Sunday, July 18, 2021

Post Pandemic Travel - Getting Back to Basics

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.

Start small

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!   

 How do you feel about traveling again?  Are you comfortable with planning and preparing for post pandemic changes?  Have you ever been a tourist in your city?  Share your stories and join the conversation! 

Published on Sixty and Me













Sunday, February 7, 2021

Finding Joy in Isolation

 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. 

 I never enjoyed grocery shopping, or any shopping to be honest, and now it was much worse.  I started checking into delivery options and found that I could get everything I needed delivered to my door, it felt like a real luxury.  That is something I will continue long after the crisis has passed.

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.

Published on Sixty and Me