Imagine Going There Travel - June 2022

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Imagine Going There Travel


For Culture-Collecting Clients & Friends of Imagine Going There Travel THE COMPASS

JUNE 2022

Some Things Aren’t Improved by Technology

Did You Know ... The free or reduced air Viking offers comes with a computer-generated air schedule about four months prior to departure. There is an optional service called Air Plus, which allows you to customize your flights about nine month’s prior, and you can choose your preferred airline and schedule. Reservations can even be changed without penalty prior to ticketing if a better option becomes available. Prices range from $100 to $150 per person, depending on the itinerary. Be On The Lookout! Hide & Seek Contest Oh no! It’s a very foggy day out at sea and we are having trouble finding our trusted lighthouse to guide us back to land. Can you help us find the lighthouse? Somewhere in this newsletter, a small lighthouse icon is hiding. The first person to email us at Carol@ with where they found it, will receive a special prize!

I was recently in a nice senior community where the restroom had all of the automatic electronic gadgets: soap pumps, faucets, and hand towel dispensers. Is it just me, or is anyone else amazed at the scientific precision of the soap to completely miss your hand and deposit it into the sink? Or the continuous waving of your hand under the faucet at every possible level to get the water to turn on? Or on a different subject, take making a simple phone call. When was the last time you called a company and a live person answered the phone instead of a recording with half a dozen prompts to get to the right person? (*sigh*) There are some things that no amount of technological progress can replace, and I was reminded of this when Doug took me out to dinner

It looks like this one below, but smaller!

today.” “Well, happy birthday!” she said, with genuine enthusiasm.

at Seasons 52 in Atlanta for my birthday. Every aspect of the experience was a pleasant surprise. For instance, when calling to make reservations, the receptionist took our names and asked if we were celebrating anything. “Why, yes,” I said, somewhat surprised that she asked. “It’s my birthday

A simple gesture, but nicely done. Then, even though there was a line when we arrived at the restaurant, we were acknowledged and seated quickly. At our table was this surprise “happy birthday”


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Great Vacations Matter Because Great Memories Matter Most

Tales From Our Sails


One of the reasons our team does such a great job at assisting with our clients’ vacations is that they have first- hand Viking experience themselves. Recently, Lesley (Data & Client Care Manager) and Lauren (Guest Experience & Air Specialist Manager) went on The Rhine Getaway river cruise. Both had traveled on a Viking ocean cruise before, but this was a totally different experience for them. For Lesley, the ocean cruise was her favorite, not only because the staterooms are larger and all have verandas, but also because she loves everything about the ocean and enjoyed the excursions (she got to go snorkeling!) on that itinerary. However, she really enjoyed the river cruise as well. “I’d never been to Europe before, and there was no way I could have ever planned a trip on my own to see so much of Europe in the time that I did on the river cruise,” Lesley tells us. “I saw the most amazing scenery, castles, and cities and got to meet some of the most knowledgeable people on my tours.” Lauren said it was tough to choose one over the other because they were both fabulous cruises. “The ocean cruise was relaxing with some days spent at sea allowing an opportunity to just kick back and enjoy the ship and all that Viking had to offer. The Rhine cruise kept us busy with a new destination

each day. Being able to see so much and only unpack once in your floating hotel room was amazing,” Lauren says.

Both Lesley and Lauren agree that Viking has taken care to ensure everything is top-notch. The beds are comfortable, the staff bends over backward to be accommodating, and the food is great. Lauren and Lesley offered two pieces of advice: 1) Pack and dress with intention, and only bring what is necessary, and 2) Have an open mind each time you board a Viking ship because it was nothing like they imagined and truly exceeded their expectations.


When you’re in pain, daily activities like walking to the mailbox or reaching for a plate from the cupboard can exacerbate inflamed joints and weak muscles. For years, researchers have connected our mental well-being with our physical health. Physical therapy is a powerful treatment method designed to use your body’s strength and movement to stimulate physical healing. But to holistically recover from an injury or pain, you may have to also address your mental health as well.

among other benefits. It’s the practice of gardening to stimulate mindfulness. Dating back to ancient Mesopotamia, the Persians were known for creating beautiful, calming gardens for this very purpose, and the first documented use of gardening for medical reasons is from the 1800s. Since then, connecting humans to plants is now a common treatment in many countries.

WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO? To effectively engage in horticulture therapy, you have to engage with nature. Plant a small garden in your yard and tend to it each day or week. Join a community garden, plant an indoor herb garden, or pluck weeds from your yard. If you’re not much of a gardener, try visiting local botanical gardens or hike a local trail and identify plant life each week. Or, ask your local nursery for suggestions

This summer, consider a centuries-old practice that has shown time and time again to improve both physical and mental wellness. All it requires is a little dirt, patience, and the great outdoors.

WHAT IS HORTICULTURE THERAPY? As the American Horticultural Therapy Association explains, horticulture therapy can improve cognitive and memory abilities, balance, language skills, and endurance,

about plants that are easy to care for. The goal is to physically and mentally connect with nature, which bonds you to a simpler form of life.

