If You Are Ready to Travel Pack Patience and Intention
A family tentatively emerges through a tall door into the world — the light beckons.
That’s the May 24th New Yorker magazine cover, which pretty much sums up where we are after months of isolation.
I’ve become oddly accustomed to this interlude of life, the interruption of my body in motion.
Seduced by foreign lands, exotic foods, and cultures, I traveled with rambunctious determination. When the pandemic took me home, holding me firmly in place, I then realized the very privileged life I led. The world shifted, I gained perspective.
Now we’re all figuring out how to behave as “the normal” unfolds.
A fortnight ago, my husband and I flew to Colorado to visit dear friends. Like a vaccinated puppy with exuberant expectations, I had no idea what was in store.
Let your expectations fly away because everything is still up in the air.
A crush of humanity, fueled with pent-up wanderlust, is emerging.
They’re gathering their children and elders to go somewhere — anywhere — right now.
Mobbing venues at half capacity or barely open. Airports, planes, busses, and trams stuffed with travel-starved citizens. They hover perilously close to one another in their drive for freedom.
Take nothing for granted. Confirm your assumptions before take-off.
Phone ahead to confirm details and pray a live body picks up; you can email, but good luck with a reply. Don’t rely on anything websites tell you; most are out of date and inaccurate — the web staff were the first to go.
We booked a park and fly hotel near the airport for an easy morning transition, just be to be informed that the shuttle wasn’t yet operating. So take a cab ride, please.
All the good restaurants within striking distance were closed or wouldn’t answer the phone to take reservations. I wondered if they even existed…
We ate a take-out chicken pot pie that night — Swanson’s frozen, or short-order chef?
Wear patience on your shoulder like water off a duckling’s back.
Don’t count on the airline to sustain or inebriate you. Be grateful for your offering of a bottle of water and a sanitary wipe.
Once at your destination, you’ll find many of your favorite places have closed. Organic farm-to-table restaurants that have satiated you in the past may no longer exist. If they remain, reservations are hard to get with limited seating.
The hotel pool is closed, no breakfast buffet, the patio outside is full, young people still stay up late crowding the bar.
Everything is wrapped in plastic to protect us from each other — plastic consumption is over the charts. Bring your own reusable utensils, bags, and masks — implement them with the passion 1000 years of decomposition brings.
Be grateful for the essential people managing this human deluge.
Many are likely underpaid, understaffed, and overwhelmed right now. Some have been out of work for months and are just returning to some semblance of income.
Be kind and compassionate, tip them well, tell them you appreciate them. They will grow with your kindness.
Cherish people you haven’t seen in oh-so-long.
I loved seeing my mates, my chosen family. Friendships nurtured over decades building organic food systems together. I don’t see them often, and when I do, it’s as if nothing has changed — we’re still young and connected.
If you do travel, appreciate the privileges we enjoy while many people battle inequalities and plague.
Travel with the intention to grow and contribute to a world that honors all species and equality for all.
Use every fiber of your being to change what can be changed — and fight for what is not yet so.
We’ve been born here right now for a reason. Honor your privilege, do not ignore your pearls.