The pandemic crisis lasts for 9 months now. From time to time it gets kind of difficult to stay positive and optimistic. With today's blog post I would like to share with you my recipe how I got and get through these months.
I keep it with the Chinese philosopher Konfuzius who said that "the route is the goal". And he is right. If I think back to the end of February when suddenly from one day to the next the charter flights were cancelled and the whole future business was uncertain. Our goal - to work on an excellent summer season - was so uncertain to reach. Nobody knew (and still does not know) when the boarders would reopen, when the business would work at least more or less normally again. So, the question was: which goal are we working for?
It took some days or even weeks to make up our minds about what we are working for. And yes, we started to digitalize our company: we invested in a new CRM and in our new B2B booking system, which we launched then in October. Also, I started to write my blogs on a weekly basis. We got used to communicating with our partners via Skype oder Zoom
The road was - and still is - a long one. There is so much to learn and discover every day. With every new understanding it could be that we have to change the road every now and then. This crisis certainly tought us to be more flexible. We contacted our hotels with this strategy and together we can now offer more flexible conditions for this uncertain period including special Covid-19 cancellation conditions, prolonged Early booking offers or short stays with flexible arrival days.
Even if Konfuzius says, that the road is the goal.... I have to admit that having a goal is very helpful to stay on the road and to find also new paths. So, what was and is our goal? To be ready when tourism and travelling restarts :).
Now, since the beginning of November, in Austria we are sitting in our second lock down. First, it was a soft one which was then turned into a hard one. Again, we cannot meet friends or the whole family, we cannot go to the restaurant, we cannot do music, and also the shops are closed. So, also in the private life we need to find a road - and a goal - to not get depressive and to stay positive. Christmas is approaching - together with the well deserved holidays the most beautiful time of the year.
In 1904, the Austrian Gerhard Lang, invented the Advent calendar, counting the days towards Christmas. An Advent calendar can come in several forms and their are no boarders to creativity: simple pictures behind doors to be opened, every day another story, building a village with houses to be cut out, completing a game collecting different parts of the game, every day an other recipe,... the list is long. There are different routes to get towards the one goal: Christmas.
As I have three nephews and one niece, I decided to get creative as well and to hand-make and fill for each of them a very personal advent calendar. My goal? Well, there is more than one goal: First of all, I need to have the calendars ready by November 30, so that they can open the first "door". Secondly, to see their shiny eyes when I will bring them the advent calendar and when they will tell me what they have found day after day. The last goal is to have my evenings and free time filled with some creative work. The route? Working on the advent calendars and see them growing.
My personal highlight and challenge is the one where I have to fit 24 boxes into 1 big box. Not all of the boxes have the same size, as the presents are also different in size.... On top, instead of numbers on each and every box I was thinking about a calculation :). And last but not least: I have to manage that the colourful paper is enough for all the boxes (as the shops are closed to get some extra sheets...).
As my baby-niece is too small for an advent calendar, I found another challenge for me... to crochet a baby blanket for her until Christmas. The beginning was hard... but once- already being on the road - it was great seeing the blanket growing and generating new ideas for future projects. The route is the daily crocheting, the goal is to have it ready for Christmas.
To close up, I would like to share with you where I am getting my ideas from: long walks or hikes at the fresh air with dear friends - always keeping the distance, of course.
My next route and goal is to make my own Christmas cookies and egg liqueur for family and friends. And yours?