Welcome 2021! As a new year dawns, I am usually reminiscing over a glorious trip just taken. I primarily spend the festive holiday period with family, either immediate or extended, and have been very fortunate to travel to some very dreamy locations while celebrating. My most recent Decembers have taken me to the ski slopes of the Rockies, Egypt, Southeast Asia, European Christmas Markets, the Panama Canal, Turkey, and many different ports in the Caribbean. My wanderings prior to 2020 were bucket list worthy and I truly felt very blessed for all the magnificent experiences I have had. Then came 2020; life got upended and neither my life nor my travel has returned to any sense of normal.
Fast forward to the end of October and my plan to take a trip to see my parents. Traveling during a global pandemic takes planning. Among other things it’s being aware of the various travel restrictions enforced by any state or country and knowing your “travel risk tolerance”. For me, one of the most important things was the safety of the loved ones I wanted to spend time with. I came to the decision that an extended visit was the ideal way to remain as safe as possible while being able to enjoy that quality time with my family. The length of stay necessitated my 2 dogs joining my husband and I on this adventure. A new lesson was then learned. When you have 2 dogs and one of them is over 35 pounds, available lodging choices are reduced considerably. For me, the best option was to stay at my father's house.
In November, I arrived by car with 2 dogs to Longboat Key Florida. This was not a vacation in my true sense of the word -- no 5* service or experiences I've been dreaming about. No bucket list items-- but rather a road trip and relocation to location very familiar to me. With this trip, I became part of the "slow movement" travel trend focusing on a single location for an extended period of time.
Initially, the plan was to stay the month of November. But as I write this it's early January, and we are all still here. I could say we stayed because of the weather (which is true) or the beaches (also true), or the spectacular sunsets (of course true) or maybe the varied animal life you can view daily (I do love dolphins, manatees, and the million types of birds I see daily), but that would be missing the essence of this trip which was quality time with family.
Now that it's 2021, I am cautiously optimistic that some new normal will be achieved in life generally and in travel particularly. I have begun to start planning to make my travel dreams a reality by planning a trip to Greece in the fall of 2021. You may ask why the optimism. The answer is simple, the first thing I did on January 1, 2021 was take my 90 year old father to get a COVID-19 Vaccine. I can't think of better way to start this year and to start dreaming positively about the future and a nice family vacation! Happy New Year!