Haya grew up in Israel and came to the US to study English. She thought she would stay a year, but ended up getting married and setting down roots.
“Fifty years later I have no regrets. Once I was here I liked it immediately.”
She worked hard then to become an attorney in Chicago. As an only child, she felt guilty leaving her parents in Israel, so she promised to visit at least three times a year. That’s an expensive promise. To make it feasible, she became a TWA employee. Back at that time, she could fly first class for just $10. So she carried out her promise to her parents and added a lot of extra traveling in there as well.
At 72, technology wasn’t intuitive.
“I am not easy with technology. I wasn't brought up with a computer. But now I will look and see what is going on for the day on it. I love the webinars and GetSetUp classes. Those are what saved me during the COVID time. I am not depressed at all, because even though I’m scared of COVID and hardly leaving the house. I have so many outstanding events and things to learn online.”
Haya was already tuned into webinars and other online events when she came across GetSetUp.
“I found out about GetSetUp totally by accident. I am in a group of people who have a weekly writing workshop. One of the women there mentioned GetSetUp and she recommended it. So, I decided to check it out.”
Haya took a couple of classes on and off but took 3 classes on Christmas, which got her hooked.
“It could have been a sad day. My closest friends are too carefree with COVID and I’m a fanatic about health. So I felt I couldn’t go to the couple of parties I was invited to for Christmas. So I signed up for 3 consecutive classes with GetSetUp instead. It was a lot of fun one after another and you saw some of the same people there. Norman then encouraged people to volunteer to be ambassadors too, so I answered the call!”
Haya talked with Norman, GetSetUp's Customer Success Manager, about some ideas for interest groups that she could lead. After hearing about her extensive travel background Norman suggested travel as a theme.
“I thought that would fit since I’ve traveled extensively for the last 50 years.”
Haya tried to create a good group setting that encourages participation so people come back.
“When I run a group it’s not to tell my adventures of traveling. That's not the purpose in my mind. It’s to make everyone enjoy the discussion on travel and feel a part of it.”
The secret to making people feel a part of a group is assuring everyone can relate to the experience according to Haya. She believes good groups focus on what the group wants to talk about not just what the leader wants to talk about.
“Once you start traveling and see the world. You realize it's not scary. It’s big, fascinating, and adventurous. Travel becomes everything and it’s like an addiction.”
Unfortunately, Haya will have to wait a bit longer before her next adventures abroad. However, she has set up a regular schedule of activities for herself daily during the pandemic online.
“I think the online classes initiative is terrific. It’s allowed me to connect again.”
Haya says she misses badly her real travel adventures, but her online activities continue to be good substitutes. Now they are helping her to travel from home.
“I feel great and don’t feel punished because of the pandemic. For someone as sociable and adventurous as me, I could have had depression with this new reality. But I don’t feel constrained or prohibited. I have the world here at my desk!”
Haya lead the group for a few weeks prior to passing on the leadership of the travel interest group to another leader, Chris G. Despite shifts in discussion leaders the travel interest group is going strong! Explore the world vicariously through travel discussions with other travel addicts in the Interest Group: Travel Around the World lead by Chris G. Here like-minded individuals share travel stories and adventures.
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Consider other fun interest groups as well:
“There’s a lot of technology out there. Just because you can do something with technology doesn’t mean you should. We will talk about how to keep tech simple.”
“My niece is too polite to call me old. I knew she was thinking it was a shock that I knew more about Zoom than she did. So I told her - ‘ . . . I might be a bit slower,.
“I can honestly say if I went to an interview and they asked me certain questions, now I’m familiar with those tools and I wasn’t before GetSetUp classes.”