Email this page
November 23, 2010
Closed doors and open hearts in Moscow
In addition to hearing great tales and comments from our travelers—whether they’re inspirational, complimentary, or just plain funny—I always enjoy hearing from our Program Directors, as well. After all, they have a totally different perspective on the Grand Circle experience—and on the travelers themselves. So when I read the following account from one of our Russian Program Directors—Yulia Parusova—it really underscored what I’ve known for some time: Grand Circle has both the best travelers and Program Directors in the world! Just read Yulia’s story about a recent tour to Moscow, and I think you’ll agree …
Whenever I meet a new group of my Grand Circle travelers, I always ask them to keep their minds and hearts open so that they’re able to benefit from everything they see in Russia. This can really ensure the success of the whole trip. One of my groups from August 2010 will most likely remember one of our exciting experiences as a perfect example of this very practical wisdom!
During a Metro ride that’s part of our included program in Moscow, we first take the escalator down to the platform, and then spread along the platform in order to get on the train quickly enough (as the Metro stops and departs very quickly). As I always do, I carefully instructed my group on what to do in case they missed our stop: They were supposed to get off at the next station and stand in the middle of the platform until I could come and “rescue” them. I also mentioned to my travelers that during the four years that I had worked for Grand Circle, no traveler had ever failed to get off the train at the required stop. Little did I know…
When the train arrived and my group started to get in, guess who was left standing on the platform in front of the closed door? Of course, me! As a rule, I take up the rear to make sure everyone gets in. This time, the train driver had no mercy on me no matter how hard I was waving my orange flag at him. I only heard his voice in the loudspeaker saying that the boarding was over.
When the next train brought me to the next station, I was happy to find my group standing in the middle of the platform waiting for their Program Director (me) to come and “rescue” them! At that moment, I got the greatest round of applause I had ever received from travelers. We started to hug one another, and could hardly stop laughing and smiling for the rest of the day. I was extremely proud to see no one panicking or nervous. On that trip, my travelers and I really developed an awesome camaraderie, because our shared experience taught us to keep an open mind and an open heart…
During your own travels with Grand Circle, have you ever had an experience with your Program Director or fellow travelers that helped build camaraderie within your group? If so, I’d love to hear more about it. Share your comments below this Journal entry, or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before the end of the year, we’ll be spotlighting our festive Holiday River Cruises along the Rhine, Danube, and Seine rivers, as well as Land Tours in Britain and Ireland. So if you’ve explored any of these destinations with Grand Circle, please share your stories—and pictures—with me at email@example.com.