Like so many others after March, 2020 my vacation plans for the upcoming summer were immediately derailed by a pandemic known as COVID-19. Besides the life-altering effects it has had on us all, the industry mostly affected in the beginning was travel. Borders closed, air travel was halted and quarantine and isolation became the new normal. It all happened so fast.

After months of preparing the perfect Marathon Key vacation in the Florida Keys, I really started losing hope of ever going after 2 re-bookings followed by forced cancellations. I finally relented and stopped re-booking and did my best to come up with a plan on how I’d wile away the hours at home these summer months. After all, I do have a pool and a nice backyard, right? But it just didn’t feel the same as packing a bag and heading off on a beachy adventure.

Then of course came the usual suspects… canvas painting, coloring with the grandkids and even learning how to #maxout my life and business goals! (That last one really threw me off track. Yikes, what was happening here? Am I actually going down the self-help personal growth path!?) But just then… in the nick of time, airlines started slowly opening up and offering flights. Vic and I still couldn’t get to that Florida Keys vacation but there were other possibilities and we considered them all. We always wanted to visit family in Boise, ID and now was the perfect chance. Plus SouthWest was guaranteeing middle seats open so it would only be the 2 of us in our row. There, it was settled — 4 days in ID where I hoped we could at least find a nice lake and enjoy some cooler temps. So last minute I threw some clothes, a facemask and Lysol wipes into a backpack and away we went.

After that trip and getting a feel for the new way of travel, I felt pretty safe and confident venturing elsewhere – North Carolina to visit my daughter to help with her newborn, Carolina Beach, even road trips up north to Flagstaff looking for some respite from the triple digit temps of Phoenix. All along I’d repeat the same things over and over in my head for safety… mask on, wash hands, 6 feet apart… mask on, wash hands, 6 feet apart. After a while we all got used to it.

Sure, things are a bit different and we’ve all had to really curb our travel. But if you really feel the need to get away, always be aware and open to the different rules and regulations each State/County requires that you follow. Also, be willing to eat in a restaurant’s newly created outdoor area or in some cases, having to pick up the order curbside and enjoying your meal in a park. By keeping all of these things in mind I believe we can still cautiously explore this great Country of ours.  Most importantly…don’t forget your mask.  I always pack 3.

And when all else fails, stay home and cook. I’ve got plenty of recipes to get you started!