June 27, 2021

Where to Travel Post-COVID


Me in Paris in 2014

Travel Feeds My Soul

I can confidently say that traveling is one of my passions in life. I’ve tried a bunch of things: guitar, SCUBA diving, dance lessons, just to name a few. I always come back to travel as my #1 love. Taking several small trips and one or two larger trips in a year is food for my soul. When the global pandemic hit, I was scheduled to go to London and the city of my dreams, Paris. March 17th, 2020 was our departure date, only days after the whole world officially shut down. There is a light at the end of this long, dark tunnel, though, and things are starting to open up. I’ve had a lot of confusion about travel this past year. What is safe? What is considerate? Which countries require vaccinations and which don’t? Which countries are even letting people in at all? Where to travel post-COVID has been really challenging for me because I don’t know how to navigate it that well. In today’s post I’ll discuss how I’m damn-sure getting back in that saddle and figuring out post-COVID travel!

It’s Not Real Travel Unless it’s (Real) Big

Putting off “real” travel has become a way of life for me. What does “real” travel mean to me? Detailed planning to destinations I am burning to see; packing just the right clothing in my travel cubes and items for a particular trip; learning about a new town or culture, maybe even some phrases in another language. The pandemic put a complete stop to that because I didn’t go anywhere that required that, and I had no idea when I would. To save what felt like my last shred of sanity during the pandemic, I did take a few small trips around New Orleans, where I reside, and a road trip around Tennessee and North Carolina. The road trip was actually pretty fun, although car trips are not usually my cup of tea. We take what we can get sometimes, though. Some people had the guts to fly, but for me getting on a plane with germ-infested people made me want to figure out how to sail a boat across the Atlantic by myself. But, I am not a boat person either, so that was out.

Florida is Nice, but Hawaii is Better

Alas, I decided my first “real” trip post-COVID was in order this summer and not a minute later. Masks were coming off, vaccines were getting distributed - I felt good about it. I booked a hotel in Apalachicola, FL (which looked adorable, by the way) in July, and tried to convince myself that I would be happy with that. As the days grew nearer, I started having anxiety over the whole decision. I couldn’t find anything to do that would keep my attention for a week there. Why did I think a week in Florida would give me what I needed after a year and a half of going almost nowhere? As I thought about where to travel post-COVID longer and harder, I came across a friend’s Instagram feed and she was in Hawaii. I thought “hmmm...that is technically in the United States, but that feels like the robust trip I may need.” So, I booked the airfare to Hawaii and canceled the hotel in Florida. Pet sitter got booked, and I was cooking with fire. Aloha, Hawaii, here I come!

Yes I am Fully Vaccinated

Travel Responsibly

Another decision of mine in regards to where to travel post-COVID was the vaccine. I didn’t jump on the bandwagon of getting it at first because frankly I was scared to death. I am not an anti-vaccinator, I was just unsure of it. I did a ton of thinking and deliberating about it during the couple of months that it became more accessible, and one day I booked my appointment - same day. It actually gave me great relief to know that I would be contributing to the betterment of the world by getting it, and I’d be traveling with a lot more ease. There would be more comfort in going across an ocean knowing that I was taking the most care for myself and other passengers on this journey. Hawaii does not require the vaccine to enter, but they do ask you to take a test with a negative result within 72 hours of the trip. Fair enough. And that includes if you are vaccinated.

Where to Travel Post-COVID: And Getting Lei’d

The thought process around travel has changed for many folks. It’s no big deal for some, daunting for others. For me, it’s on the daunting side. I haven’t been on a plane since December of 2019, which feels like lightyears ago. Wearing a mask for a 15 hour flight doesn’t make me super excited, but neither does catching someone’s germs. What I am excited about is writing about two islands, Kauai and Maui, all the new activities I’m going to experience, and sharing my adventures. Figuring out where to travel post-COVID was a huge decision for me, but the decision has been made and I’m ready. I’m ready for beaches, volcanoes, boat rides, and getting lei’d (I promise I am not 12 years old even though I made this evergreen joke). I hope travel welcomes me back with open arms the way I will welcome it. I’ve missed you, travel, but I am BACK!
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