Now this was a new experience! You know the saying, ‘you can take the girl out of New York…’, well, there’s a portion of that that’s true for me. I firmly believe that the best bagels are from New York, there’s something special about Long Beach sand and that if something seems a little shifty, it probably is. I shy away from pushy sales pitches, the ‘it sounds too good to be true’ stuff, and anyone that tells me ‘you must’ or ‘you should’. This weekend we had an interesting experience. Not really shifty, not too ridiculous – one of those you’d chalk up to experience and file it under the ‘this might not be for me’ heading. Have you ever had one of those?
Forever, I’ve walked past those at a game, trade show or market who are trying too hard to sell me something. A few weekends ago, it was the first time I didn’t. Two time share entities, promising gifts a plenty in return for listening to their presentations somehow got my attention and we decided to give them a try. We made both appointments for the same weekend. We figured, we’d check them out, see what they had to say, think about it and see if any of it was real. Whether the marketing push was a scam or not was yet to be determined, but we gave it a try. Needless to say, this was an experience we are not likely to repeat.
There were two of them. The first was quite different than the second. One took more of a pushy business approach while the other more family-minded and friendly. One took place in a business facility while the other was on the grounds of the property. One had a slimy style closer (who actually said ‘this is where the magic happens’) who was shocked and dismayed when we stayed firm in our decision (leaving an icky taste in our mouths) while the other realized, perhaps it wasn’t for us and continued with a friendly bit of banter. Both selling the same lifestyle choice, if we chose one at all, it would obviously be the friendly bunch.
The interesting part of the weekend was not so much in the time share presentations, the gifts, the options or the packages presented; it was more in the learning. Here were two business models ‘selling travel’. With almost identical questions, they both asked, ‘do you like to travel’, ‘what do you like to do on vacations’, ‘do you think travel is important’, ‘do you know about the health benefits of travel’? These people were ‘selling travel’. Very different to a travel agent who you approach, request their assistance and book a trip – these people were selling the idea of travel on their terms. Both discussed how it helps those who need a ‘push’ to travel once a year, creates legacy to share with your family and invites opportunity to share your space with friends. The pitch was interesting yet disturbing how it felt very centered around the male being the breadwinner, the husband ‘taking’ his wife somewhere and pricing delivered mostly to the man in the group. The model works for many. The advantages and opportunities of exchanges help people to see part of the world some might never choose on their own. It didn’t fit us, but the learning was noticeable.
Of course, this New Yorker had a bit of skepticism in the whole ‘marketing scheme’ process, but that doesn’t cheapen the interesting knowledge we gained. We knew we weren’t the norm and both people we met with agreed. Surprised by how significant travel was a part of our lives, they shared their stories of the people with whom they were often in contact. The more traditional views of travel were ever present. Those who MIGHT take one or two weeks a year, many who think 7 days is too much to be away, those who RARELY get away for even a night or two and even some who haven’t taken a holiday of any variety in years came up in conversation. The part I truly disliked was that one person or entity, had the AUDACITY to TELL someone else HOW to travel….the world doesn’t need any more ‘SHOULDS’ or ‘MUSTS’.
For us, travel is a priority. It’s how we met, made our relationship possible, helped it flourish and has become a focal point in our lives. It’s a mindset, a desire, a thought-process, a presence, an awareness and adventure all in one. It isn’t a one-stop shop or a my-way-or-the-highway thing – it’s what works for you. Time share owner, digital nomad, once a year family excursion, cruisers, backpackers, flashpackers, day trippers, luxury, camping, first class or economy…if you can find the adventure…it can find you. The same way I believe in ‘don’t let anyone dull your sparkle’, is how I feel about those who TELL you how to travel. If you want to travel…do it your way. Find your own journey, carve your own path, choose your own adventure, make your own magic…the moments and memories are worth it!
“Actually, the best gift you could have given her was a lifetime of adventures” – Lewis Carroll…Alice in Wonderland