This guest blog post was written by French Teacher, Nicolette Miller, who has traveled with ACIS since 1991. Nicolette is also an Academic Travel Advisor for ACIS.
Are you longing to travel the world and show it to your students? Do you want to plan a trip but have no idea how to present and promote it to your students and future participants?
Recently on an organizational Zoom meeting for my ACIS trip “Along the Adriatic,” I watched and heard my trip come alive to my 27 attendees. As the Group Leader for this trip to Croatia, Slovenia, and Montenegro, I scheduled a Zoom meeting for my travelers and other possible participants. With me on the meeting were my wonderful International Program Consultant from the Chicago office, Liz Tyrell, and Tour Manager from Suffolk, England, Peter Ede. Liz had been to Croatia for her honeymoon and had high praise for this area of the world from her own travels. Ironically, another tour manager was to have been on the Zoom meeting, but Peter substituted literally at the last minute. No one was more stunned than I was at the wealth of information that he gave us about Croatia and this area with absolutely no preparation. His descriptions of the sights that we were to see in Croatia, Montenegro and Slovenia took our breath away. He described these countries as “visiting Austria set in the Caribbean.” The image made everyone want to hop on a plane immediately!
This was the amazing inspiration that was available from our triad team through the magic of Zoom:
- Colorful descriptions of the trip were given by the well-traveled Tour Manager (one participant said she “could have listened to him all night”)
- Money, insurance, and policy questions were fielded by the expert International Program Consultant
- Introductions were made and questions were fielded via the Zoom Chat feature by the Group Leader (participants who lived in different cities were all able to participate)
I have received nothing but positive feedback about our organizational Zoom meeting. Quite a few more people are planning to sign up for the trip. The attendees had the opportunity to learn about Croatia, Slovenia, and Montenegro and about their possible Tour Manager. They also were able to recognize the benefits of a Tour Manager on an ACIS trip and have their questions answered firsthand by the experts. In these times, people are hungry for connection, inspiration, and travel. The three of us were able to work together to weave some magic to make travel to Croatia a beacon for our participants on a chilly and rainy night.
I love the saying: “Travelers are dreamers who make their desires for adventure a reality.” I encourage you to make your desire for adventure a reality for you and your students! Organize a trip and present it to your students and potential travelers with a Zoom meeting with an ACIS Tour Manager! You will create connections and inspiration and maybe even a wee bit of magic! Your lives will be richer for it and changed forever!