Would you give up sex if it meant you could travel again?

Oh the places we’ll go…or the places we used to go…or the places we’d love to go. The pandemic has shattered many travel plans.

Yesterday’s double-take headline

Thirty-eight percent of Americans would give up sex for a year, just to travel again. And 80 percent of us feel that travel is part of a well-rounded life.

Wait a minute! Did I hear that right? Yesterday’s newscast headline made me stop in my tracks and investigate the soundbite in detail. Who would give up sex to travel? What program is that?

Turns out it is not a program or a new virtual reality show. Just a silly survey a travel company conducted.

Most of us (except my husband) have been missing traveling the past year. Traveling to see grandkids, traveling to have lunch with girlfriends or to water aerobics classes. Traveling to our getaway vacations.

My husband doesn’t miss traveling because he spent 32 years traveling as a military pilot to places all over the world. He likes home. He’d rather be at home. Well, he’s had ample time to be at home this year and he has a really good excuse not to indulge my need to travel, because we’ve been stuck at home in a pandemic.

And even though I’ve traveled all over Central and South America, many years ago, and even though I’m pretty content to stay home and stay busy, I miss traveling…a lot.

Vaccinations could open things up soon

I get my first Covid vaccination next Tuesday. Within a month, when I get that second shot, I’ll feel free for the first time in a year. As long as I have a mask with me, I won’t hesitate to get in my car and just go. But I know that it won’t be the same as it was before the pandemic.

In fact, a few weeks ago I had to travel to Kansas City to sign closing documents on the sale of my house there. We had an hour to kill that day and tried to find someplace to grab a sandwich. The part of the city where I had the closing used to be thriving. It was deserted. Still. Talk about depressing! We’re talking ghost-town, science fiction, end-of-the-world depressing! I had thought there would not be so many businesses still shuttered now.

Signs at local bars and restaurants may soon turn from Closed to Open.

So, even when we get our vaccines, even when people start traveling again, things are not going to be as easy as they were before the pandemic. Apparently we’re going to have to hold on a bit longer. We may have to even adjust our travel habits a bit once we can get back on the road. I guess travel agencies and airlines and cruise lines are recognizing that, because my cousin Susie has already received notice that trips she had planned for this year are being rescheduled for 2022.

Talk about agony!

What to do while we’re waiting to travel again

So, what do we do while we’re waiting to pursue our passions for travel and the need we have to go places? Well, I’m no expert, but I’m trying to be patient and do as many things virtually as possible. Here are some ideas that popped into my aging brain while pondering yesterday’s headline:

Have you noticed how many little red thingamabobs there are on Google Maps in your area? Follow those thingamabobs on a local journey of discovery.
  • The first thing I plan to do is update my passport. That’s been on my to-do list ever since I got remarried and changed my name. But I keep putting it off. I want to go back to Brazil one of these days. I’d really love to go to Europe… And that brings me to the next suggestion.
  • Start a bucket list of places you’d like to go. You probably already have one, or you have things already checked off a bucket travel list. But this is a fun activity. It’s fun to dream and imagine the places you’ll go.
  • Since everything is online these days, start taking virtual trips on YouTube, or read a travel book or magazine to help grow your bucket list. Attend a virtual concert.
  • Start making a list of places you’d like to go in the state where you live. There are so many places I have yet to explore in Topeka and in Kansas. Western Kansas, with its unique limestone formations, is now at the top of my Visit Kansas bucket list.
  • To help make up your places to visit list, subscribe to email lists or blogs about travel. Connect with your local tourism department and download the state travel brochure.
  • Haul out your old travel photos and put them in an album, virtual or physical, and relive the places you’ve already been and the trips you’ve already taken.
  • Dig out your last travel journal. If you didn’t journal about your last trip, or document it in a photo book or album, start a new travel journal and write about the places you’d like to go. Also, why not just journal about your feelings and frustrations about not traveling?
  • Try to recapture the memories of the most amazing trip you ever took. What did it do for your five senses? What did it sound like? Feel like? Taste and smell like? Write about that as if you’re sitting down and having a face-to-face visit with your grandchildren.

If you follow any of my suggestions, I’ll bet that before you know it, you’ll actually be taking a trip. And for sure, you won’t be taking traveling for granted. In fact, there are many things in addition to travel we won’t be taking for granted anymore.

The face of travel is changing dramatically; mostly due to the need for face masks.

We will get through this difficult time. Spring is almost here. In the meantime, while we wait, keep your mind active and your heart light by taking or planning trips in your imagination.

If you need help getting a journaling practice started, whether for traveling, gardening or just documenting your life, check out this Personal Chapters video blog, or ask to be part of our Facebook Group Memoir Mentors where you’ll get weekly vlogs and suggestions for capturing your memories and starting your memoir.