If there’s one thing I’ve missed most during this pandemic, it’s probably travel. That’s not to say that my family and I haven’t had the opportunity to travel at all during the past two years. In fact, we had an amazing week in the Black Hills of South Dakota, and a once-in-a-lifetime road trip from Wisconsin to Nevada and back, visiting 9 different national parks over the course of those 9 days. These are things that I will never forget and, honestly, find myself wishing we could do again.
But, at the same time, the trip to the Black Hills replaced a trip we had planned for going to Germany. And we were also supposed to take a trip to visit the national parks of southern Florida which we had to cancel because of burgeoning COVID cases.
But, the truth is, I’m not even sure it’s just those big trips that have got me down. Like, I obviously wish I could take the kids for a week to Disney World or something similarly ridiculous right now, but I honestly believe that I’m more down about the smaller trips.
It used to be that if we found ourselves with a free day, we would take a trip over to the cities to do something like bum around the Mall of America, or go to Lark Toys out in the middle of nowhere, or just find little day trips we could take to break up the monotony of normal life. And while we’ve definitely done little bits of this, it’s not been nearly as common, primarily because we’re still trying to be somewhat cautious in how we approach the world.
And so, when I hear things like how Omicron is ripping through our nation (as well as the world), I find myself a little conflicted. Like, I’m still incredibly worried about the health and lives of my family and friends, but I also find myself really happy when I hear that the expectation of this extra contagious variant means we may actually get through the pandemic phase sooner than we had been fearing.
Life over the past two years has been a weird one where my family and I have felt, for a large portion of it, as busy as ever, but, well, still spending far too much time at home not knowing what to do outside of playing board games and watching movies. And so, when I look at the light at the end of this tunnel that I’m still pretty sure is 2020, I find myself eager to return to some of those things we used to do.
And also, to finally get to do some real travel, because although I’ve enjoyed the socially distanced trips we’ve done these past couple years, I’m ready to go back to exploring the civilizations of the world as well.
That being said, if it hadn’t been for this pandemic, I’m not sure I would have taken the opportunity to really explore the national parks of our country like we have these past couple years, and that would be incredibly disappointing. Because there are some truly amazing parts of this country that we’re lucky to have preserved through the National Parks Service.
So, I guess, what I’m really trying to say is: go visit a park. They are quite literally awe-inspiring.