The Catskill Mountains in its heyday was the mecca of activity for tired travelers to escape for fun, frolic, food and for some, a little bit of found freedom. I was a local kid who grew up in one of the larger resort hotels. My mother was the Maître D’ of the 300-seat dining room and for me it was breathtaking to see how she made each guest feel as if they were the only one. I learned early on how important it was for the guests of the hotel to be happy. I would charm them with my impish smile when I was little and when I was able to work in the hotel, I impressed them with highest level of customer service that my teenage brain could figure out. I had to. Not only was my own work performance on the line but so was my mom’s reputation. This was not like other jobs that kids my age had where they could just show up, not really care and get away with it. I had to do my best work, each time, all the time.
The amount of activities that the hotel offered was staggering. Activities that would entertain guests from early morning to late, late at night. For some it was easy to get caught up in the frenzy of trying to do everything all at once. The guests would scurry around trying to enjoy as much food, pool time, bingo and late-night shows that their bodies could handle. No wonder after a couple of days of keeping up with the Jones’s some guests looked like they had just run a marathon. Then there were a rare few guests that seemed to figure it out. They walked slower, held hands when they could. They took long strolls through the gardens, enjoyed tea on the front porch, chatted freely with other guests. They shared stories that told tales of storied lives. They carefully choose their activities so that they gave themselves the time to also focus on their well-being. I loved being in their company. They were calm and joyful. They came back year after year with tales of adventures from all over the world that seemed both intoxicating and completely authentic. They understood what it meant to travel well.
Scarcity plays a huge role on how we perceive travel experiences. I remember back then; most guests were the first generation of their families to experience vacations. Most of the guests came from a culture of scarcity and frugality. I would imagine that as they entered the fantasy land of a Catskill Mountain resort, with so much to offer, it was hard not to get overwhelmed and overrun.
If you fast forward to today, imagine your last travel experience. Did you come home refreshed, invigorated and full of amazing memories? Did you stroll, sip tea, chat freely with other travelers and experience an authentic travel experience that not only nourished your mind but your body and soul as well?
If your answer is no, you are not alone.
Up until a few years ago I was in that same boat. Time off was scarce, money was tight, and my love of travel started to resemble being catapulted out of a rocket versus floating down a lazy river. I longed for another way. Then I remembered those guests from long ago. Smiling, laughing, enjoying the journey as well as the destination. Little did I know then that they would be the inspiration, they would create the road map, the driving force for changing the way that I traveled and for the inspiration behind Red Dog Travel.
Red Dog Travel is a fulfillment to a destiny that was forged ages ago.
The art of slow travel was clearly defined for me in those moments of my youth. I hope that in this inaugural issue of my newsletter you have enjoyed a chance to peek behind the curtains of Red Dog Travel and together we can discover the true joys of travel.
As we ring in the new year, I wish you peace and prosperity.
Cheers to the art of slow travel!
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Welcome ~ My name is Cindy, founder of Red Dog Travel & I am so happy you stopped by. On this journey you might learn a little about me, slow travel, my red dog Bella and a whole bunch more! Thank you for stopping by!