She Will Be Missed

She will be missed.
On Tuesday, my friend and colleague, Lynda Sinclair, passed away. She’d fought a valiant fight with cancer for 3 years.
We all knew how ill she was. But the loss was still a shock when it came. After 3 hard years, it still was a surprise.
I’d been organizing some pictures of my prior years at Virtuoso travel week when we went virtual this past August. So, I had a lot of pictures of Lynda at my fingertips when the news broke. In ways we all seem to grieve in the days of CoVid, I posted the pictures I had as a way of processing the news. Others started to as well. Within moments, it seemed, I was contacted by a travel industry publication to give a quote. How can you summarize someone’s life and impact within an hour or so of hearing of their passing? I wanted to honour Lynda, and try to come up with some words, and sent through something – which were captured here
“Lynda welcomed me to the world of travel and helped me transition from my former career as an actuary,” Gallant-Halloran wrote PAX in an email. “She was passionate about the industry, and taught me its power to connect people around the globe. She maximized her ‘return on life’ through travel, and always thought this exuberant adventure was better savoured with a glass of champagne. I will miss her.”
But, like all loss, all who knew her will still be processing her not being there long after the publications and attention turns.
May we all learn to embrace life with the vitality and indomitable spirit she showed.
I met Lynda when Travel Counsellors was first starting in Canada. She recruited me to start with this new ‘at home’ travel agency, having been hired by the UK company to be the GM in Canada. We worked together from 2008-2010. I eventually moved from Travel Counsellors to Vision Travel in 2010, after Lynda had introduced me to her former colleague, Stephanie Anevich.  I moved to Vision. Lynda later returned to her home at Vision a few months later, setting up the @home team of Vision travel advisors, and really innovating a new way for travel advisors to create their own businesses, working under the flagship of Vision. I went on to build my business, Lynda went on to SVP of Vision. We worked together for years, through many hardships and challenges, and good times and bad – through Ebola, terrorist attacks, volcanic ash clouds, SARS, bird flu, historic floods, snowpocalyses, economic collapses, hurricanes, and more. The travel industry was always the first and hardest hit through any of these issues – and was always the first to recover. Losing Lynda as we still are living through this global pandemic of CoVid19 is hard – CoVid is hard. It’s obviously unlike anything the world has experienced (at least since 1918). And travel was again hit first, hit hardest, and will take the longest to recover. But I know travel will be back. We just have a long runway. Unfortunately, Lynda lived through the past extremely difficult and catastrophic past six months in the travel industry. She saw friends furloughed and laid off. She won’t be around for the recovery.

As I mark my tenth anniversary with Vision Travel this week, I’ll miss celebrating the anniversary with Lynda. In fact, this global pandemic will have me missing her wake and funeral.
But her memory will live on.
And the recovery will come.
We will be resilient. We will survive. We will thrive.
And may we all embrace life with the joy and big smile that Lynda did in the face
of hardship.