What Travel Was and Will Be

Photo by Dominika Roseclay on Pexels.com

Memory can be fickle. I have vivid memories of my family’s first cross-country road trip made when I was about 10 or 12 years old. Yet, someone recently ask me when my last business trip was and dang, that threw me for a loop. Especially when I remembered (finally) that it was less than a month ago. Was that memory loss or selective memory?

Probably a bit of both.

You see that epic family cross-country road trip was an exciting, once in a lifetime adventure for us, one that required months of advance planning and research done long before the availability of Dr. Google, MapQuest, and click-click-click.

Last month’s business trip? A client asked, “Can you be there next week?” and off I went because that’s just what I do. I manage meetings for a living and that involves travel. A lot of it. Or, at least it did pre-Pandemic. But we all know the travel landscape has changed now, and many things we used to take for granted – hopping on a plane at a moment’s notice – are causing us to pause. And that’s probably a good thing. Not just because we’ve all read about how much cleaner the earth’s air is now minus the excessive carbon footprints left from compulsive, non-stop air travel along with the positive effects of massive groups of tourists missing from destinations that were being overwhelmed by those visitors.

But also because, let’s face it, sometimes we just need to stay home, put a couple of ice cubes in a short glass along with a splash of Jack Daniels and simply pull the plug.

Photo by Maria Pop on Pexels.com

AmIrightaboutthis?

Pretty sure I am, and plenty of others agree, too.

Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.

Anne Lamott

So back to the travel discussion, I can remember that family road trip because it was a big old fashioned adventure, not a task or a job or an assignment, nor did it fall into that head scratching category of “mandatory two week vacation” (NOTE: no one has ever had to command me to take a break!). And when I think of what travel was in the past I do think more in terms of adventure.

Adventure (noun) – A value of a moment that becomes a lifetime memory.

As for future travel? I think we’re already seeing the result of humanity being cooped up and told not to go places for far too long. Since I’ve already been on planes and checked into hotels (apparently quite recently), I speak with the voice of confidence when I share a couple of TML travel tips as you navigate the waters ahead:

  • lower your expectations
  • pack your patience

Most importantly, understand that we’re all a little bit rusty right now and this is going to be a bit harder than just getting back on the bike and peddling again. There’s a new term, “relearning to travel”, being tossed about and for good reason. Airlines, hotels, even major attractions are all redefining service standards and, trust me, you’re not going to like where this is headed. At a time when we crave – more than ever – to be pampered and handled with care it’s just not gonna happen. Yet. Even with vaccinations and masks, we are still at the stage where the yellow flag of caution is flying high and wide above our heads, and maybe that’s a good thing.

But as the saying goes, “Let’s not waste a good crises!” Let’s take what we’ve learned during this pause and start working on our next big adventure.

Travel used to be an adventure, but can we ever find our way back to that type of journey?  Sometimes it's nice not to know what's around the corner, and all signs are pointing to shaping our future travel by remembering the past.  It's all up ahead.
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It’s out there, and all you need to do is plan ahead. Way ahead.

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Just your average middle age gal trying to deal with career/life/family changes and issues while studying people and places, one lobby bar at a time.

6 thoughts on “What Travel Was and Will Be

  1. Excellent points here.

    I wrote about a similar thing, wondering what travel was going to be heading toward.

    Do you think the brief break that the world had is going to be something that will help it? Or do you think that we’re just going to have a blowback of travel (best phrase I could think of) where people travel a lot because they haven’t had it for so long?

    Sorry for the long-winded question!

    Like

    1. Hi Kyle, and thanks for reading and commenting! You pose and excellent question, and in my humble opinion that brief break probably wasn’t long enough to get the job completely done (meaning get the pandemic under control, if that’s even a possibility given the worldwide scope of it). On the plus side, that pause has been meaningful to some frequent travelers, and we should all be hopeful that anyone currently making future travel plans will be more thoughtful and respectful of where they are going and why instead of just thinking “gotta get back out there” to check another location off the bucket list. The quote, “Don’t stop because of fear. Move because of purpose” seems to be a good outlook at this point!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Linda – thanks fore reading and commenting! And, when you do get ready to board that first airplane again, get ready to experience some travel weirdness! It’s not just not the same anymore, and best if we travelers plan accordingly. As mentioned above, make sure to pack your patience!

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      1. Patients for sure! Worked Hilton Orlando last month. Hotel packed with 3 grps. Mine was 3k, A Baptist conference, & a girls dance competition. šŸ˜µ
        Hotel clearly still a bit understaffed. But I can only speak for myself that I treated the ones that DID come to work with patients and professional respect. Got an email after I checked out to review hotel. I read other’s that where there within a month. A few trash reviews all stemming from short staff. “Didn’t clean my room everyday, No bell services, Restaurants packed and no room service, denied a late check out.” Given the COVID situation and staffimg issues, they sounded so pretentious!!!
        I left a positive review under the circumstances and chastised the other rude reviews of reality and having patients and treat the ones that DO come to work with respect. “Get over yourselves!! Things are not yet back to normal!!”
        But then I’ve always been the one to defend the customer service rep when being abused. YUP, I’m the one in line that calls out the person for their behavior and tells them to stop abusing CS rep. COVID had nothing to do with me changing my principles and defending those being abused

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Linda – totally agree with your perspective of treating everyone with respect and that’s needed even more so now that everyplace is understaffed. The world would be a lot better if that were the norm everywhere! I actually had to stop at the Hilton for a client meeting during those conferences so I know it was chaotic! At least we’re both working again!

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