It was a beautiful day in Colorado and my friend was coming for a visit. We decided to go to Estes Park for the weekend. We talked as we drove up the mountain; he asked if that was where the hotel that Stephen King wrote about in "The Shining” was. Yes, I answered and drove on, thinking nothing more of it. What a glorious day - blue sky, beautiful scenery, a perfect way to begin our trip.
Monday, October 25, 2021
Monday, August 16, 2021
I was very pleased to discover the many benefits it offered and it has given me a new appreciation for being at home.
As travel restrictions are loosening, I thought about where my next adventure will take me. Where do I want to go, what do I want to do, all of the questions I normally ask myself when I start to plan a new trip.
I realized then that I didn’t have to get on a plane to go somewhere, I could do it right here at home.
I gave myself permission to do everything I like to do on vacation – take a nap, have a drink with lunch, explore the local shops as a tourist, speak the language, order room service (delivery), book a massage, dress up for dinner, anything goes.
Sunday, July 18, 2021
Post pandemic travel is a new and interesting experience. So many people, myself included, are ready to explore the world again. The question is, just how do we do that now?
Destinations are beginning to open to visitors but there are still many aspects that have changed and need to be considered before embarking on your next adventure. Especially for women traveling alone.
Solo travel has always been a unique experience
It required special planning to make sure that it was safe and enjoyable. Not so different than how it is today.
Thinking about how to do this reminds me of when I first began to travel. Deciding where to go, how to get there, where to stay were just some of the decisions that I needed to make. Everything about the process was a little scary but very exciting.
I’m feeling that way again and it is making this process even more enjoyable.
Jump back in or take it slow
For some, this will be going full speed ahead, trying to regain their normal routine. For others, it will be a little slower and more deliberate. I probably fall somewhere in the middle. I want to go fast but also be mindful of real and relevant factors all over the world.
Pre-pandemic I was travelling full-time, most of it internationally. Just the month before lock-down in the US I was in 3 different countries and planning the next.
Now that seems unrealistic and even careless in some cases. I had to remind myself that things have changed and if I want to continue to travel, I need to do somethings differently.
Back to basics
As much as I love the experience of going somewhere far away, I don’t feel quite ready for that. What I am ready for is that feeling of wonder and joy that being anywhere new brings.
I began thinking of things to do and places to go a little closer to home. Places that would give me that sense of being away without having to go too far.
When I first started to travel alone, I would pick a nearby location and plan from there. What I found was that it didn’t matter where it was, it always felt like I was worlds away.
Something I love to do when I am in a new place is to take public transportation, especially buses and trains. That is something I almost never do at home.
I started by checking stations and schedules near where I live and began to see all of the locations I can access without driving. What I didn’t expect is that it was as much fun, if not more, than researching flights, at a fraction of the cost.
The other thing I love about traveling is staying at a nice hotel and taking myself out to dinner. As much as I enjoy that, it is something I only do when I’m away.
Just this small amount of planning helped me to see that I can have all of the pleasure of taking a trip with a lot less of the anxiety producing aspects that I don’t want.
There are so many options
Now, that I’ve decided that this is a good way for me to ease back into travel, I’ve realized just how many possibilities there are. I don’t have to fly to another city to enjoy all of the things I can have right here.
I’ve decided I will play tourist in my own city and state. Each trip will involve something that I love – visiting local parks and gardens, going out to lunch or dinner alone, staying at a nice hotel for just a night or two or booking a luxurious spa treatment, anything I want.
Not only will it be convenient but without having to pay airfare, it is much more affordable.
Just thinking about this new way to travel has reignited my enthusiasm for something that has been such a wonderful part of my life.
Wishing you safe and happy travels!
Saturday, June 5, 2021
Sunday, May 9, 2021
Sunday, February 7, 2021
When the pandemic first hit the U.S. in 2020, like so many others, I wondered how I would cope. Would this be a devastating hardship or could it be an opportunity to look at life in a different way?
There were so many unknowns that business as usual didn’t seem realistic or even possible. I started to think about ways that I could be comfortable and still stay safe with so much fear and confusion going on around me.
As I spoke with family and friends, I could see that everyone had a unique approach to this unprecedented situation. Some were trying to work around the virus to maintain as much of their normal day to day lives as possible and others wanted to ignore that it was even happening.
Very quickly, I realized that how I dealt with this was entirely up to me. So, I went into planning mode. I wanted to find a way to transition to a new normal and maybe even find some joy.
First, I needed to assess what I would require for extended periods of lockdown. As I did my inventory, I realized that I had very little in the way of food on hand and an excessive amount of travel supplies. After so much traveling, I had enough shampoo and toothpaste to last 6 months.
Since it was still winter in Colorado, I thought of it as getting ready for a big storm. I didn’t want or need to hoard supplies but I did need to have food in the cupboard.
It reminded me of when I was a girl and mom could make a few pantry staples and one piece of meat stretch for several meals. How well she managed really inspired me. This was a great chance to get creative and do some things differently.
Also, there was an unexpected surprise in having someone else doing my shopping. As supplies fluctuated, I would sometimes get substitutions for items that I would not have tried otherwise.
I started to appreciate how well I was able to navigate through this strange time. Feeling very secure with my home and food supply my attention turned inward. I began thinking of how I would spend my time.
Previously, I would have been traveling all over the world for work and pleasure but that was not going to be possible, at least for the time being. That was a big concern for me. How would I adapt if I was confined to one place, not able to jump on a plane whenever I wanted?
I began thinking of all of the wonderful trips I had taken and trying to remember details of each adventure. I had moved so quickly from one place to another, now was a good time to reflect on those journeys and what they really meant to me.
Being in one place for an extended period of time was growing on me. It was nice to wake up in my own bed every day and not have to worry about check-out time or flight schedules.
I was cooking more and even started sourdough baking which is something I used to do when my children were young. I discovered a lot of the simple pleasures that I didn’t have time for before the pandemic.
For me, staying in was a relief, I didn’t have to go anywhere or do anything that I didn’t truly want or need to do. I’ve never liked crowds, so not being able to attend events felt like pure freedom. I could do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.
Little by little I started experimenting with this new way of life and found so many hidden gems that I would never have thought would be possible. I have loved slowing down and really taking time to look after myself. What I discovered is that you can find joy even in isolation.
How have you coped during the pandemic? Were there any unexpected benefits from a change in your lifestyle? Share your story and join the conversation.
Thursday, December 17, 2020
Every year at this time I begin planning my birthday trip. It is the perfect time for a getaway and a special way for me to celebrate the occasion. The tradition began many, many years ago when I decided to go to Mexico for my birthday.
I began by purchasing a holiday package that included most of my arrangements and that helped a great deal. I found when I arrived that although most of the basics were covered, I still had to manage quite a bit on my own. What I discovered was that it was so much fun and easier than I expected.
I met so many wonderful people both locals and other tourists, ate incredible food, had fantastic excursions and even had a little holiday romance, it was truly enchanting.