At Home in the World of Global Hospitality® Finding My Happy Place After a Cancer Diagnosis 

by Natalie J. Harp, MBA

As contributors to the World of Global Hospitality®, our mutual responsibility to guests supersedes our individual brands as we seek to evoke feelings within every experience that will outlast each visitor’s check-out date.

This year, I found myself living a role reversal.

Diagnosed with a rare chronic leukemia, my initial feelings clichéd the majority of patients inducted into this fight. But the traveler in me had different plans.

Born and raised in the most visited state in the U.S.,[1] I have checked off my travel to-list many of California’s premier destinations. From premier all-inclusive resorts like The Resort at Pelican Hill, Montage Laguna Beach and L’Auberge Del Mar to theme parks like Disneyland, SeaWorld, Six Flags, Legoland and Knotts Berry Farm, I believed I had seen all that California had to offer and should look to expand my travel horizons elsewhere.

But what is one day or one week compared to the seasons each destination has to offer?

This is why one of my first decisions post-diagnosis was to immerse myself—almost to the point of exclusivity—into staycation-ing state-wide. My first purchase? Annual passports to Disneyland Resort—to explore the oft-overlooked multicultural cuisine and entertainment services the parks and accompanying hotels have to offer. Next stop? The Resort at Pelican Hill—to witness an inimitable marriage of Italian splendor and Pacific wonder from award-winning fine dining at the resort’s ocean view restaurants to the luxury of the Resort’s Forbes Five-Star spa services.

Exclusively courting national and international travelers with life and locale should be retired strategy. Our contribution to the World of Global Hospitality® is not to be taken lightly. To international visitors, we offer the world. But to our neighbors, we offer an escape from the humdrum of daily life to experience an instant Utopia just a few miles away—at home in the World of Global Hospitality®.

And to those like me who may be fighting for their lives, we can provide—as Walt Disney coined—a happy place. Only then will we evolve from inanimate one-stop destinations into living and breathing habitats.

[1] Chelangat, S. (2018, August 15). The most visited states in the U.S.: California and Florida hold the distinction of being the two most visited states in the United States. Retrieved from https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/the-most-visited-states-in-the-us.html