Travel Reflections

I was fortunate enough last weekend to catch up with a good friend, his wife, and newborn along with another friend who lives in that area. What follows are a few of my musings from that time.

First off, I personally have some conversational awkwardness. While this is always true to a certain extent, it has been exacerbated by the pandemic. Mainly in that my nervous loquaciousness is bursting loose after about a year of hibernation. I have noticed this in interactions with other friends around where I live, but it really came out over the weekend.

Thankfully, after a solid 24 hours of hanging out, we all calmed down some. I say “we” as this awkwardness was not contained to only myself, though it manifested slightly differently for all of us.

Another note is that there is significant travel demand pent up amongst myself and others like me who have friends and family scattered everywhere. We all want to go fun places and see new things, maybe revisit a favorite locale, but at the same time we also need to go see this person who lives hundreds or thousands of miles away.

Accomplishing every trip that we want to do is not feasible. All we can do is prioritize in 2021 and punt the rest to 2022 and beyond. Even if all restrictions are lifted by the end of 2021, I expect the pent-up travel demand to extend into 2023 as we all play catch up.

Plus, there is nothing like telling all people, “you can’t do this” to enflame a desire to want to do exactly that. It will be interesting to see how long high travel demand lasts, or if it falls off. I know for my parents, their sense of urgency around trips they want to do has increased from COVID lockdown.

And last, humans are infinitely adaptable. It took a little time for me to get used to grabbing a mask before I left the house, but I adapted. Now I am working my way into a new norm. Namely that I grab the mask, but don’t put it on upon leaving the house as walking outdoors when fully vaccinated has been deemed acceptable.

Two of my friends and their baby, a third friend, and myself grabbed lunch. We chose to sit indoors to avoid the sun on a hot day, and that was an acceptable choice to all of us as we are vaccinated. This is something that none of us would have done back in early April. Yet here we are in mid-May enjoying each other’s company in a familiar environment.

Those moments stand out from this trip. Now I can’t wait for my next trip and see how life has changed in another month.

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