Travel in the era of COVID-19 is challenging. I mean, really challenging. Recently I ran across the phenomenon of the “Fake-cation.” Who knew this was a thing? People download pictures of exotic destinations, photoshop themselves into the landscape, and then post to their social media accounts as if they were traveling and enjoying the experience first-hand when actually they were staying at home. Like my puppy nephew Frankie who most decidedly did NOT climb Mt. Everest as this picture would have you believe. I mean he has heart and game, but not that much! What a strange thing for humans to do, even in the era of COVID-19 travel restrictions. A “Fake-cation” is no replacement for the battery recharge you get on a proper VA-cation.
In this era of COVID-19 we all need to be careful, and everyone’s risk tolerance is different. Janet and I refuse to put our lives on hold, but we are taking measured risks with our travel. After our recent trip to Cancun we got COVID-19 tested (negative) and have been limiting our outside contact so that when we head down to Norfolk tomorrow to see our grandkids we limit the risk to them and to Rachel. Several days later (specific date not referenced…still with the OPSEC) we will welcome home our son Rob from his 7 month deployment to the Middle East aboard the USS Eisenhower, the “Mighty Ike.” The picture is of Rob launching an F/A-18 E Super Hornet off the flight deck of the Mighty Ike as the several thousand patriots aboard that ship worked hard to protect our freedom. We have taken precautions so we can make this trip with confidence that we have done everything we can to limit the risk of bringing COVID-19 to them. We are fortunate, living in Maryland with a strong Governor who has taken this seriously and mandates the use of face masks and other protections in public venues (hand washing, hand sanitizer), our “positivity” rate has been below 5% for a couple of months, and where we live in Harford County it is even lower.
It doesn’t matter whether you go for a relaxing week on the beach, or if you take a more active approach and opt to trek up to the top of Mt. Fuji, which by the way is now on my bucket list since my son Rob will be stationed in Japan soon, a change of scenery is therapeutic. To get ready for Mt. Fuji I’m going to have to spend more time with my son Chris and chasing his Australian Shepherd Charlie to get in shape! Pearl the Chihuahua will be my support dog to recover from Charlie. And by the way, Chris has been our conscience when it comes to the concept of measured and managed risk. He works for a major health care company and on a daily basis knows of the deaths that this horrible virus is causing us. I can’t thank him enough for his counsel. As parents Janet and don’t always listen but we do value the info.
For Father’s Day Janet gave me a book which is a list of day trips to Maryland’s tidewater. I LOVE that gift. It gives me several years-worth of State-cations. When we created our travel buisiness I got a vote in the name and I chose the “Tidewater” part of Tidewater Cruise and Travel. Janet worked with her business coach to work out the rest. The Tidewater part came from where we live now in Maryland and from my family heritage which first arrived in Tidewater Virginia in 1645. Don’t know if I have ever shared that before, but yes, the name of our business has very deep meaning to both me and Janet, and it is central to our brand. Couldn’t quite figure out how to work Cornhusker in there in recognition of her family’s roots to Nebraska. Open to suggestions on that one! Anyway, my point is that just because international travel may not be in the cards for everyone, it doesn’t mean you can’t travel locally and enjoy a State-cation. You don’t need a travel agent to help you with a State-cation, though we are happy to give you our recommendations. State-cations will be the bulk of our travel throughout this fall. One of the places I REALLY want to get back to is the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge (Dorchester County, MD). If you haven’t been there and you consider yourself a Marylander you need to put it on your bucket list.
I have posted a few things about the return to travel and even the concept of an Ameri-cation…travel throughout our great country. I know I promised more, but frankly with the explosive rate of COVID-19 infections in so many states, I’m putting those posts on hiatus. Far better to do a State-cation for wherever you are, provided your positivity rate is low and you are in a lower risk demographic. Our advice until we have a vaccine for COVID-19 is to keep an eye on the positivity rate for any destination you wish to visit, and let your personal risk situation be the guide. We will continue to travel, and in fact we are deep in the planning for our next trip for September which will be an “Ameri-cation” possibly to Utah or Jackson Hole. I want to go to Telluride…ever since my sister went there for rock climbing (she is SO awesome…check her out in the picture…does that make your stomach churn?) it has been on my Ameri-cation bucket list, but the logistics aren’t going to work out this time. And yes, we will continue to travel internationally even without a COVID-19 vaccine (though I will be at the head of the line to get the vaccine once it is available), but we will do so with an eye to the positivity rate of the destinations we visit, the protections they take, and with appropriate self-quarantine and where necessary testing upon our return.
My point in this post is simple. You don’t need a “Fake-cation” … you just need to plan, think a bit outside of the box, and take proper precautions before, during, and after your travels.