When I was born, there was definitely no silver spoon in my mouth (that would be uncomfortable anyway, right?) and we even had an outside loo, yes seriously. Listening to chef Jason Atherton at the recent Ultratravel Forum in partnership with ttgluxury, I smiled when he reminded the audience that he was “born in a caravan” and how the life he finds himself living now is not at all where he thought he would be.
While I would never compare myself to someone of his talent and guts of course, I could definitely empathise with his story.
To still be working in this incredible industry of ours is sometimes overwhelming but always a privilege. The places we see, the experiences we have, the hotels we stay at all make the hard graft worthwhile. Perhaps when you haven’t been exposed to luxury your whole life, experiencing it gives you even more of a sense of awe and appreciation.
One thing I was recently in utter awe of was a “rhino-notching” experience in South Africa during the ttgluxury Experience with four agents; the privilege of seeing a project like that up close made a lifelong memory for all of us.
We live in shocking and deeply troubling times. But we have to continue to seek the positive, praise the good and hope for the best. As Rebecca Fielding of Travel Unwrapped (another panelist at the forum), said to those in the room and to the industry at large, “travel is a threat to prejudice... we all have a chance to change things”.
Now it’s a point I’ve no doubt made before, but one worth reiterating – that the brilliant agents we come across, whether agents at our Luxpo events, the ones we travel with on our ttgluxury Experiences, the ones we celebrate with the TTG Top 50 Travel Agencies and TTG Travel Awards, are not just some of the biggest ambassadors for this industry. They are out there, day-in, day-out with the chance to change people’s lives. Not just those of their clients, but by association, those of the people they meet on their trips. We really do all have a chance to change things.