Things We Learned in 2020

January 28, 2021  |  By Peg Kern
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A beautiful sunrise indicating a new day. Well, we are almost there. If you had told us 10 months ago, when the Coronavirus first hit Italy and the rumblings of trouble sounded as shrilly as our phone lines ringing with calls from worried clients, that we would still be working from home, that restaurants would only be open for take-out, that the borders of almost every country would be closed to US travelers… we’d have thought you were nuts.

And we’d have thought, there is no way we could survive it.

But we have survived it, and we feel there is a light emerging at the end of the tunnel.

A lot of our resilience has come from our fabulous travelers, who were flexible and kind during these many trying months, volunteering to rebook for 2021 or 2022, graciously accepting credits for future travel TBD, and even sending us kind words of support.

For more on that, check out our special message of gratitude:

And much of our resilience has come from the personal sacrifices of people in the TIK family.

The past year has been rough. We lost a member of the TIK family, Gene Davis, father of TIK President Richard Davis. We saw family members lose jobs. I’ve dealt with month after month of remote learning for my kids on top of trying to run a travel company in the middle of a pandemic. We have lived with the constant worry of having loved ones in at-risk categories.

But 2020 has taught us some things, too.

Things We’ve Learned in 2020

1. Stick Together

The International Kitchen has been around for over 25 years, and I’ve been with the company since 2004. We’ve always said it’s like a family. I even used to bring my baby to the office with me!

But this past year has taught us that it’s true.

We love and depend on each other. We miss each other when we’re working from home. We have social zoom time every Friday to decompress and talk about how the week went. We worry, we support, we complain, and we do it together.

2. People Are Kind

This might sound hard to believe. If you watch the news or read comments on social media, it seems impossible to believe.

But in our interactions with our travelers, with our foreign partners, with the many professionals whose expertise we draw on to run our business, from lawyers to marketing experts to bankers, we have been met for the most part with kindness, support, and understanding.

We figure pretty much everyone is struggling right now, whether in ways big or small. That we can still treat each other as humans with a common struggle and common goals has been heartening.

Signs pointing to despair and hope.3. We’re Stronger Than We Thought

COVID is a lesson in resilience, that is for certain. It has caused so much death and illness, so much financial struggle. It has decimated communities and left individuals alone, depressed, and frightened. It’s hard not to see that and appreciate what we have. Our health. Our families. Our homes. Each other.

We hope that we are nearing the end of this long struggle, that in the coming months more and more will return to normal as the vaccines are distributed. But in the meantime all we can do is stay strong, follow the advice of the experts to help slow the spread, and support each other.

If you’re looking forward to 2021 and finally taking that trip you’ve been dreaming of, please contact us to start planning!

And in the meantime, cheers to the New Year!

By Peg Kern

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