Dear FTLO Family, At this point, most of you don't know me personally, which feels strange because that hasn't been the case for very long. FTLO has grown from 3 weekend trips in 2016 to having over 100 planned departures in 2020. For the first two and a half years, I led almost every trip. Week after week, I bonded with groups of amazing people who shared my love of travel and I knew the faces and stories of everyone who traveled with us. The past year and a half, the team has grown but that feeling of family has remained. You've all become a huge part of our lives, like family, whether we've met you personally or not. We genuinely care about this community we’ve built and we feel the love right back. (The number of alums who have reached out to ask about the team's wellbeing is so remarkable and appreciated, we can't even begin to thank you enough). I know you're probably getting emails from every company you've ever interacted with and I don't want to add to the noise. But since so many people have reached out, I want to give a quick update: Like hundreds of thousands of people effected by the Covid-19 pandemic, we've had a challenging past couple of weeks. The tourism industry (which employs 1 in 10 people around the world) is in crisis as we are all weathering the worst storm our industry has seen in modern history. For the love of the world, we're sitting the next couple of months out. Our trips are on hold through May 15th and we're focused on supporting our FTLO family from afar while looking forward to when we've beaten this virus and can resume connecting in person once again. In this uncertain time, please know that the team and I are always thinking about how to do right by our FTLO family - our travelers, trip leaders, team, and amazing locals around the world. FTLO's mission is to look out for the wellbeing of our community, wherever you are in the world, even if that's your own couch for the foreseeable future. During this period, we're going to focus on keeping our amazing community connected through online chats, digital trivia nights, and whatever other random fun things our currently housebound team thinks up. (more to come on this!) Thank you all so much for being a part of the FTLO Family. Your love and support means so much. Thank you also to all of the FTLO travelers whose trips have been postponed due to Covid-19 and who have been so gracious, patient, and understanding about it - we are beyond grateful. We also want to take a minute to send endless thank you's to all of the medical professionals at the front lines of this pandemic. When this is over, you all will undoubtedly be in need of some R&R, which is why we will be giving 20% off FTLO trips to any nurse, doctor, EMT, physicians assistant, or hospital administrator through the rest of the year. We look forward to taking care of you once you're done taking care of everyone else. The world is resilient and we, collectively, will get through this. At FTLO, we will be waiting on the other side of this difficult time with open arms, ready to take you around to explore this beautiful world once again.
For the love,