Personal Stories

Satisfying My Wanderlust: Summer of Travel in a Post-COVID World

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As we rang in the New Year in St. Augustine, FL this past January, I didn’t think there was going to be much travel this year after that trip to Florida. COVID had really put the brakes on any serious travel plans. We went to Florida, more as a benefit to my son than anything else, then that was it for plans. We did have a Trans-Atlantic Cruise booked on Royal Caribbean Cruise Line from Rome to Ft. Lauderdale but I wasn’t optimistic that it would happen. Sure enough, it was cancelled a couple of months back.

Once I received my first vaccine in February, though, I began to feel the wanderlust I usually experience. That drove me to plan my Epic Road Trip to Kansas to find the Oldest Geocache in the World.

Once I got home from that, I started planning my annual trip to Disney World in December with my friends. We’ve been going the same time for 25 years, although the numbers we used to have coming together that time of year have significantly dropped since we first started.

We had rebooked a cruise to Bermuda from April 2020 to a Panama Canal cruise in February 2022. I still had 4 CruiseNext certificates available from Norwegian. Everyone seemed to be following the announcements for the new ship, Norwegian Prima. When the schedule was released, there were a number of my friends interested in that Trans-Atlantic Crossing in September of 2022. We now have a pretty big group scheduled to go next September with a few days before in London. My son, Danny, is going with me and I promised him I would take him to the Harry Potter Studio tour.

Still, that’s more than a year away. I wanted to get away this year still.

I have to meet with the owner of the Vacation Rental Company I work for, so I planned a trip down to Destin, FL in August. Since there would be no one to take him to work, I asked my son if he wanted to take the time off and go with me. I started booking the trip and saw how outrageous the cost is to rent a car. Granted, since it’s a business trip I can write it off, but still, they are priced outrageously right now. Booking for 5 days was the same price as a week, so I decided to fly into New Orleans instead of Destin and tacked two days on the end of that trip in New Orleans. Danny has a fascination with paranormal, so we’re going to hang out in New Orleans and do a ghost tour and see some sights. One of my travel friends is meeting me there.

My spouse’s birthday is coming up. He tolerates my traveling without him because he’s really not all that interested in a lot of the things I do, like geocaching. He’d like to travel Route 66 and see all the kitschy places along it. That’s someday when he’s seriously retired. For now, the best thing to do with him is something like sitting on a beach with a drink. If the cruises were running, I could have probably gotten a last-minute deal on a cruise out of Boston. Since they aren’t, I poked around and found a good deal through Southwest on an all-inclusive resort in Cancun, and they will even do the COVID testing at the resort for our return home. That’s happening next month.

We own a timeshare outside of Disney. We have enough points through RCI that I usually get 3 weeks of vacations out of exchanging the week we own. With not being able to travel last year much, we have a lot of points sitting there. I talked with my friends I normally travel with and we started looking at Vegas in the fall. Billy Idol announced he was going to be doing shows in Vegas and I managed to get tickets. One of my friends wanted to see Barry Manilow, so now I’m going to see Billy Idol and Barry Manilow in Vegas in October.

That seemed like plenty of travel to me, and I was happy.

Then, today happened.

I worship the ground Brice Springsteen walks on. He’s easily the musician I’ve seen live the most. I took my spouse to see him a few times, as well as my younger daughter and my son. It’s like a rite of passage. Today, tickets went on sale for another round of Springsteen on Broadway shows. I saw the video of his shows from 2018. I listened to his podcast with President Obama when I traveled across the country as well as his “From My House to Yours” DJ sessions on Sirius XM. I really felt like I needed to see him after all we went through in the last 18 months (or even 5 years). I got lucky trying to get into the queue and listening to what other Springsteen fans’ experiences were and got myself a ticket for July 10th. I messaged one of my friends who I had talked to about the new Harry Potter Store in New York City and asked if she wanted to meet me.

Meanwhile, I decided to check the Mets schedule. I haven’t seen them since they moved to Citifield. I used to go to at least one game a month when I was younger. I told my son today that I can remember paying $4 for tickets in the last 1970’s and they were GOOD seats. Well, the Mets are home that weekend, so I bought a ticket to the game on July 9th. Meanwhile, my friend messaged me back that she was up to meeting me in NY. I got a good deal on a Mid-Town hotel and she’ll come up after work on Friday and I’ll meet her after the ballgame. We can go to the Harry Potter Store and some of our favorite haunts in the City that are open. We’re used to seeing each other a few times a year and it would have been a whole year of not seeing each other without this trip.

I think I’m satisfied now.

4 replies »

  1. WOW! When you get wanderlust you really get it bad! That is a lot of travel and it sounds like serious fun! I bet the Harry Potter store is cool but if it is anything like the stores at MGM Studios in Florida it will be priced way beyond what is reasonable… Cancun and the cruises all sound like a ton of fun. Sparky wants to do a cruise but he gets severe motion sickness so I’m skeptical that he will be much fun on a cruise (at least not if he doesn’t get “the patch”)!

    • When we took the Transatlantic out of London in 2019, we went through a storm the first night & next day. People who normally don’t get sea sick were getting sea sick including some of the crew. We were fine, which I thought with my vertigo issues would have been a problem. So, you never know.

      Yeah, I always had the itch to travel, but in more recent years it drives me even more. I think a lot of it has to do with the people I travel with. We’re a pretty awesome group.

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