Next week marks the one year anniversary of our last vacation. The second week of February 2020, my husband and I went on a trip for pleasure! We went to Santa Fe, New Mexico for a week. It was his choice of venue and the kick off (we thought) to years of travelling as a retired couple.
We very much enjoyed Santa Fe. The landscape, architecture, culture, food, and history – everything was different from where we live and where we’ve travelled before. Unbeknownst to us, it would be our last trip for pleasure to date. We have not traveled on a vacation since. This leaves me envious when I see posts from people on social media who have taken vacations during the pandemic. Well, if I were to be honest, my emotions are both envy and a tad of anger. Still, although we yearn of travel to far off lands for pleasure, we remain comfortable in our decision to stick close to home.
Fortunately, we have a cabin which is fully equipped to live in as a home. We’ve been able to spend more time there recently, while also observing the COVID safety precautions that are in place. From cabin to home, no stops are made, ensuring we are not either receiving or transmitting the dreaded virus to others in either community.
And, yes, we just completed a trip to see my aging parents who live some 900 miles away in a state that has seen more than its share of hardship this year. But, again, we went directly to their home after receiving negative COVID tests. The difference was that this time, directly meant 13 straight hours of travel, stopping only when we needed to use facilities and gas up our vehicle. Let me me clear, this was not a trip for pleasure, although we did enjoy it. However, I relinquished a trip to my favorite grocery store and seeing a dear friend to keep up our end of the COVID distancing regulations. There will be time for those things in the future (hopefully)!
It was obvious yesterday, as we talked about where we’d like to travel – once we can feel we are doing it safely – that we both miss it. On a drive to relocate our son to his first apartment in St. Paul, Minnesota, we talked about where we’d like to go in the future. High on the list was a return to Hawaii, although we are not sure to which island we would go yet. Also, topping the list was another trip to the Canadian Rockies. We loved Banff National Park when we visited there in 2019. But, we’d like to get to Jasper and Yoho National Parks in Canada, as well. And, I had to put a plug in for a return to the Santa Fe area, this time including traversing the Turquoise Trail and Carlsbad Caverns.
We’ve also discussed visiting more National Parks in the U.S.. The trouble is that I do not want to go where it is crowded. So, we’ll have to research that a bit. I’m thinking the Redwood Forest and Sequoia National Park might work. I saw an article a month ago that ranked the national parks on the number of visits they had annually. We can pick one with lower visits and be just as happy; I am sure.
We can dream of going overseas. But, who knows when that will be possible? Scotland, Iceland, Italy, Germany, Budapest, The Netherlands, and Prague will all have to wait until it is safer and allowable to travel. For now enjoying stories and photography about these far off places will have to suffice!
All I know is that I see people going on trips for pleasure and am envious.
But, as my son says……
You do you.
And, I have to do me. I am a rule follower. I want to be safe. I want to be comfortable going out when we reach our destination. I definitely do not want to become sick while I am away from home. And, if that means waiting a while longer, then I will do just that.
You might feel there is a bit of a double standard to my post. After all, we have gone to our cabin and travelled to see my parents. We have not stayed entirely at home. But, these “trips” were not entirely for pleasure, either. Both were born of a need to stay safe and still have a change in venue. And, I am sure that is what is in the minds of those who are travelling. I also realize some jobs confer only one vacation a year. If you’ve made plans to go, you go. I get that…totally. Still, I’d like the pandemic to end for all of us and the more we move around, locally, nationally, and globally, the more difficult the end will be to reach.
So, if you feel you must travel, please be safe. We all depend on it. We do.
You would really like Sequoia and Redwood I think – it’s beautiful country up there. The last trip we took for pleasure was in May of 2020 – we managed a VERY Covid safe trip to Yellowstone. We camped at a virtually deserted park about a half hour away, which made for a lot of extra driving, but provided peace of mind, since we were one of only three campers in the entire park. While some parts of Yellowstone were crowded, people did a pretty good job minding their distance and most were wearing masks, so we felt pretty safe most of the time. I’d say Old Faithful was the only sketchy part of the trip.
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