Wanderlust During a Global Pandemic

This article describes some of the ways I’m coping with various travel restrictions in place during the pandemic in 2020. After the initial panic subsided during the pandemic this year, my wanderlust set in. Canceling our trip to Savannah scheduled to occur during the last week of May 2020 was one of the easiest, but most painful decisions. This was the first time I can recall our scuttling such a complete trip. Our December trip, for which we’ve booked lodging but not airfare is international. The destination was at one point a hotspot. So even though it is months away, that trip is in questionable status. 

We tend to live from vacation to vacation. That next trip on the horizon sustains us. To say we live to travel, to explore, to go on adventures is not an understatement. In this time when travel is ill-advised at best and outright forbidden in many cases, how can two wanderers find joy?

Virtual tours of places we hope to visit offered little comfort. I did enjoy reading articles from travel-related publications and watching documentaries. The National Geographic content included with our Disney+ subscription has been lovely. Eventually, in early May, I started pitching travel deals to Mr. Vine. This is an old habit; something I’ve done for years and it felt good to reinstate it. Mr. Vine, ever practical, rejects most of the ideas–too soon, too expensive, too close to the December trip, or the situation remains too uncertain. Rejecting most of my trip pitches is also an old habit for Mr. Vine. 

I’m feeling the pent up desire to explore. It’s hard to narrow down where I most want to go next. I’ve considered safaris in Africa, a week in the Maldives, all-inclusive resorts across the Caribbean, Paris, Amsterdam, Italy and everywhere in between. I have looked at photos taken in previously visited locales and dreamed about returning to Sweden, Budapest, Istanbul and Japan. Although, if I’m being honest, at this point I simply hope that we can proceed with our December trip as planned. 

To summarize, we are coping by believing we will travel again. In the spirit of that hope, we continue to scout for travel deals. We plan imaginary trips. We check availability for our timeshare. 

We are also using this time when we’re forced to be still to remember past trips. This is the first time we have been quite so reflective. Mr. Vine always enjoys a recap of each vacation–what went well, what didn’t go so well and most importantly, how can we translate those lessons into better future travel. 

A combination of the reflection and light planning guides us now. We lean towards the familiar. The idea of revisiting a known and beloved destination especially appeals to us right now. Those destinations within an easy drive are beginning to seem realistic to us. All of the places we used to go on a moment’s notice, but now require careful consideration. When regular life is so fraught with uncertainty, visiting a place where we already know our way around or speak the language or love the food sounds perfect. 

How are you adapting to travel restrictions? What will make you feel ready to explore again, if you aren’t already? Where are some of the places you’re considering when travel is again allowed?

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