To the restless souls reading this website: Don't worry, we will travel again.
Even as government shutdowns are being enforced, some of us doing so. Risky as it may be, we justify our travels as essential. We need to tend to loved ones who live miles away.
However, each state has imposed their own rules regarding vehicular travel within and between their jurisdictions. It may be a hassle or an inconvenience, but we will get through this by complying with the rules until we are assured that the virus is under control.
While the world awaits the "all clear," we can dream. We can think about where we want to go when this is all over. We can think ahead to the freedom we want to reclaim.
One wonders if we will see the world the same way we did before the pandemic reared its head onto this planet. I don't know. Maybe things will be different. Maybe not. It depends on how each place responds to a post-COVID-19 world.
But, we can still dream. We can plan on a contingent basis. We can think about places to go and estimate a budget for such an adventure. We can do that from the comfort of our self-quarantine space.
We can look back at our old vacation photos for inspiration. Captured memories of risky selfies to great landscapes. Each image is a reminder of how things were back then. We were happy.
We can also peruse the web. We can see what’s out there for air fares, hotel rooms, rental cars, and sites you want to see while you're there. Then, file it all away when the day comes for you to get out of your homes and roam freely again.
In the meantime, we can secure immediate fiscal security for when we become free of this pandemic. We can put our plans into motion. We will be ready for immediate departure.
And, don't worry, the airlines will be ready. They have been flying all this time, albeit on a smaller scale. All they need to do is to dust off those parked planes and get them ready for an increased schedule again. The Transportation Security Administration’s staff will be ready to scan you and your carry-on bags before you fly. Customs agents, restaurant, and airport staff will be buzzing around to welcome you back to the jet set.
Most hotels remained open during these times. Those that closed will be ready for business again. Other hotels purposed for pandemic care will return to the comfortable rooms you expected from that property. The front desk and the staff will be ready to serve you again.
Rental car lots will be brimming with vehicles again. They have been operating all along, just like everyone else. You might get lucky and get an upgrade of several classes for your next vacation or business trip – just to welcome you back.
Gas stations have been pumping out fuel at lower pump prices during the pandemic. Their essential need have been a lifeline for truckers carrying goods to other essential businesses, as well as other essential workers on the front lines. They are already waiting for you to return. The prices might go back to pre-pandemic levels, but you will be ready to get back on the road and fill your vehicle up.
Restaurants will be back, too! Their dining rooms have been waiting to welcome you back to try their best dishes. Wait staff will be back to take your order and serve you. There is so much you can do through delivery services to mimic the ambience of the paces you love to go. While your cooking skills may have improved during your stay-at-home order by the government, you do miss the warmth and freshness of a great meal at your favorite spot.
Let's not forget about the bars, the clubs, the music venues, the sports arenas, the theater, the orchestra hall, the opera house, and the cinema! They will be spruced up to welcome you back! You cannot starve an artist or athlete for too long!
The walls of your home will remain in place. The world outside will be there. We will bridge this gap in our lives to fulfill the ultimate sigh of relief from this pandemic.
And, yes, we will travel again.
All photos by Randy Stern