We travel for many reasons – for work, for pleasure, sometimes out of necessity. No matter the reason for your travel, it should always change and shape you in some way.
One of my most recent trips did just that – when Hurricane Patricia decided to head for Mexico’s Pacific Coast while I was staying at CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa with a group of journalists on a press trip. The storm escalated from a tropical storm to a Category 5 hurricane in just 24-hours, an unprecedented development. After trying to leave on the earliest possible flights without success, as the airport was shut down, evacuation was the next necessary step, to ensure everyone’s safety. The team at Marriott Puerto Vallarta had an extremely organized and clear plan of action – and I’m not just saying that because they are a Diamond Public Relations client. We all truly felt safe, informed, calm and well-looked after.
Once we arrived in Guadalajara, the nearest inland city, after our 9-hour road trip that included good conversation, reading, music, naps and some beautiful scenery, we all had a nice meal together, a good night’s sleep and woke the next morning to nothing more than an overcast sky. This fortunate turn in the weather allowed us to seize the day and go out for a tour of a charming part of the city known as Tlaquepaque, where we would find cobblestone streets, beautiful boutiques with handmade furniture and gifts, and the scent of fresh, homemade tortillas wafting out of restaurants. We even encountered an all-female Mariachi band!
All the pre-trip preparations in the world can’t really prepare you for an unexpected encounter with mother nature during your travels, but there are a few things to keep in mind that will help make the situation more of an adventure than a disaster. As one of our friends and press trip participants, Rosy Cordero, outlined in her article here, there is only so much one can do in advance – much of the rest involves staying calm, thinking and acting on your feet. Check out the article for some great insight from Jody Diamond as well, including the value of spending a little extra to have that international mobile plan and leaving a copy of your passport and itinerary with someone at home.