Climbing the Bell Tower

We were in Nordlingen, Germany, and decided to climb the medieval bell tower known as “Daniel.” It was almost three hundred feet to the top. The climb seemed like a great idea until a few minutes later when I was overcome with an intense sense of vertigo. I looked at the rickety, wooden steps to the top. They were hundreds of years old, and I imagined they could tumble at any moment. That is when the room started spinning, and I grasped tight to the handrail for support. It felt like the entire staircase was swaying side to side. As my travel companions rushed to the top, our guide from the Nordlingen Tourism Board, David, rushed to meet me.

“Do you want to go back down?”

I’ve always had inner ear problems and been prone to infections in my left ear. I’d spent the entire trip sitting up front with the driver, as my travel companions learned the first day that I don’t do well with bus rides. Yet, I have never let my proneness to motion sickness stop me from traveling. How could I ever let my vertigo stop me from climbing the bell tower?

“No way,” I said, “I have to keep going.” Slowly, one step at a time, I continued to ascend the stairs. David followed a few a steps behind me. He had climbed that bell tower hundreds, if not thousands, of times in his lifetime. He knew each and every step like the back of his hand. The room never stopped spinning and the staircase continued to sway back and forth but I thought if David felt secure with climbing the bell tower, then why shouldn’t I? The stairs weren’t swaying for him or anyone else – the feeling I had was all in my head. It gave me great comfort to have him behind me every step of the way.

The view from the top of the bell tower was incredible. I t was an incredible vantage of this medieval town, the city walls, and the road to Rome. All of this surrounded by an incredible landscape filled with brightly colored fields and gently rolling hills. The climb up the bell tower was worth every dizzy step.

Nordlingen, GermanyI realized that David was like a travel consultant. While he was familiar with the bell tower, the experience was entirely new and foreign to me. I could have said that it was too much and stayed back. I could have missed that incredible view and experience. Yet, it gave me reassurance to have someone behind me who knew the way.

This is not unlike what a good travel consultant would do for their client. A travel consultant is someone who has traveled; someone who’s has knowledge and experience in various destinations. A good travel consultant is familiar with these places and has traveled more times in their lifetime than they can count.

A good travel consultant will be behind their client every step of the way. From providing advice and designing a custom itinerary – to booking the trip – to managing any bumps in the road. A good travel consultant is there for you. Your travel consultant won’t travel with you and they won’t hold your hand, but they will still be behind you every step of the way. A good travel consultant will give their clients the foundation they need so that they can discover new vantage points and reach their goals.

Congratulations to David, who became a father the very next morning. That is when we received word that he would no longer be guiding us because his wife was giving birth to twins. May his children grow healthy and strong as they inherit his knowledge and experience. May they grow up to climb the bell tower of Nordlingen, and possess the courage to discover new vantage points and reach their goals!