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Getting Back to Traveling

John Steinbeck Cannery Row Monument at Monterey Bay

After over a year of Covid imposed isolation, I was ready to get back to traveling — but was I?

Over that 18 months or so, while being pretty much quarantined, I got to see an awful lot on Zoom, even met some friends — most far away, and few that I might ever meet in person. Yep, Zoom had many advantages: no commuting, sitting in my comfortable chair, and going to specialized events all over the world.

But what I missed most was the immediate reaction to jokes and the real-time ability to sing together.

So, with following the several vaccinations, Adele and I thought we were ready to head out.

Our first plan was to cruise to Cabo, Mexico. But when the Covid surged in Mexico, we cancelled.

Since then, we have taken a few trips and here's some of the things that have made me wary:

1. Vacations are far more costly than Zoom. And they are getting more so.

2. Transportation, including the cost of driving is getting more expensive.

3. Hotels have gone to a minimal service program — rarely changing sheets or collecting trash.

4. Traffic is tedious, long drives, crazy drivers and frequent crash delays.

5. Masks are annoying. It is difficult to sing while wearing one — even difficult to be understood. You don't know who you are talking to and they get uncomfortable and may make it hard to breath while singing or exercising — too much carbon dioxide build-up.

6. The mask mandate sometimes gets silly — for instance when entering a restaurant, you are required to wear a mask just to go a dozen feet to you table where you can take off your mask.

7. Rules for visiting different countries, and even different states and counties vary. In California, mask mandates vary by county. So in going to a vacation destination, one stop is masks required, another stops is masks not required.

8. Some places require vaccinations. Some require proof. Some require vaccinations plus a test. Some require nothing.

9. Besides all this, being isolated for so long meant that my social and physical skills were on the wane.

10. Now that I am taking baby steps to get back into society, I'm finding that, as it has been said, you can't go back into the same river you left. Some old friends are gone. Some Zoom friends are on line. Some new friends are being nurtured. Got to figure out how to make it all work out.

So, good luck and happy trails to you until we meet again.

~ Al Zagofsky








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