All right, who else is bored during the COVID-19 outbreak? We not only can’t travel, but we can’t leave the damn house unless we are 6 feet away from others. Very, very weird times. But have you stopped to think what COVID-19 should teach us? How we can shift and change for the better because of it?
Many of us, unfortunately, had a trip canceled because of the virus. And we can’t reschedule since we don’t know when this is all going to end. Now, it will end. And life will return to normal. But what happens sometimes when things end? We forget they ever even happened in the first place. We go back to doing everything we were doing before.
For example, we attend a work conference and we leave feeling motivated and ready to tackle new things. But then a week later, we’re right back in our regular routine, forgetting everything we learned. Or another one—we finally put all of our clothes away and promise ourselves that we are going to start putting them in the laundry basket or right back on the hanger. But what happens after a week (or less—guilty)? We have piles of clothes all over again!
We’re only human. This happens ALL OF THE TIME. And it’s usually not a big deal. But this is a pandemic. We’re NEVER going to forget this. It’s going to be something we bring up for the rest of our lives. So knowing all of that…
Wouldn’t it make sense that COVID-19 should teach us a few things?
YES. The answer is yes. COVID-19 should teach us a bunch of things—that hanging out with our family is important, things like reading and puzzles are fun, slowing down is key, and cleaning out our cupboards is probably a good thing to do even when it’s not a pandemic.
And what about travel? It’s canceled and there’s not much we can do. But what can we learn from it? What should we do and how can we change when we are on our next trip? Here are my thoughts…
…even when you travel. It can be easy to go from one experience to the next. Hop around the city to all the cool spots as fast as you can because you don’t want to miss anything. Go through the motions somewhere because you are worried about doing something else. Scarf down a meal so you can make it to the next thing on the list. But COVID-19 should teach us to take it all in. Experience it and enjoy it!
- On a hike? Don’t feel the need to hurry back down to get somewhere else. Stand there for a minute. Breathe. Appreciate.
- Visiting an attraction like the Space Needle or Empire State Building? Soak it up! Don’t get somewhere just so you can take a picture and leave. Learn a thing or two about it.
- Pick a new, local restaurant? Great! Take your time. Have a few different courses and enjoy the atmosphere.
- Beach Day? Lay in the sun, read a book, and feel the sand—guilt-free! We don’t need to be everywhere at once.
We may feel a pull to do it all. But if we remove the rush and overwhelm, we might just enjoy our trips and experiences even more!
Don’t Spread Your Germs!
I used to scoff at people who brought cleaning wipes on an airplane. Is that really necessary? But now I think I will be singing a new tune. No, there isn’t always going to be a pandemic going on and I don’t want to become a clean freak. That said, being more mindful isn’t going to hurt. Airports and airplanes aren’t the cleanest places, and we can do our part by washing our hands, giving seats and tray tables a wipe, and using some hand sanitizer. Once we can get our hands on those things again…
Support Small Businesses
We have been seeing it all over the place throughout these challenging times. Small businesses are really struggling right now and need our help. But guess what? They always do! Yes, Amazon is amazing and has completely changed our world. But think twice when you are traveling and find ways to support small, local businesses.
- Food: It’s fun to go to the popular hot spots but mix in a few small, family-owned restaurants, too. You will find hidden gems, be able to share your “secret” with family/friends, and get a better overall feel of the city by hanging out with locals vs. tourists.
- Shop: Boutiques are a great place for souvenirs that support small businesses. Buy homemade cards, soaps, art, etc.
- Morning Jolt: Skip Starbucks. Small, local coffee shops are where it’s at. And in my experience, the baristas are always full of joy, there’s great music and the best, most cozy surroundings.
- Sweet Tooth: Skip dessert at the restaurant and stop at a small ice cream shop or candy store on the way home. Spread the wealth!
- Equipment Rentals: See if you can find a local ma and pop shop that rents bikes, scooters, kayaks or whatever you’re looking to do. The easiest company to find is probably the biggest. Spend 5 extra minutes seeing if you can find a small one!
- Workout: Find a yoga or boxing studio. (Okay yeah, this is stretching it. We don’t work out on vacation, but I am running out of ideas lol.)
- PLUS! Share all these places on your socials—they love word of mouth! Or word of newsfeed…
We all know I’m all about budgets and this isn’t saying to go spend all your money. It’s just a tip to consider when only a few extra dollars could help people out in a bigger way than we realize!
Appreciate Interactions with People
Vacations are a great time to connect—something COVID-19 is teaching us isn’t always possible! That includes both those we are with and those we meet along the way. Talk. Engage. Learn from others. Nothing can tell you about a place quite like its people. Sit down at a bar and strike up a conversation with the bartenders. Talk to those sharing the beach with you. Ask Uber drivers where they are from, waiters where their favorite place to eat is, tour guides what they do for fun, and store owners what brought them to this city.
And your travel buddies? Appreciate the time with them! Your dad might be making the dumbest jokes, your teenager might roll his eyes every 8 minutes, and your friend might want to stop in every shop you walk by, but just embrace it. Deep breaths go a long way!
Don’t Take Your Trips for Granted
We had travel taken away from us. And it probably won’t be the last time in our lifetime that a trip is canceled or postponed. But COVID-19 should teach us that when we do get to travel, take a second to appreciate what you are doing! Once you touch down on the runway, remind yourself not to take things for granted and that you made it! Sometimes it takes something being taken away from us to appreciate it’s true value! Make the most of every trip.
There will be an end.
This too shall pass. Even if it seems like forever away. The important thing is, what are we going to learn from it? Are we going to change the way we live, the way we travel? Or will we go back to the same way we always did things before?