We Control Our Destiny


Covid has disabled the travel industry. What’s it like to live with a disability, and how do you excel despite it?

The travel industry’s challenge today is more significant than most for obvious reasons and will be in the back of the line to recover.

We bring joy to people after they’ve had their financial and social ducks in a row. The fowl today are hardly organized, and one knows when they will be aligned again. But, it is still a choice who is going to win? The f*cking pandemic or me/you/us. We control our destiny.

That’s what we are collectively going through now…. Handicapped from living a full, “normal” life…. Not able to enjoy social interactions, travel, events, and even hailing a taxi without trepidation. It’s depressing and requires an effort not to allow your emotions to create a defeatist attitude.

I lived with a legally defined disability, which inhibited my ability to lead a full life… Epilepsy’s seizures would take over my mind and body about 20 times every month for 22 years.

I couldn’t focus nor comprehend as thoroughly as others; that’s when I wasn’t having a seizure. When seizing, I would be unconscious for a brief moment or minutes….not knowing the day, time, or location when I awoke from this abrupt slumber.

Realizing everyone has something, time is precious, and life isn’t a dress rehearsal….I “won” defeating a handicap because it was a choice….I could allow the seizures to bring me down, or work I estimate 20% harder than if I didn’t have the disorder. Dictating notes to myself to compensate for the poor memory, staying in the office after all others have gone home, making up for the moments I couldn’t focus, getting extra sleep to discourage having a seizure due to stress.

It’s a choice, who’s going to win? You or the challenge. We find ourselves today in a battle no one could have anticipated. Our worlds turned upside down.

I hate what we are going through. I started my company almost 30 years ago, against all the odds….most startups fail, my foundation being direct mail then the internet and digital explosion, but up until this year, The World’s Greatest Vacations has thrived…I say this with pride. My clients are industry all-stars, and I think most would agree, we are friends.

I’m sure most people reading this are too, proud of what they’ve accomplished and angry, frustrated, or both with the situation we find ourselves in. So, I remind you and myself….

It’s a choice who will win? Me/you/us or Covid?

I’m using this pause to build a better product for my clients and, more importantly…realizing the clock is ticking, making the most of my time. Appreciating the blessing I have of being in the luxury travel business and enjoying what I do. And of course, the blessing I’ve been given of being a medical miracle; cured of epilepsy after 3,000 seizures for 22 years. Surgery 16 years ago has given me a great quality of life, with no side effects other than great appreciation.

As owner of travels deepest market penetration media…please call on us to provide pro bono assistance during the pandemic. I’ve to earn the blessing of being cured; I hope you’ll give me that opportunity.

Richard Shane

Founder and CEO The World’s Greatest Vacations