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23


JULY, 2021

A Throwback to Rio.

Five years ago I joined one of my closest girl friends on a trip that would forever change the trajectory of my life. While the Rio Games had their share of difficulties, problems surrounding the Summer Games are always inherent, much like we have seen in the lead up to Tokyo. Despite the negatives, the influx of stakeholders from every nation to one destination -- with a mutual understanding of global friendship, solidarity and fair play -- is something truly magical.


Here's a peek at all the positive (and serendipitous) moments we experienced that eventually led to the conceptualization of our company's mission and involvement in the Summer Games in Tokyo.


The Energy.


From the moment I stepped off my flight in Rio alongside another excited solo traveler, the general vibe of Rio was friendly, exciting and celebratory. Fans from all across the world were thrilled to be there and safe, especially since there were barely any Zika mosquitos around to stop us from attending the Games...


Volunteers were incredibly warm and cariocas (locals) were full of passion and pride. We loved see how focused spectators were on their favorite sports, and how many were very generous with their extra tickets!!!


The Local Love & Connections Made. 


The minute we checked into our Airbnb our hosts were immediately welcoming and interested in our stories. We shared good meals and great laughs, and even enjoyed a Games event together. Additionally we were lucky to have some mutual friends that connected us to two locals, Isabella and Pedro, who became our friends and guides during our two week stay. It truly was a gift to experience a city and the Games with some passionate cariocas. More so, to reunite with a dear friend from highschool in Tokyo who flew out of Brasilia to meet us in Rio!!


The Special Games' Moments. 


There were many!!! Sometimes too many to keep count!!!


  1. Celebrating a ping-pong win with Japanese fans.
  2. Running into athletes.
  3. Gymnastics.
  4. Seeing Pedro's reactions to entering both the Oakley and Great Britain Houses.
  5. Running into more athletes.
  6. Wearing a heavy silver medal.
  7. Visiting the Tokyo Games House.
  8. Meeting someone's hero and three time Gold medalist.
  9. Swimming
  10. Hiking to the The Redeemer


All in all, while there were times of challenge in Rio, the majority of our experience was very positive and enlightening.


Upon returning to the U.S. I was empowered to dig deeper into understanding the issues and problems travelers (from athletes to families, friends and fans) face when traveling across the pond to such a grandiose and ambitious global event. This eventually led me to moving out to Colorado Springs, CO to get closer to the source. It has been an incredible last few years of observing, learning and asking the right questions in this global movement, and the team and I are incredibly grateful to all our clients, athletes and supporters who've bee apart of our responsible travel journey in Covid times. New things are unfolding for us, and we couldn't be more excited. Please reach out if you'd like to learn more, or just to say say konnichiwa -- we'd be more than happy to help you plan your next trip East!!!


Domo,


Roren Zeriku.

15


JULY, 2021

Planning a Trip? Why Working With a Travel Advisor Is Your Best Option.

As we enter into the middle of summer, signs of life in the travel industry continue to bloom.


Folks are once again venturing out to domestic destinations like Hawaii, Florida and Puerto Rico. For those who choose to travel internationally, Mexico, Iceland and Europe continue to be popular destinations.


Everywhere, however, the new Delta variant of COVID is on the rise, and, as in the past, COVID rules and restrictions are constantly changing and evolving.


That's why we believe that working with a Travel Advisor who is aware of the most current COVID regulations and policies continues to be your best option. Here are 5 ways a TA can problem solve and enhance your next trip. And a fun BuzzFeed article

to seal the deal!

Post Pandemic Knowledge.


We get it. As the world begins to reopen for travel, it can be challenging to keep up with travel regulations, which areas are accepting visitors, and visiting places with increased safety standards. Instead of getting frustrated and wasting time, TAs can help you navigate all of the rules and even do some of the legwork for you to ensure a more seamless experience both before and during your trip. Our team did a lot of this for various families of athletes for Summer Games in Tokyo, and learned A LOT!


Readily Available. 


From re-booking during an unexpected event, battling cancellation and refunds policies to handling accommodation issues, your TA acts as your personal travel advocate. They are available for you by telephone, through email and other communication methods, even while on you’re on your trip. Our team is tech savvy, also allowing our clients to interact with us through travel apps and via social media!


Time Savers.


Armed with the latest, up-to-date information about the industry, from airlines to cities and hotels, TAs have the inside info that you’d have to spend hours searching for online. With years of experience and firsthand travel knowledge to your destination, they’ll plan your trip with expertise no search engine can give.


Extremely Well Connected. 


TAs have all the inside info and hyperlocal experiences you can’t find on your own. Our industry connections not only help travelers get the best value for your trip, but the ability to make unique requests and deliver access to some out-of-this world experiences. We pride ourselves on our unique connections in and throughout Japan!


That Personal Touch. 


TAs love to listen, learn, and help, which is why they are masters at finding the perfect destination and experiences for you. It is this kind of one-on-one and customized approach that makes travel planning a stress-free and enjoyable experience.