Good morning friends, family, and fellow adventurous spirits,
It’s that time again, time for a few quick (OK maybe not that quick) insights from my desk to your email. When I started these bi-monthly muses some 3 months ago, I was thinking this would be a short-lived way to communicate to you all as to where we are at and what is shaking out at Austin Adventures. I had no idea that A) this would go on for months and, B) they would be so well received. I really appreciate all the kind words and thoughts many of you have shared.
Remember early on when I noted 4 phases of a crisis: Fear, Understanding, Action, and Rational Behavior. We survived Fear, we survived Understanding (best we all could), next was Action and now I honestly feel we are in the Rational Behavior phase. What that means here at Austin Adventures is that we are actually doing what we do best: running amazing adventures and enjoying some of our country’s best natural resources. Not without our share of challenges, but we have successfully run a half dozen trips around the country, mostly here close to home in Yellowstone National Park.
We have implemented extensive safety and precautionary procedures, from cleaning protocols of the vehicles, doubling up on vans for more guest room, making endless supplies of sanitizer available, and practicing CDC established best practices. You all know I am a huge fan of our guides — these special individuals have really stepped up and gone above and beyond what anyone could expect. They are just so happy to be out, sharing their passion for the great places we visit. One recent guest summed it up far better than I ever could:
“This was my first Austin Adventures trip, but it definitely won’t be my last. I loved how our guides took care of everything for us so we could just focus on having a good time. They gave us our itinerary for the next day at dinner so we could stay mindful of the current day, which was really great. All of the food was amazing, all of the trails and activities were perfect. Even though COVID-19 brought its challenges, I wouldn’t change a thing about our trip. Our guides were able to fix problems before we ever even knew there was an issue and we were so satisfied that we didn’t even care about how it was ‘supposed’ to be.”
A recent study published in a medical journal had this to say and I can’t agree more:
Keep Outside in Mind for Less Stress
Spending time in nature can help relieve stress and anxiety, improve your mood, and boost feelings of happiness and well-being. Whatever you call it – forest bathing, ecotherapy, mindfulness in nature, green time or the wilderness cure — humans evolved in the great outdoors, and your brain benefits from a journey back to nature.
Have you been feeling down lately? A little sluggish, stressed out, or maybe wondering, “What’s life all about?”
Here’s another question: How much time have you spent in nature lately?
The answer to these two questions might be more closely related than you’d think.
The modern way we live has changed radically from life in the savanna, but our brains have mostly stayed the same. We still have a deep connection with nature, and research shows that if we don’t nourish that bond despite our technological advancements, we may suffer in many ways.
That is more than enough for today. Before I let you go, a few quick reminders:
Don’t forget to nominate an Essential Service Provider (ESP) that you feel warrants a family trip to Yellowstone when this is all over (check out some of the great submissions posted on the site). https://www.austinadventures.com/nominate-an-essential-employee/
And if you want to hear more about where we are going, what we are offering and how we are practicing safe travel, Kasey and I are collaborating on a Zoom Call open to everyone on July 9th at 1:00 PM MDT. Register here.
Thank you all for your continued support of Austin Adventures and the travel industry in general. These are challenging times, together we will do more than just get through it. We will get through it, stronger and wiser for the experience. Please stay safe out there, take care of yourselves, and hold family and friends close.
CEO & Founder