As we all try to look forward we wanted to take the time to say "Thank you". Thank you for you patience. Thank you for the messages of love and support. Thank you for sharing your experiences, memories, anecdotes, photos and so much more of what makes Macs Adventure and our trips mean so much to you. You've kept the team going when they needed it the most.
Our team are all excited to be getting back to organising adventures for you for next year and we are busy getting ready to launch some new destinations...watch this space! All of our lives have changed in ways we never could have imagined. Our experiences have given us time to reflect on what 2020 has taught us so far. Although a tough year for our industry we are resilient and we’re excited about the future. Read what some of the team have to say about their experiences over the last few months below.
No one could have predicted that 2020 would turn our worlds upside down; Macs Adventure had a full schedule for this season with thousands of customers due to travel on trips of a lifetime, but overnight everything changed…
With the furlough scheme my team went from 25 to 2, with only myself & the manager left to manage the crisis in the operations team, there was no time for panic, to stress out or get overwhelmed, we had to stay focused and make sure that all our customers & suppliers were looked after.
With nearly 4,000 trips to postpone, we worked tirelessly communicating with our suppliers, advising them of government procedures & Macs Adventure guidelines. It was a heart-breaking task having to cancel all these trips and break the news to suppliers. I just had to keep reminding myself that this wasn’t forever, and our clients would one day get to go on the trip they had so looked forward to.
Throughout the pandemic we made sure that we still had regular catch ups with the team, everyone was learning new skills, making banana bread, or decorating their houses. I felt that in many ways my life hadn’t changed too much, my daily routine of working 9 -5 and looking forward to the weekend was still very normal.
I am now focused on 2021 and hopefully it will be more enjoyable than 2020, it has been a hard year; where plans have been cancelled, morning catch up’s around the coffee machine are no more and our Friday night drinks are a distant memory, but through it all I am so grateful to be part of a great team, our team spirit, positivity and energy makes rolling out of bed and into my office every morning worth it!
Remember life before Covid? Barely…I do however remember sitting at dinner in a restaurant with my family on a ski holiday in Chamonix. The waitress came over to ask if we wanted dessert, we said no, she replied we might want to think again as Macron just announced that all restaurants & pubs were closing at midnight and this was the last dessert we would be able to order at a restaurant for a while. We got the dessert and woke up to next morning to life grinding to a halt. We jumped on the next flight back to the UK worried that the borders would close and returned to everyone working from home for a week before I was furloughed.
Enter Furlough life – I did all the cliches, made sourdough, practiced online yoga, watched Tiger King, zoom quizzes, read more books then I have in years and it continued and continued. The longer I wasn’t working the more worry crept in and the reality of working in travel..my industry was being decimated, flights grounded and borders being closed with no end in sight.
I am one of the lucky ones who has been able to return to work and from the moment I got the news that I would be coming back to full time employment a weight was lifted. After being furloughed from March till September the nagging feeling of ‘What in the world are you going to do’ finally subsided.
This time was rough for so many people and I feel I got the better end of the stick, no one I know got sick, no dependents, plenty of space, good company and only had to deal with the underlining feeling of uneasiness that uncertainty brings. Now back at work I wonder, do I miss furlough..was the freedom worth it to have the endless feeling that the carpet is just about to pulled out from under you and to be honest, no I don’t. I feel to fortunate to have had the furlough scheme and to be in the UK where we were looked after by the Government but please let’s not to this again, okay?
March seems like a distant memory now but to be honest, like most of you, I am still struggling to process it. From what was going to be a great month it all seemed to come crashing down pretty quickly. At the beginning of March I was in our Customer Experience team ensuring that all of our lovely customers were ready and raring to go for their great adventures this year. We had started to receive feedback from trips completed in the early spring (that has always been my favourite part of this job!). And then Coronavirus came into our lives.
Very suddenly we all had to start working from home. We had to get in touch with hundreds of customers to let them know what their options were and with an everchanging landscape this was not easy. We were used to speaking to customers who were excited about the prospect of completing these amazing adventures not delivering bad news.
At this stage I was clinging on to any positive that I could find and while instead of sitting across from Kayleigh in the office, I was sitting in our spare room surrounded by bikes, snowboards and skis (it honestly looks like an outdoor shop) – it did mean that on my lunch break I could go out on my bike for a quick spin to get some fresh air and exercise.
Next the government announced the furlough scheme was going to be put in place. Being on furlough had its pros and cons, the weather was amazing and I am really lucky as I live in a very rural spot so was able to go out on my bike every day and also become the gardener that I never knew I wanted to be (I even watch Gardeners World every week now!).
I was lucky enough to get back to work in June, we are still working from home. My lunch breaks are often spent outdoors which is great but I miss seeing all my colleagues in person on a daily basis and to be honest nothing is going to make up for that. I live in hope that at some stage in the future the ‘new normal’ will allow us all to get together again.
We hope you and your loved ones have been safe and well during this unusual time. From everyone in the Macs Team thank you for your support. We look forward to helping you have your #macsmoment in 2021! Find some inspiration for your next adventure here.