By: Bryan Herb -Zoomvacations
I am often posting travel photos of beautiful destinations and experiences, and it probably comes off all easy and carefree. That is not always the case.
My most recent trip to Peru had the most logistical challenges of any trip we have ever had, due to Lima Airport having an issue that halted access to Lima for 2 days at the start of the trip, and then an agricultural workers strike in the Sacred Valley, where the strikers blocked access to Machu Picchu for 2 days.
Despite this, Zoom was able to turn lemons into vodka lemonade and it is one of our best trips ever. We massively rearranged our itinerary last minute, in order to arrive in Machu Picchu before the strike started, and we stayed there an extra day, in order to leave after the strike finished.
The incredible silver lining of all this is that because other people couldn’t get to Machu Picchu for 2 days we essentially had the entire ancient citadel to ourselves, which is unheard of. People on social media kept asking me why there were so few other tourists in our photos.
Due to the strike, our original Thanksgiving dinner which was to be on a luxury dining train could not take place. So, we organized a surprise candlelit thanksgiving dinner with a Peruvian twist for our travelers that was truly magical. The whole trip was.
My travelers were so happy, and my little sister (who joined the trip too) had the time of her life. It was a very special trip. Several of my travelers said that they haven’t laughed this hard in their entire lives. We all have abs now.
People always ask me what’s the worst thing that has ever happened on a Zoom Vacations tour. There was that time in South Africa when the lodge we were headed to burned down overnight. Or the time when torrential rains hit the Great Barrier Reef while we were there so we could not do any of our original program. Or even when hyenas chewed through cables on our plane overnight that was to take us out of Kruger National Park in South Africa to Victoria Falls. So, for those of you who have ever asked me, this stuff in Peru this time takes the cake for the “worst” thing. Or was it?
I have always believed that life is 10% what happens, and 90% what you make of it, so every time something like this has happened, I have used it as a chance to be creative and find a solution that was perhaps even better than the original plan. That was definitely the case with this trip. Peru and especially Machu Picchu have always had a special place in my heart, and ironically, even after these challenges, this was one of my favorite trips ever.
I have to say, it helps that my group was go-with-the-flow, and they trusted that we would give them the best experience possible. Their faith in me really helped, and on Thanksgiving day, I was truly thankful for each of them, and for the lifelong friendships that developed on this trip.
Bryan Herb is co-owner of Zoom Vacations®,
a US company that creates stylish international private events and gay group vacations to the world’s hottest destinations. Learn more about them at www.zoomvacations.com or call 773.772.9666.