Dare to dream about a post Covid-19 holiday
Despite being stuck in a global pandemic, you might be wondering when the world will be safe enough to take that ‘elusive next holiday’. Maybe, like me, you are experiencing a deep state of meditative thought, contemplation and desires, wondering where and when that next highly anticipated destination may be. Like me, you may be daydreaming, envisioning and feeling a comforting sense of nostalgia as memories of past adventures flood the mind. Followed by a sense of anticipation, hope and excitement brought on by a little time to consider all the places yet to be explored. We have much to think about, much to contemplate for the future, yet right now, it is an unsolvable and frustrating puzzle. The vision is beautiful but simultaneously, we have a torturous reminder that the reality is currently out of reach.
The intense desire to get on a plane and go wherever it may be going, directly conflicts with our ability to do so; it’s not possible right now. Given this, many avid travelers are likely to be experiencing an acute sense of cabin fever. With nowhere to go and no end date for COVID-19 in sight, a common thought, ‘what do we have to look forward to?’, frames our daily lives. Times are tough and holidays are low on the list of priorities. This is a major blow for people who love to travel and explore.
It’s natural to crave something to look forward to, something to give us hope. We need this to create a stable sense of balance, health and wellness within ourselves. This is where the humble holiday can be a real savior. Holidays abroad are a source of great excitement as the opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life draws closer. Ideal medicine for the soul which may be tiring from the stresses of everyday life and work, holidays are a great way to assist in recharging our otherwise flat batteries.
So, it is sad to think that something we probably once took for granted, the yearly holiday, is out of our reach right now. We’re reminded every day; times are bleak, we must stay at home. It’s in our face every day, for a good reason, of course. Evidently, COVID-19 isn’t going anywhere in a hurry, and sadly, likewise neither are we; for now, at least.
A holiday dream coming true – pre-pandemic
The last time I boarded an airplane, excited to be travelling 19 hours to a new overseas destination, was 10 years ago! This was a trip to remember. Travelling with friends, during a time of year where much celebration takes place, it was an amazing holiday. I look back on this time with great warmth and lovely pleasant feelings. On the contrary, at the time of this holiday, sadly my ED wouldn’t let me fully appreciate the experience; ED traveled with me, sat next to me on the plane, and made sure I remained uncomfortable. Since that time, each year the thoughts, ‘this will be the year’, have automatically run through my mind. Every year for nearly 10 years. As my ED grew stronger over time, the internal fear I experienced also grew stronger. So much so that any real desire I may have had to travel was suppressed as unattainable. As far as my ED was concerned, I couldn’t travel anywhere looking the way I did. So, I did what many who live with an ED do; I shut off my desire to do what I truly wanted and in doing so, shut off connection with my true self.
Then on Christmas Day 2019, I was given an amazing gift. A surprise trip overseas with friends in November this year. And so, as it stood, 2020 was to be the year when that decade hiatus would be broken. A milestone. Initially reluctant, soon an unfamiliar feeling of contentment and dare I say it, excitement, began to fill my entire body. A complete 360 degree turn from a typical reaction in my past. Just 18 months earlier, the very thought of travel would reduce me to panic and a scramble to give reasons why I could not go. Not this time. In just 11 months I was set to return to a place I had fallen in love with 10 years earlier. To this day it is a place I remember as like yesterday. This trip would be amazing because this time I would have my trusty camera by my side to capture and document the whole experience; I was ready to go, I was ready to become truly immersed in, New York City, once again. And then I wasn’t! COVID-19 took care of that and I found myself in a place of uncertainty and, unlike ever before, a place of great disappointment. “Life just isn’t fair.” “What now?”
Dealing with disappointment
Many plans had been made for 2020. At last, opportunities were opening up to me, no longer an observer, I was capturing the world with my camera. I was ready, and the world was ready to embrace my presence within it. Unfortunately, the pandemic effect means international travel isn’t safe and many countries are shut to visitors. It’s a difficult, restrictive and isolated world in which we find ourselves, the kind of world I’m desperately trying to escape.
Maybe you are lucky enough to find yourself, lost within your own imagination from time to time? Sitting back, wishing you could magically switch off from the negative news surrounding us? Maybe you dream of escaping this mess and taking off on your own holiday? I certainly do. New York City is my number one desired destination, followed closely by beautiful London, the destinations I travelled to 10 years ago and ironically, the destinations I was excited to be revisiting this year. I’ve missed out on a lot. From experiencing the simple pleasure of planning the intricate details of my inventory, happily packing my suitcase, being sure to ‘under pack’ in order to allow more room to fit all the purchases I will bring home by indulging in a little retail therapy.
