Since you get women from all age groups on your trips, how do you ensure synergy in a group with people of different ages? What are some of the interesting conversations or interactions you have witnessed between people from different age groups?
A week in paradise – Maldives
There are always activities that older people are slightly more hesitant to partake. On a recent trip to Palampur, we organized paragliding as an activity, and it was mostly the younger lot that signed up. The elder women did their own thing during the day, but everybody met up in the evening and exchanged notes. The same thing happened in the Maldives. A few older women were not comfortable going snorkelling or partaking in the swimming activities. However, we met up at mealtimes and shared stories. They told us that they went to the spa and got pedicures. That is basically how our WOW trips are. There are always different age groups, and they get along quite well actually. The older women get in touch with their fun side and have a laugh with the younger lot. On the other hand, if the older women ever require assistance because they’re slowing the group down, the younger girls are always willing to help.
One of the cutest instances I remember was when we were travelling with a woman who was very stressed about getting her daughter married. There happened to be a few young girls in our group who were around her daughter’s age. She went out for a drink with the young girls and they chatted. She asked them what goes on in their head and why they are so against marriage. They explained to her that they had no problem with marriage, they just wanted to work first and build their careers. It was a lovely exchange between different age groups. Moreover, I think it was so meaningful because both the older woman and the younger women walked away having learnt something.
Travel is obviously an industry that has been deeply impacted by COVID. How has it affected WOW? Do you think the way you and your group of travellers have dealt with the pandemic has anything to do with your gender?
Throwback to the wonders of Bhutan
Well, when the lockdown started last March, we were getting ready to go on a trip to the Maldives. There were also upcoming trips to Ladakh, Bhutan, and more, all of which fizzled out. WOW club took the challenge posed by the pandemic with stride and stayed busy reminiscing. They kept uploading pictures from old trips, trying to organize zoom calls with one another, and mostly just being a support system to each other. Once the lockdown eased, a couple of us met at a café and believe it or not, the ladies were pestering me to get a trip organized at the earliest. Mind you, lockdown had eased, but we were still in the middle of a pandemic. They asked me to at least announce a trip so that they can look forward to something. Moreover, they were ready to deal with all the new protocols (be it getting tested, getting vaccinated, etc.) put in place due to the pandemic, as long as they got to go on a trip.
A welcome change brought about by the pandemic has been the sharing of household work between men and women. I think this has made men more accommodating and understanding. Funnily enough, the families of women who have travelled with me have been very supportive with regard to going on a WOW trip. In fact, they encourage these women to take a break since the pandemic has obviously taken its toll on everybody. Even as far as travel is concerned, people are finally learning to appreciate the smaller things like sitting at a café and watching the world go by. Pre-pandemic, people may have thought that was a waste of time and opted to go sightseeing instead. COVID was something that certainly changed everybody’s life in one way or the other.