Warning: this rant contains material that some readers—particularly those living in countries with more extreme lockdown measures and more restrictive travel requirements—may find supremely whiny and annoying. For that, I apologize.
Leave it to COVID to mess with my travel life once again.
Normally, I have our summer travel plans locked and loaded while there’s still snow on the ground: Destination decided. Flight booked or route mapped. Accommodations reserved. Daily itinerary more or less in final form. Heck, I might even have my Travel Packing & To Do List printed and sitting primly on the desk. No harm in being prepared.
But here we are, early May, and . . . nothin.’
We are trying desperately to get back to England this summer. A tragic and unexpected death in the family this past winter necessitated our first—and hopefully last—Zoom funeral and has us yearning to be back with loved ones to share hugs, offer support, and generally just be together.
A travel corridor between the US and UK may be on the horizon. This is our golden ticket. Not only do we need the UK to let us vaccinated folk in unhindered, but we also need the US to do the same. As unlikely as COVID infections are among vaccinated individuals, they do happen, and it would be just my luck to get an asymptomatic infection—or God forbid, a symptomatic one from some, say, horrid new Antarctic variant (B.6.6.6)—that prevents me from boarding my flight home to pay the bills, spring the rabbit from “summer camp,” maintain the home, free my garden from the weeds of travel-related neglect, and do the 462 other things I put off all school year with the promise of “I’ll get to it during summer break.”
Also, I’ve heard of people missing their returning flight because their COVID test results didn’t come back in time. That’s a lot of stress, man.
If sufficiently relaxed intercontinental border crossings are not forthcoming, however, we will scramble to make some sort of domestic travel plans, but until I know for sure, I can’t make any plans of any kind, and it’s driving me batty!
So what do I do while I wait to see if the US and UK will agree to scratch each other’s backs? I waste hours of time I don’t have Google Mapping road trip routes I can’t take, researching flights I can’t buy, and drooling over accommodations someone else will be staying in:
- Beach vacation on the islands off of Sarasota, Florida
- Eastern Oregon road trip with the travel trailer and the bikes
- Fly/drive trip to California—Santa Barbara to Paso Robles, or San Jose to Paso Robles, or a giant circle that hits Lake Tahoe, Monterey, Carmel, and Yosemite
- Braving the heat and humidity of the Southeast in Charleston, South Carolina
- Out to Colorado to apologize to Leadville for cheating on it last year with Fairplay
And this is just my frontrunner list. The possibility of petsitting around the country? If I let myself go down that rabbit hole, I probably won’t even make it to work this week.
My love of travel coupled with my inability to live in the present and my slightly obsessive nature are conspiring to do me in.
So what is a travel architect to do? Take a deep breath and wait . . . and dream . . . and hope the husband doesn’t notice that I’ve left the dishes half done and nearly all the tasks on today’s “must do” list unchecked because I’ve spent the last three hours playing around on Skyscanner.