I can imagine it, being in New York City or London, surrounded by the character they ooze, with nothing more than a good camera and tripod in tow. Blissful! The places I will visit. First on the agenda will be Central Park during autumn or spring. What an amazingly wonderful thought. I imagine how different this experience will be with my camera. I will be more acutely aware of everything surrounding me, I’ll miss nothing. Central Park will be a place I’ll spend a lot of time. I will happily admire and capture the green fields where I can sit and watch the world pass by, who knows, maybe I’ll even enjoy a picnic full of beautiful indulgences! If lucky enough to have no time limits, this will absolutely be on my list of things to do. So much to experience in this one stunning place; many famous structures such as the Inscope Arch, an arch I have seen featured in many movies. Not forgetting the many other beautifully designed scenic bridges scattered around the park waiting to be discovered.
Within Central Park, I remember the well-known Strawberry Park. A place created in memory of the late John Lennon whilst paying homage to the famous band, the Beatles. It has been designated as being a place of peace and beauty. Sounds good to me. On my last visit, I remember clearly, the feeling of being icy freezing cold like I’d never experienced before. We were heavily rugged up from head to toe in coats, scarves, beanies and ear masks, anything to keep warm. Given this, the thought of walking along Strawberry Park with the sun shining warmly on my face, is a picture I’d wish to experience.
A huge location full of beautiful surprises at every turn. From the lush green open spaces, the unfathomable sculptures that must be seen to be believed and many important memorials, places to stop, think and reflect. Throughout the journey of exploration, I’ll also expect to run into some mischievous squirrels as they suddenly appear in search of something to eat; cheeky little fast critters, but oh so cute. Fast reflexes will be essential, these cute little animals can be gone in the blink of an eye. What a fulfilled challenge, to capture a squirrel, frustrating I’m sure, but so much fun at the same time. When I think about it, I’m certain Central Park is a place I will spend several days. During my last visit to New York, I only experienced a small taste of the many delights. Next time, I want the entire experience, a full taste of everything it has to offer. I’ll return to my hotel following a long day of total bliss with thousands of pictures to consider and share with the world. What a thought, I can’t wait.
Also featuring at the top of my itinerary, something simple yet priceless. Taking a daylong walk around the great city often referred to as the Big Apple. A day of total exploration going wherever I feel drawn to go. The butterflies in my stomach, as I think about doing this, tell me it’s something I must do. I’m feeling so eager.
Ten years ago, during my very short trip to London (it was a stop-off actually), I did just this. I spent a whole day walking around the streets of London. This gave me the opportunity to experience a Iot more than having an overly stringent itinerary to follow. A day of immense enjoyment and satisfaction, I remember it well, even how I felt at the end of the day. I’d accomplished something, I didn’t have to rely on the knowledge of anyone else. And just like anyone else around me, I could rely on my own instincts; I had faith I would be okay, and I was. Don’t get me wrong, initially it was a hugely scary thing to do, imagine it, being alone in a huge overseas city with a map and a phone. Yet, I was okay and found my way home just as darkness was setting in for the evening.
The desire to spend a day walking the streets of New York, independently exploring as much as I can of the city, stands out above the rest. It’s a city full of unrivaled sophistication, charm, and opulence. Exuding with an overwhelming sense of unrivaled stylish, modernistic brilliance and class whilst continuing to honor its retro style origins.
There are many other places I’d like to visit; the neon-lit Times Square, the Empire State Building, the Twin Towers Memorial, Broadway and the, Magnolia Bakery. This former quaint little bakery launched into a cupcake empire on the tail of its ongoing appearance in the highly acclaimed series, Sex and the City. Just to confirm, yes, the cupcakes are amazing and the long line to wait, is well worth it.
Take home message
We all need something to look forward to and just because we’re stuck within the confines of our homes, doesn’t mean we can’t think about it. Where is the first country (or even state within Australia) that you will choose to explore once our current predicament eases? Take some time and think about that, do the research, and make a list of the exciting places you can visit. Get onto Google, YouTube, whatever the search engine may be and start your adventure now. Give yourself something to enjoy in the present, something to look forward to doing, hopefully soon. You’ll be helping yourself; you’ll also be helping the many travel agents who are battling to stay afloat. And just in case you need one, I know a very good travel agent who will be delighted to help plan and ensure your dream becomes a beautiful reality for you.
Today I’ve shared my personal vision with you. For now, I need to wait. Wait for however long it takes for the spectacular city of New York to pull itself out of devastation and heartache. When this day comes, I’ll be happy to contribute to reigniting its tourism trade, just as I will for our tourism in Australia. I hope you can take something positive from this story. Thank you to my treasured readers, without realising it, you’ve given me the opportunity to have a lovely time, travelling to one of my all-time favourite places, New York City. And I did so within my very own imagination.