But that’s only the most glaring – and glamorous - advantage of what we do. It’s the smaller, daily reinforcements that keep us coming back to our desks, and working long hours into the evening and holidays to make sure reservations are made, trekking permits are secured, yacht cabins are the right fit for a family of 6 – or 30! Things like a short email from a lovely young couple finally reserving a long-awaited and hard-earned vacation, saying “I just jumped around a bunch in my office!” Or an unexpectedly poignant telephone conversation that reflects a husband’s adamant hope that this trip will be exactly the perfect surprise for his wife, confiding "Sherry, sometimes when I get it right, I’m a hero. But other times… well, let’s just say I would really like to be on that canoe in the rainforest, disappearing down the river." This is when I know that what I do has meaning and consequences, and I really want to get it RIGHT!
Sometimes the gratification comes long after a trip is completed and the documentation has been archived. When a past Wildland Alumni Adventurer gives us a ringing referral to a future traveler, saying “Sherry was by far the most helpful to me in understanding options, prices, pros/cons of various trips. She got to know (thru quite a few emails and phone conversations) what my wife and I were looking for, and we gained a high level of confidence in what she was saying/suggesting. It was a fabulous trip. I had very high expectations, and the trip/plans/travel/itineraries/animals/guides/Eclipse/guests/islands delivered on every one.”
Are there bad days? Oh heck yeah! We live in an imperfect world where trains & planes don’t always arrive on time or a guide is having a bad day or all those animals simply refuse to make an appearance. This isn’t Disneyland, after all, it’s Life. But knowing that we make a difference on so many levels – to our travelers, to the conservation of fragile lands and honorable incomes of people across the globe, maybe even to the longevity of a marriage – it’s all worth it!