. I also love cooking and I make everything from scratch using the fresh ingredients from my garden. I’ve had time to explore different cuisines around the world and have cooked up lots of tasty new dishes.

My other loves are reading, music and yoga. I’ve had more time for playing the piano, listening to music and reading new books. I’ve kept up my lessons with my usual yoga teacher via Zoom, and I’ve been doing some YouTube dancing lessons. Best of all, I’ve been enjoying time with my husband and cat at home and keeping in touch with my friends around the world with some wonderful phone calls.

The thing that I miss most during this lockdown period – other than my Trafalgar trips – is going for walks by the sea. We are not allowed to go for walks away from our house. Even though I can see the coast from my house, it’s a 15-minute drive away. But I know that this is not forever and we will soon be out of lockdown and able to enjoy as many beach walks as we like!

I can’t wait to see my family and friends once we are out of isolation, and of course, meet all my new guests on a Trafalgar trip.

Isabelle, Spain

On March 7, I returned to Spain from my holiday in Colombia, ready to prepare for the 2020 season of Trafalgar trips. I was looking forward to seeing all my colleagues at our annual meeting in Istanbul. I couldn’t wait to start my first trip of the year, the Treasures of Spain and Portugal. Less than a week later, I found myself confined at home, unable to go out except for essential grocery shopping.

Now, three weeks later, we’ve come to realise this interruption of our daily routines is going to be in place for a lot longer than we hoped for. We are staying home for the sick people who are fighting to overcome the disease and for everyone involved in their recovery during these hard times.

I am very fortunate to be in good health and have my family around me. We have enjoyed our new routine of having meals together and playing daily board games and card games. I’ve been able to catch up on sleep and I love having time to cook and try out new recipes. I’ve especially been getting back to the more time-consuming recipes like handmade pasta, cakes and dough for bread. I like taking on the more complicated recipes as they need my full concentration. Of course, I love tasting the results – which also makes my family very happy!

Since I’ve got no more excuses, I’ve also had to organise and clean up my whole house, from piles of paperwork to closets and the garage storage. It’s very satisfying once it’s all finished! I’ve also been exploring new technologies and computer programs, to get more out of my photography and videography hobbies. I’ve followed all kinds of YouTube tutorials and found it very rewarding to self-teach and overcome technical difficulties. I can’t wait to test out my new skills on future Trafalgar trips.

I haven’t felt bored yet as I’ve been doing so many things I usually don’t have time for. It’s been wonderful to slow down the pace and our bodies and minds are so grateful for this unexpected gift. Even so, I do miss leading a busy life as a Travel Director. I can’t wait to get back out there and show our guests the happy Mediterranean way of life with socialising in cafes, terraces and restaurants. I’ll be sure to enjoy it even more than before, now I’ve realised how fortunate I am to live in Spain, a country that has treated me so well.

The very first thing I’ll do once the isolation is over is an outdoor activity. I’ll go jogging, hiking or swimming in the Mediterranean, even if the water is still cold. Next will be a visit to the hairdresser as that always makes me feel better! I am even thinking about walking the beautiful Way of Saint James.

I wish you all a speedy recovery and for this pandemic to be over as soon as possible. Be strong, stay home and make the best out of it.

Patrizia, Italy

When I was just a little girl at the age of seven, I used to pretend to be a Travel Director, showing off my house to imaginary guests. Since then, travelling has always been my greatest passion and I’ve now been a Travel Director for 25 years. I live in Milan and mostly carry out trips around Italy. I love showing my guests all the beautiful treasures of my country.

I’m currently in my fourth week of isolation and each week has been different as new restrictions are introduced. I’m not allowed to go out for a short walk, even around my street, so I’ve been finding comfort in building a new routine with things to look out for each day.

One of my favourite activities has been spending my mornings on my balcony reading art books. I admire the trees blooming around my neighbourhood and it brings me happiness. Spring has sprung despite the lockdown and has inspired us to carry on. I’ve reflected on how the forced stop of most activities has reduced the pollution in our seas and skies. Despite the madness going on at the moment, Mother Nature is thriving. These positive thoughts offer a sense of escape and give me hope for a better future for this planet.

I am missing not seeing my loved ones and sharing simple things like walking to our usual ice cream place for a gelato fix. A big part of Italian life is strolling to the main square for an espresso, so we are definitely missing this from our daily routines. There are so many things we used to take for granted and I can’t wait to do the little things like go to my local swimming pool. It’s my favourite sport and I haven’t practised in over a month.

I’m hoping for a swift global recovery and I’m so excited to share my love for travel with all my Trafalgar guests again.

How are you spending your time in isolation? What will be the first thing you do once the lockdown is over?

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