Regular readers know my long-standing love of travel. And, COVID-19 notwithstanding, I have taken time to travel this summer. As much as I love New Orleans, it’s been wonderful to get away from the city. Seeing the beauty of nature, spending time with my family, these are some of the great pleasures leisure travel affords, and they’ve been enormously restorative and rewarding for me.
But something has been missing – and I’ve only recently realized what it was. It was people. The people whom, formerly, I would meet, talk with, maybe share a cup of coffee, a glass of wine. Many of these people have become my friends over the years.
Travel is supposed to minimize distance between people – in their own towns, cities, countries, we learn to drop our assumptions about others. People are never stereotypes – they are individuals, and engaging with them is one of the most important and enlightening gifts travel can provide.
But, how do you minimize distance when safety, or at least regulation, requires six feet of distance between you and the next person?
How can we truly see each other, behind our masks? How are we to connect when we are told it is only safe to do so virtually, rather than person-to-person?
I have no easy answers, only hard questions. I can only hope the essential gregariousness and curiosity of the human family will bring us back to connecting with the people we encounter, both locally and while traveling.
I will always love travel – it will always have rewards for me. But if we are unable interact on more than a superficial level with the people we meet along the way, the rewards are diminished, and that’s a sad thing.
Have you found ways to travel and connect during the pandemic? Both safely and meaningfully?
Please click here to email me directly – I would love to hear your stories – and maybe get a few tips!
Until next Wednesday –