To be honest with you, I have been reluctant to post anything about travel considering; a worldwide pandemic, the injustice in our nation, and the risk of being judged for not taking COVID- 19 serious enough. It’s true , I find comfort in traveling, it was part of my job but more so a passion in my life. I couldn’t wait to get back on the road or in the skies.
I spent the last 3 months in my home, like you ; worried about the virus, worried about my family and friends, the economy, my job, and wishing for things to go back to normal. I found things to distract me when I wasn’t working 14 hour days. I must have tried at least 30 new recipes- I think my favorite were the peanut butter brownies (happy to share the recipe if you are interested) . I tried my hand at painting ,well paint by number..but it was a tough one! I ordered books to broaden my horizon. I signed up to take a writing class. Oh and a language class to to work on my French. And then there were the daily walks that I said I would do at least 8 miles a day and the 30 minutes of meditation to keep myself calm and balanced. I was determined to use this time to become a healthier and better version of myself.
Also part of my original plan was that I could use this time to write…I have been traveling for 30+ years, I had 100’s of places I could write about during this time of “shelter in place”. Keep the blog going and my audience interested. Just waiting for things to get back to normal so we could do all the things we wanted again. I rescheduled trips with great optimism and then rescheduled them again for later this year or into 2021. When it came to writing though, words escaped me. Or what I did write was boring. Maybe its because I knew deep down, things were not going “back to normal”?
Needless to say that a lot of what I had planned for myself, didn’t really play out the way I thought it would. I have emerged a better version of myself in many ways. I have a great appreciation of simple things now; hugging my adult children or a dear friend, eating in a restaurant, taking long walks and talking to neighbors or strangers about life and family. I love meditating each morning and I do feel more calm. My French is slightly better. My closets and cupboards are VERY organized. And I have started to travel again!
Fast forward to today- I am actually on my third trip since the restrictions have been lifted. I have only been traveling by car so I am able to control my environment a bit more. I find road trips are great for listening to podcasts, audio books, quality time with your friends & family. They allow for impromptu stops in little towns along the way. Or to take a scenic route that hugs a shoreline or the curving roads of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I am back to striking up conversations with strangers and it feels so good to be out and about!! As I talk to people, I am finding they were anxious to travel too. Many used the quarantine time to plan family, couple, girlfriend get-a-ways, or solo trips. So even after 3 months of confinement with these people, they chose to spend even more time together and were having so much fun doing it! Everyone was friendly. People were appreciative and respectful. Masks were worn, Social distancing was observed.
It made me realize that I love travel not for the luxury of it but because it makes this big world, feel smaller. It is the perfect classroom for the soul. Traveling allows me to meet people that look different than me, have different beliefs, observe different customs and enjoy different foods. I find travel breaks down barriers and helps me appreciate all the wonderful things about our differences that make this such an amazing world to live it. If you stop and think about it…how boring it would be if we all looked alike, sounded alike, and liked to do the same things?
So join me today as we start up some new adventures. I am going to start sharing some drive / road trip destinations and we will build up to traveling by plane. Be confident that hotels, airlines, restaurants, and shops are doing everything they can to keep you safe. Be patient as hoteliers, servers, bartenders and business owners figure out how to provide you the care you desire while adhering to new guidelines.
So grab your bestie, your significant other or your family and let’s take a day trip to the
Farmer’s Market down the road …