• David Natale

New Year, New Challenges, New Opportunities

OY... was 2021 more of a challenge then we anticipated, but you know what? WE DID IT! My 2021 in Review


Well it certainly didn't go the way we intended or hoped, did it? Yet in reflection, I accomplished a LOT, got to do a little traveling, made some new friends, and laid the groundwork for a great 2022 and beyond.



In terms of education, 2021 proved that old dogs do indeed learn new tricks and that even homebound efforts can lead to great things. I don't mind telling you that at the start of the year I was pretty down in the dumps. Oddly enough, a YouTube advertisement for a course called Sell What You Know changed 2021 around completely. Alex Smale and his community of trainers was just what I needed and I enthusiastically followed his most excellent trainings and it set me on the road to taking DNA Tours GmbH in a whole new direction by embracing RiverCruiseKing.com. My head is still spinning from the massive boost it gave me and the great things it has led to (with more to come!).


Thanks to SWYK I redid my websites, created an entirely new customer system (which I am just now learning to optimize), got all of my social media in hand and cleaned up my YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn social sites and began creating lots of new content. I added new services like my Trip Books and Blogs which I am also still tweaking, and best of all, I did it all myself. So many huge challenges kept me busy in my office every day from 10am til sometimes 2am... Thierry calling for me to take a break. But I had a vision.


Covid will NOT last forever, and despite it taking longer to end then I first anticipated, I did learn a lot about how to help my guests plan future trips in the face of an ever changing travel landscape. Entry requirements, PCR tests, QR codes, Zoom chats, and pivoting on a dime as countries changed travel rules over night, airlines made life hard, and the limits of insurance and border closures turned the last month of the year into a time consuming loop of more re-bookings, more re-scheduling, even more effort for the same return, but gratitude and customer loyalty at an all time high.


Through it all, there were some great trips. I was so honoured to be asked by

AmaWaterways to help them re-open the Rhine, sailing with a great new friend, Janet Bava, and making new ones onboard. I was lucky to escort my Bordeaux group and take a quick trip so Barcelona, even if my long awaited Africa trip and XMAS Markets of the Danube had to be rescheduled once again when conditions changed.



Thankfully, my biggest rock and best supporter here at home, my great and beloved husband Thierry helped me at every turn, every day, in more ways than I can count.


I enjoyed getting back to blogging, starting Round Table Talks, and taking a more proactive approach to my marketing with new logos, new visions, and fun new programs that help me create fun content. Just you wait, too... as I have learned, I have also seen new potentials.



I am still trying to find the best rhythm of delivery / writing blog posts, sending a newsletter, taping and editing Round Table on a weekly basis, as well as handling all of my great guests and their needs is too much for little old me: the sole king in his kingdom. I still searching for the exact right balance, but this year is already showing me the way. I am figuring out what to do with the great bounty of 2021, even as 2022 is already rushing by.


The next months are full, too! I am getting ready to leave for my Secrets of Egypt & The Nile adventure in just over a week and will be gone for 5 solid weeks! Then comes Tulip Time, the Douro, Southern Danube, 5 weeks in South Africa, and back to the Rhine for Christmas markets.


Before we know it, 2023 will be here.


No. 2021 was not easy, but the great thing is I see light at the end of the tunnel... or at least I have a brighter light to navigate the fog and I am more than ready to bring you all along.



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