A little over a year ago, I boarded my first flight, of what would be 36+ flights over the course of the pandemic. My trip was to Aspen, which I consider a second home. I have to admit, I was pretty nervous on that Delta NYC-to-Salt Lake flight. I even brought gloves, which by the way, are totally useless. Many of you are taking your first trips as we emerge on the other side of the pandemic. It’s time to welcome back travel. Let’s talk about that.
First, before we go into travel, I think we all need to give ourselves credit for surviving last year without losing our s—. Yes, for some it was touch and go, but we made it through. With more than half our country vaccinated and 8+ states at the magic 70% threshold, life can return to normal. However, it’s not like it’s a flip of a switch. Give yourself a break and take your own time, on your own terms. Life coming to a halt one year ago is as traumatic an experience as they come. Let’s face it, we’re all suffering various levels of PTSD. So a little kindness to ourselves is how I would suggest rejoining society.
Your first trip on a crowded airplane, where that empty middle seat is as common as a unicorn nowadays, may be a little out of body. Expect the airports to be crowded as well, and if you’re traveling internationally, get ready for COVID tests pre and post. Depending on where and for how long you travel, you may also have to test during your trip. The airlines are doing their best to get back at it, but be ready to roll with the unexpected. International travel will take patience and flexibility. As long as you level set this expectation, you will only be pleasantly surprised when things run smoothly. And well, if they don’t, you’re in a good frame of mind to manage.
During the pandemic, I said that it was safer to get on an airplane than it was to go to the grocery store. This has absolutely no scientific evidence behind it, though it’s a fact airlines now have state-of-the-art filtration systems. I don’t know how long it will last, but planes have never been cleaner. Masks are required until at least September, at which point I imagine it will be also an adjustment to fly without that security blanket. I remind myself though that it’s mask wearing that’s weird.
With all that said, travel and freedom to see the world are more rewarding than ever. As I write you, I’m looking out at the turquoise waters of Grenada. Looking forward to seeing you back out there.
All the best,