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“Not having the best situation, but seeing the best in your situation is the key to happiness.” –MARIE FORLEO


sign and a little note telling me that I could have a dessert “on the house.”

The waitress showed a lot of personality when she took our order. While we were waiting on our food, she would stop by and check in, reciting our choices from memory to confirm our order and make sure everything was okay. It turns out she has a master’s degree, yet works two jobs, is raising two children, but wants to go to law school in her spare time. Impressive. Dinner was delicious (Kona-coffee crusted lamb and rainbow trout). As we were eating, I heard a waiter comment to his coworker, “You’re doing an awesome job, Daniel!” Then we were offered our dessert options: one of six Mini Indulgences, and I chose the Belgian chocolate. It was presented with a candle to complete the acknowledgment of my special day, and made even more so by the TLC we received. As we were leaving, I asked to speak to the manager (Amanda) to compliment her on her well-run restaurant, and she acknowledged there was “something special” with her team. Then she talked about her favorite menu items and described them with so much enthusiasm that we took Doug’s mom back there for Mother’s Day. The cost to the restaurant for this special treatment? A little company culture and $4! Yet that special attention infused our entire dining experience and inspired us to go back.

This is a great dessert you should make the day before. It can also be made as a layer cake (with enough topping for three or four layers), and it freezes well, too! Million-Dollar Trifle


• 1 package (18.25 oz) yellow cake mix • 8 oz cream cheese • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar • 1-20 oz can crushed pineapple, with juice

• 2-8 oz cans mandarin oranges, drained • 1-3.5 oz package instant vanilla pudding mix • 1-8 oz container frozen whipped topping, thawed

I recently heard the quote: “A company becomes the people it hires, not the plans it makes. “

That made me pause and reflect on our very special team at Imagine Going There Travel. Not only is each person great at what they do, they also handle every reservation with such care and attention to detail. Plus, they all are amazing women who I love to work with, so I thought it might be time to introduce you to them. Look for our Team Spotlight in the next few issues.


1. In a medium bowl, combine cake mix ingredients according to box instructions and pour into a greased 15x10-inch sheet cake pan. Bake as directed. Cool and cut into 1-inch squares. 2. In a large bowl, whip cream cheese until soft, then gradually add powdered sugar. Stir in pineapple with juice and the drained mandarin oranges, reserving a few slices for garnish. Mix in dry pudding mix and fold in whipped topping. 3. In a trifle bowl, layer 1/3 cake pieces, then 1/3 of topping and continue layering, ending with topping. Garnish with reserved mandarin orange slices. Refrigerate overnight before serving.

With all the advancements in technology, there is still no

substitute for great people whose DNA is just old-fashioned, heartfelt customer service.

—Carol Shaddix

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Great Vacations Matter Because Great Memories Matter Most

A Platinum Circle Agency for:


770.421.9627 | 3600 Dallas Hwy, Suite 230-215, Marietta, GA 30064

Everything you love about Viking, only better! A great destination is just one part of an amazing vacation. Just like having a master chef prepare your meal at your favorite restaurant, as one of Viking’s largest representatives, we’ve booked these vacations countless times. We intuitively know how to enhance the outcome of your experience so it consistently delivers above and beyond your expectations (and know when those special promotions such as extra shipboard credit or free airfare are available that you might not know about). Whether you are interested in an individual reservation or want to travel together as a group, call 770.421.9627 for your free consultation on how to make your next vacation even better than you expected! Tip: If you’ve already booked direct with Viking in the last 60 days, contact us to add some additional bonuses to your reservation!

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Team Spotlight: Lauren Hight

Lauren is the person behind arguably the hardest job in the company: Viking

seemed!) changes we had to keep up with.

her job? “I love finding just what the guest wants but get as frustrated as they do about the schedule changes!” Born in Ft. Lauderdale, Lauren has also lived in Indiana, Illinois, and Colorado — and early in her career, she worked at Lost Valley Ranch, a guest resort ranch in Colorado. Her favorite places to travel are Colorado, California, and of course, Europe. In fact, Lucerne was a favorite stop on her recent trip on a Rhine Getaway river cruise. When she is home, she enjoys hiking, reading, and spending time with friends. While the air travel is more unpredictable than ever, at least a professional is watching out for this important piece of your vacation experience!

air reservations. While there were uncertainties before COVID-19, it has only gotten worse as the airlines ramp up to accommodate the recent demand in travel.

But Lauren remained unruffled and handled each challenge with ease. As the saying goes, “No good deed goes unpunished,” and she agreed to take the job permanently, much to everyone’s relief!

We used to divide everyone’s air schedules between the team. But like a

Lauren is gifted in many areas, but the one that probably serves her best in this role is that she has a master’s in counseling, and that calm demeanor permeates everything she does. What does she like best about

mother of toddlers trying to keep the house in order, the airlines were always sending curveballs our way, and we all dreaded the million (it

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