This is the first time in my adult life that I’m not obsessively tracking international flights to find the best deals. Traveling abroad may not be the first thing that comes to mind during a pandemic. The good news is, there are ways to feel the euphoria of exploring a new destination without jeopardizing your health. You don’t have to risk your life to travel and you also don’t have to sit on your couch crying about your canceled family trip to Europe that was supposed to be this weekend. Let’s get you off the couch and into a good mood with a better option than starting a Tik Tok account.
The pandemic has put international travel on hold, but domestic travel is still open for business. The best part about domestic travel is that you don’t need to hop on a plane, public transportation or stay in a hotel to explore your country. Grab your car, order some camping gear, and use your extra time to discover uncharted spots in your home state. Domestic travel is going to be the new normal and the Netflix series you started will be there when you return home. Yes, I miss frolicking around Europe, floating in the Caribbean and motorbiking through Asia, but I’d rather travel domestically and most importantly, stay safe.
National and state parks are great places to start exploring in your local area. Stepping outside of the house automatically boosts your endorphins and a weekend soaking in the sun is just the cure you need for quarantine fatigue. Plus, you can safely socially distance outside while visiting national and state parks to avoid public transportation and airplanes. Most parks are open but check the park website for camping and trail statuses on the day you leave. You can make hiking, biking, and swimming at a local park your reality. Another perk is that most paid parks are waiving entry fees right now.
Remote work is also becoming the new normal. If you dream of working remotely from anywhere, what would that look like for you? I am from Manhattan, quarantining in Florida and tossing around the idea of moving to Colorado in the Fall. When researching quarantine living options, I am on the hunt for cities with unlimited outdoor activities and a metropolitan area so I can explore outdoors, but have groceries delivered safely. There are endless possibilities. If you can afford it, renting an RV and traveling to national parks across the country would be incredible. Have you ever wanted to live in Georgia? California? Hawaii? Oregon? Go for it! Take advantage of the opportunity to make that dream a reality even if it’s only for a few months.
We are supposed to be in Portugal as I write this blog, but with international travel canceled we are bringing Portugal to us. This weekend we are cooking a traditional Portuguese meal, dancing to Portugal Top 100 songs on Spotify, and drinking the best Portuguese white wine I can find. It doesn’t make up for the Euro trip we planned, but once travel does open again this at-home travel experience will make the adventure even more special. I already have my 2021 travel destinations picked out and am tracking flights to make it happen. There’s hope for future international travel, but sitting on an 8-hour flight right now is a little too risky for my taste.
These ideas can get you off the couch, exploring nature and following your dreams, if only temporarily, during this new normal. Your international travel plans may be on hold, but you don’t have to pout on your couch with a gallon of ice cream to get over it. Take advantage of this extra time you have to step outside of your comfort zone to explore your neighborhood outdoors or work remotely from a new city. There are endless possibilities for traveling safely during a pandemic. All you have to do is keep your head up, stay safe, and think outside the box.