It was dusk on Monday when we gathered for our welcome meeting to kick off WTT’s New York City Exploration tour. In the alcove of a quaint Irish Pub located off Seventh Avenue, 16 women were engaging in small talk. There were looks of excitement as well as apprehension. This group of women was a bit different than others I have led of WTT; 12 of the 16 sitting shoulder-to-shoulder were on their very first WTT tour.
After launching into my enthusiastic “Welcome to the Tour’ speech and imparting important and necessary details, I wanted to put the travelers at ease. To break the ice, I asked each woman to share your name, where she was from and why she chose this tour.
Most of the new-to-WTT travelers seemed to reiterate a similar thought: she had wanted to join a WTT tour for quite some time, but she was apprehensive of traveling solo with women she did not know. Those that shared this reticence selected the NYC exploration tour in part because they felt if they did not like the experience they could easily leave the tour and go home. The four repeat travelers in our group chuckled. They recalled also once having those same apprehensions. But now, with the benefit of hindsight, the veteran travelers found amusement in knowing how large this concern looms but in the end, how little it matters.
At the conclusion of the meeting as we walked toward Central Park, I smiled to myself as I heard friendly chatter among the women. I always look forward to the alchemy that happens on a WTT tour as former strangers morph into friends who share a common travel experience. And I thought, as I have many times before, I’ve got the best job in the world.
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