A Message of Hope

A Message of Hope

Hello, my dear fellow travelers...

Carla here! Maybe we’ve chatted on the phone or exchanged emails. In case you didn’t know, I am the youngest child of Tripsite’s Founder - my mom Hennie. In 1999, I was 13 years old when she sold her first tour, and I can still remember the excitement in her voice when she came running into the kitchen to tell me. I started working alongside my Mom in 2004 and haven’t stopped since!

Mom and I posing at a golf tournament in 2016.

One of my favorite pictures of us, our trip to
France in 2012.

There is a phrase that I think sums up the last several months very well for me: CORONA COASTER.

If you look up this phrase you will find a lot of similar definitions; a rollercoaster of emotions dealing with the pandemic. Or this one: one day, you’re loving your bubble, going for long walks, baking cakes, and puttering in the garden. The next, you’re crying, drinking gin for breakfast, eating party rings, and missing people you don’t even like.

While I was at a routine doctor's appointment, I watched my 6-year-old son pick his nose THROUGH his mask and I wasn’t sure how to feel about it. Proud because he didn’t reach up under his mask to pick his nose? Disgusted? This is what we’ve come to...not sure how to feel about anything anymore. What’s true? What’s not? To be afraid or not to be afraid? What next?!


My son Declan and I spending some quality time swimming!

To say this has been a difficult year for Tripsite would be an incredible understatement. I can certainly say I’ve never shed so many tears at my desk. I’ve never struggled with anxiety in my life, until this year. One solace is knowing I am not alone. And, I’ve learned there is a silver lining and that is gratitude. Through the tribulations, I had to step back and remember there is still so much to be thankful for….

That little nose picker of mine is happy and healthy as can be. My husband and I, with our three children, have never had such a quality summer together.

Although my Tripsite team was experiencing new challenges every day, their dedication to the work and each other was steadfast. When a team member fell off the “corona coaster”, another quickly swooped in to pick them up and dust them off.


Our first-time doing our local road clean up after quarantine.

Our team also grew even stronger working together with our partners across the globe. We helped each other like no other time in our 20-year history. As Helen Keller said “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much” We quickly realized, it wasn’t every man for himself. We were better and stronger helping each other, and Tripsite is stronger and will succeed because of this!


The Pennsylvania-based office crew posing with our partner, Lucas, who visited us in our home office all the way from the Czech Republic!

And last but not least…YOU, our clients, are truly amazing. I’m not sure I’ve ever received so many kind words in a single year. And boy did that kindness go such a long way during a year like this. Thank you!!

None of us will ever forget this historical time. I hope I never forget to remain grateful.

We will travel again. Maybe it won’t be the same, but we can adapt.

Just like after 9/11. Traveling was never the same, but we adapted - we took off our belt and shoes, we only carried small amounts of liquid, we stood in loonnnggg security lines. My colleagues have been flying within the USA and all with positive reports. Airports are spotless and less crowded. The ventilation in airplanes has never been so good. Airplanes are not filled to capacity. Have you ever gotten on a plane and realize you have at least two seats to sprawl out on? Yeah, that’s something we can get used to!

Since May, our partners have been working tirelessly to adapt (Read about COVID Safety Protocols here). Safety is and has always been the #1 priority. Our bike & boat tours are different. Breakfasts are served on plates instead of buffet style. Sometimes there are two shifts of meals. Social distancing is a must. Luckily, our passion is for outdoor travel so we can walk/bike/hike without any worry about air quality and it’s easy to keep apart (if we want to).

While we’ve had a lot of “down” time the last few months, we’ve focused on improving Tripsite. We launched a new site in May (we hope you love it!). We're highlighting more hotel-based and hotel to hotel tours. We’ve also focused on adding new products and branching out. We’re so excited about our new hiking & walking, birding, and small ship cruises.


We cannot wait to again receive photos from our clients, with smiling faces, and to hear all about your trips!

In the last couple of months, we have slowly but surely been receiving more trip inquiries! I may not have realized this 6 months ago, but I have been talking to customers about tours for 15+ years and it energizes me! I love helping you and I look forward to talking to you again soon!

So give us a call, start a chat, or contact us about travel in 2021.

Carla

About the Author

Carla van den Hengel-Sprout

Carla has worked for Tripsite since 2004, literally from the bottom up. She can do anything and does everything. She is the go-to person and the glue that holds the home office together. After graduating from high school and gaining college experience in Holland, Carla returned to the hills of…

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