I did write a travel summary for 2020 but I didn’t post it because it was too damn depressing. But here it is now:
Travel summary 2020:
The irony in that title is palpable. It is 305 days since I last caught a plane or spent a night away from home. In fact, for the last 291 days I’ve travelled everywhere on foot (meaning my everywhere is much smaller than previously). My own personal lockdown has been pretty strict – I’ve been able to work from home and so, other than grocery shopping, home is where I’ve spent pretty much all my time. Wish I could say I’d completed all kinds of exciting projects but it mostly been catching up on TV and trying to stay sane. I’m coming out of this year in one piece though so I’ll call that a win.
Anyway back to the travel thing. Travel? That was a thing I used to do, right?
I started 2020 like many other years with family in the US. I flew back with a layover in Vegas (big check mark) but skipped my usual trip to Disney World because I didn’t think I had enough vacation time available this year. And so the gods laugh.
Next up was my first ever trip to Athens. Beautiful weather (January was the perfect time for me to visit), beautiful city, wonderful people. I climbed up to the Acropolis, visited the Agoras, saw lots of amazing things and had possibly the best brunch ever.
At the end of January, I went to Disneyland Paris and bought an annual pass – another questionable life choice with hindsight (Edit: although, with the bonus days added for closures, it became a two-year pass I didn’t use).
In February, I canceled a trip due to flu. I don’t think it was Covid but I guess I’ll never know. Managed a trip to see my family at the beginning of March, then canceled a trip to a music festival in the Netherlands because the virus was getting worrying. One week later, we were in lockdown and my only travel activities for the rest of the year consisted of rescheduling and unraveling all my travel plans.
By the time we got to 2021, we were back in lockdown again. But I am ending this year the same way I began 2020, in the US. For a lot of the year I didn’t think that would be possible, and with Omicron it may not be wise, but I’m here and it’s amazing.
For the beginning of 2021, I didn’t really go anywhere apart from one night in a hotel five minutes walk from my house because I had serious cabin fever and I could not look at the same four walls any longer. In May I finally ventured properly away from home – the weather wasn’t great but the freedom was incredible.
In July, I accepted that I could not keep waiting for things to improve and I went home to see my family, quarantine, testing and all. I have never been away from my family for so long and I managed to catch up with lots of people. Not strictly speaking travel once I got there because I didn’t venture far but at least it was somewhere different.
In September, I took a whole week off work and went to Ticino – sunshine, boat trips and gelato. One of the best trips I’ve ever taken not least because I really needed it. I went everywhere and I did everything and I can’t wait to go back.
That trip properly woke up my wanderlust and I traveled pretty much every weekend after that. All domestic trips but I finally started to feel like myself again. I revisited old favorites and found new places and all courtesy of my new rail pass.
In November everything went wrong again. I went to visit my family and was in the wrong place at the wrong time and ended up in quarantine again when I traveled back. I started rethinking my already sparse travel plans and crossed my fingers that I would make it to the US. To do everything I could, I just stayed home, saw nobody and it was all worth it because here I am, with family, beginning to feel like there is some normality in my world.
In 2019 I took 56 flights and travelled 68,000 miles, in 2020, it was 9 flights and 10,000 miles so very much not the year I planned. And for 2021, my travel stats are 8 flights, 8,600 miles but a few hundred kilometres by train as well.
But I know that I’m lucky that being unable to travel has been the biggest impact of Covid-19 on my life. I miss the people I love and my regular travel haunts. I miss live music and theatre and festivals. I miss beaches and random wandering and new experiences. I think that is the difficulty for me – the sameness of everything. And I’ve even been lonely sometimes which is unusual for me. But, despite it all, I’m still lucky.
And I have to hope that in 2022, things will start to improve. I have all kinds of travel planned but it is all in pencil. I can’t believe that I will get to do everything so I just hope that I will get to do something.