I think most passionate adventurers are facing some type of plan cancellation. A trip or quick visit to a favorite locale. Colorado is closing all bars and restaurants for dine-in starting Tuesday, March 17, 2020 which means St. Patrick’s Day will be very different for Americans. I am fretting on a late May trip, and a dear friend and colleague isn’t sure about a Florida in two and a half weeks. Disappointment is a heavy air.
That being said, I know most of us have had travels go a little off course, or completely wrong, so here are my reminders, from traveling, to help us get through the next 2 to 8 weeks/months.
- Be flexible – remember that sometimes adjusting plans by a few days, weeks, or months can mean big savings. While this is forcing people to reevaluate their plans, and not with much kindness, it may end up better overall. Given the state of things, I promise a time in the future will be better to travel.
- Plan ahead – having some things figured out helps with travel and helps with the day to day. Maybe it is because I grew up in the mountains (30 minutes from the closets grocery store), but I always keep some canned goods in the cupboards, extra toilet paper and paper towels, and at least half a tank of gas. For traveling, I have extra money, contacts for an emergency, an emergency credit card, and a cell phone. These few things can make the world easier all the time. I don’t think you need to hoard ANYTHING, but have enough for a week or three.
- Evaluate your needs– when you are traveling you don’t pack EVERYTHING in case you may want to wear your peep toe heels. NO you evaluate the necessities for clothes and accessories and make due without the rest. Think about this right now, you don’t NEED to go out or NEED to eat out. It’s okay to take a break, and cook at home. Maybe you can make it a new habit event?
- Think of what is most important – your family and loved ones are the most important. If you are a parent, you wouldn’t go climb Mt. Everest potentially leaving your young child an orphan. You would way and measure risk. You would not go visit your sick grandma if you had a cold. This whole self-isolation thing is meant to reduce the risk for sick and vulnerable people. Do it for the love of those you care about. If you have no one, do it for someone else that does. Your trip to Disney World is not more important than keeping the public safe. It may feel important, but it’s not that important.
- Learn to adapt – when you go to a foreign culture you adapt to life there. The language, food, and social norms. Play a game, pretend everything is new and foreign. It sounds silly, but you may observe new things about yourself and your community that is inspiring and reflective. This could leave to positive social change too. Maybe you don’t know about kids on free and reduced lunch, maybe now is a great chance to learn about food needs in the community. Maybe you can make a goal to help out locals more.
- Research and talk to experts – when you travel, you make plans based off of information from experts. Sometimes it is a book, sometimes it is a Travel Advisor. In the Covid-19 land of weird time, talk to medical experts, read advisories from the CDC and WHO, and follow local government recommendations.
- Make joy – sometimes you may plan a camping trip and it gets snowed out. Or you plan to go sailing and a hurricane shows up. These things are unfortunate, but they happen. In light of these and other events, make some joy somewhere else. Pick up a book, watch some favorite movies, and call your friends and family. Make the best of it and everything will feel better.
- Be smart – don’t buy into the panic and lies that circulate around social media. If people tell you everyone in London is rude, do you believe it or wait until you are there to decide? My life has shown me rumors are often wrong and perception is skewed by the person witnessing the event. Therefore, do your own research, learn, and adjust your
- Be kind – as anyone that travels can say, travel offers a fantastic chance to make friends and to practice kindness. My suggestion is to be kind, always, and work as hard as possible to be patient, kind, and caring.