It's been a while now since I've been in travel..March actually. About that time, Covid took over our country, wreaking havoc, and became a household name. The travel industry, one of many businesses, took a huge hit as tours, cruises, vacations, and honeymoons were put on permanent hold. Over 100+ AAA travel agents were reassigned into other departments, with the majority of us being relocated to roadside assistance. Our lives were turned upside down, and we once again had to train for a brand new job..new technology, new supervisors, and new schedules..all while working remote. It's been a huge adjustment and learning process...and I am finally getting into my groove. #gameon
I'm not alone in this new world scenario. I realize that 90% of my friends working are also remote, just like me. Everyone's trying to make the best of this situation. I know that many are happy to be home, while I am finally getting used to it. I do believe this is where I am going to be until, at least, mid 2021. Covid is just too unpredictable..not knowing when a surge will happen will definitely put a halt on trip planning, and even when a vaccine becomes approved, how do we trust and measure that people are taking it? How and when do we trust we can fly safely..vacation safely?? The one thing everyone is itching to do again is travel. #covid #travel
I remember booking a client's (mother/daughter) trip to Prague back in December 2019, before Covid was even a thing. She was planning to visit her son for spring break in March. This was her first time to Europe, and she was beyond excited to visit and explore. We all know how that went. The college kids abroad were all sent packing for home in February; their semesters were cut short and left completely unfulfilled. When I worked on that booking, I was so excited for the family traveling because my older daughter had gone to Scotland for a semester abroad (loved it), and my husband and son had met up with her in Dublin for St. Patrick's Day weekend...it was awesome. They created memories to last a lifetime. I know how special travel is..I live for it. When I had to cancel my client's trip due to Covid and her son being sent home early...only several weeks after he arrived, I was deeply saddened. The whole family got jipped and missed out on a great opportunity, and it was just an awful shame. I love creating memories for others, and honestly, I got jipped too.
A semester abroad teaches countless lessons in budgeting, independence, learning different cultures, and most importantly..in this tech driven era..it forces you to talk to other people..and possibly make forever friendships.
Megan met Jackie in Scotland and made a lifelong friend.
photo credit: @megan.f.hill
Dave and Ryan meeting up with Megan during her semester abroad...seems so far away!
Visiting Dublin pubs, Edinburgh Castle, and many other sites while seeing Megan.
The real deal! St. Patrick's Day parade in Dublin! #saintpatricksday
Now, fast forward to 2021, and my younger daughter, a junior at UMASS Amherst, will be missing out on her semester abroad. It's upsetting..not only because she's been dreaming of going to Italy since high school but also because she's worked extremely hard since high school and throughout college to save money for her European semester abroad. We all want life to go back to normal (missing you 2019) and get back on track. We all want our lives to continue the plans we left unfinished. #semesterabroad #collegeexperience #rome #europe #scotland #dublin #edinburgh #edinburghcastle
There will be no visiting the Colosseum for Fiona's spring 2021 semester.
With traveling abroad off the table, this might be the perfect opportunity for some of us to explore travel within our reach..not necessarily out of state but to destinations not far from home. In Massachusetts for example, there are so many beachside towns worth checking out: Hull, Gloucester, Rockport, Cape Cod, and if you haven't experienced Martha's Vineyard...get on it! Massachusetts is also central to many ski mountains..perfect for day trips or longer. If you've been putting off learning to ski, now might be the time to give it a go. I've only visited the Berkshires once. There's a lot going on there, including museums, i.e. the Norman Rockwell Museum, historical sites, spas, Jiminy Peak Ski Mountain, restaurants, shopping, and hiking. In Guilford, NH, only two hours from my home, Mount Major offers moderate to challenging hiking trails with incredible views of Lake Winnipesaukee. This massive lake is a wonderful family destination..it's perfect for a day, weekend, or week long trips. If you've never done a family lake vaca...don't wait, plan it now. #Berkshires #NormanRockwellMuseum #JiminyPeak #Hull #Rockport #CapeCod #MarthasVineyard #Guilford #MountMajor #LakeWinnipesaukee
A day in the Berkshires
We are not meant to sit still. Most of us are on-the-go, busy, and curious by nature...Desperate even to seek out whatever is new and and exciting. Discovery is part of our DNA. Covid has uprooted our lives, created fear, and would like to leave us unhinged. NOT HAPPENING! What I'm sayin' is...MORE THAN EVER, NOW is the time to look close to home to all the places you've thought about..but never made it to and e-x-p-l-o-r--e.
My girl may not make it to Europe but she is an avid hiker and nature lover. She's taking in every minute of the outdoors that she can and enjoying life to its fullest.