My Personal Travel Restrictions in 2021
If 2020 was a crazy year to start a travel blog, 2021 really squashed my travel and blogging plans.
Once again, I am learning life lessons in resilience and adaptability.
Travel is a deeply personal experience and we should choose our travel with purpose and soul.
Here is why my travel was restricted in 2021.
Health & Wellness
Health is a big reason that affects travel. In these pandemic days, every individual has their own personal and varying health concerns and risk tolerance.
In May of 2021, I came down with a cough and fever while out on a quick weekend road trip. Sounds like Covid-19 right? Nope!
Turns out I got Valley Fever (a soil fungus that primarily affects the lungs) along with a whole lot of autoimmune activity, which is essentially my body making antibodies that attack me.
This means I had fevers, headaches, cough, whacky liver enzymes for 2-3 weeks. Let me tell you, it does not feel nice.
After nearly 6 weeks off of work, I still had months of recovery in which I struggled with horrible fatigue, muscle and joint pain, and brain fog.
Travel wasn’t even appealing, let alone physically comfortable or fun.
Thankfully, I am now feeling much better and am slowly regaining my strength and fitness.
As my readers know, my dogs are an important part of my life and travels, especially in the last two years.
Through the winter and spring of 2021, my 14-year old westie Rossi developed a frequently recurring ulcer above his right eye.
He lost his sight in the right eye but his nose still worked as well as ever. He loved to snuggle and go out on hikes.
We had good days and worse days. And I altered travels out of concern for his condition and for maximizing our quality time together.
He rallied when I was sick, knowing that he needed to be strong for his human mom. His condition deteriorated rapidly in July and a CT scan showed a large tumor.
To relieve his pain, we had to say goodbye on July 28, 2021.
The other white dog and I mourned and she has struggled to be alone. We have often just stayed home together to take care of my health and to help her adjust to the loss.
Changing rules, Covid testing, and life with a schedule
I dearly miss international travel.
While many destinations are open, the rules for testing are continually changing.
The Omicron variant quickly released a wave of new travel restrictions demonstrating that we are not done with this pandemic madness yet.
In my mind, the idea of getting stranded somewhere for a few extra weeks sounds amazing. In reality, being quarantined in a government-designated hotel or being ill in a foreign country is probably not the travel adventure any of us are looking for.
In the part of my life as a healthcare professional, I have team members and patients who are depending on me to be healthy and present. This does not lend itself well to the pandemic risks of international travel.
I know many people who have successfully made international trips but I’m not ready yet.
Spontaneity and reservations
For quick weekend trips, I like to travel spontaneously.
Check my energy levels and the weather forecast and off I go with the dogs on an adventure.
Due to the increased volume of local and domestic travel, as well as Covid rules, it is nearly impossible to get last-minute hotel or dining reservations. This can limit the spontaneous road trip fun, especially if I can’t find pet-friendly lodging.
Trips I made in 2021
Big Sky, MT and Snowmass, CO
The ski areas did a great job of managing the Covid rules in winter 2021 and I felt safe enjoying the mountains, skiing, and resort amenities. Although time and space for warming up in the lodge were definitely limited.
Bozeman, MT in January was one of the first places I got to enjoy indoor dining again and it was a treat that resulted in several days of overeating each evening after skiing.
Snowmass, CO in February was still in the red phase so dining and activities were mostly limited to outdoors and take-away. I enjoyed the beautiful snow conditions for hiking and skiing as well as a spacious condo for cooking and reading.
Mt. Rainier and White Pass
Giulia, along with the dogs and I, made a quick overnight trip over WA highway 12 and White pass in Washington State and captured some great views of Mt. Rainier.
Throughout the year, the dogs and I made several trips to my family’s lake house in North Idaho. It is a quiet place to relax, recover and write. Looking over the water and breathing good mountain air is healing for the body and soul.
Rossi was able to enjoy two last weekends at the lake in July before he passed and this memory really warms my aching heart.
I spent a beautiful long weekend in Bend, OR in August continuing my rest and recovery as well as meeting and enjoying time with several coaching colleagues.
After more than a year of meeting and collaborating online, it was nice to finally meet each other in person. We enjoyed powerful and enriching conversations, good food and farmer’s market, and hiking at Tumalo Falls.
I attended a small professional conference in Santa Fe, NM in October and scheduled some extra time to explore the surrounding area.
I enjoyed dining in the wonderful restaurants of Santa Fe and seeing a few of my colleagues again.
The fall colors, especially the aspens, were gorgeous and I enjoyed a spectacular day up in the mountains at Taos Ski Valley. I took in the art along the Turquoise Trail and hiked in Bandelier National Monument.
My newly retired parents are enjoying more winter sun time in Palm Desert, CA and they invited me to spend some holiday time with them.
Mochi, the white dog, bravely adjusted to a soft kennel and the busy airports and came along. We both loved the warm sunny walks and being together with our family.
Traveling in 2021
We all have our own reasons for traveling or staying home, and these reasons are deeply personal.
Travel is always a journey in personal growth but staying home can be rejuvenating as well.
Both can bring their own profound sense of freedom.
I hope your travels this year were not as restricted as mine, and I hope you enjoyed both invigorating adventures and restorative quiet in 2021.
My wish is that each of us experiences wellness and adventures in 2022 wherever in the world we may be.
Don’t forget to travel with texture.