The Lost Week
Updated: Jan 25
This, the third week of January, is typically when our family takes a big, huge trip. We alternate years—one we’ll take the kid—the next we’ll leave him at home. And this week, Facebook has done a particularly poignant job reminding me of the places I’ve been in years prior. Just today, past pictures and posts included Puerto Rico, London, Istanbul, the Galapagos, Hawaii, Vienna, Curacao and Barcelona. They’ve been pinch-me destinations, and I’m so grateful to have visited each one.
We love traveling at this time. The hustle and bustle of the holidays is over, you can score some killer deals and it’s a quiet tourist season. More often than not, we’ve felt like locals during our January adventures…and the mid-winter travel excitement is enough to get us over the hump and propel us into spring.
Last year, as they did for so many others, our travels came to an abrupt, awful halt thanks to the pandemic. We stayed home, stayed in, and thankfully, stayed healthy. But gosh, we missed getting out there, and knew if we could hold on until we got our vaccines, we’d be on our next adventure in January 2022. After getting our boosters this fall, we even started planning an epic European jaunt until my husband had a feeling, and suggested we hold off.
I’m glad we did, given omicron. But I’m still mourning my big, blow-out return to international travel. And I’m bummed my teenaged son has missed out, too…because I’m certain there’s no better education than travel. The stretch—that wonderful mental, cultural and experiential stretch—there’s nothing like it.
So now, for the second year in the third week of January, I’m feeling a bit stranded. I’m living vicariously through Stanley Tucci’s Searching For Italy streamed on the Apple TV. While I love him, and think the show is fantastic, it clearly doesn’t compare.
*Facebook tells me I was in Istanbul three years ago this week. : (
So while I’m struggling between being sulky and knowing that skipping international travel is the safe thing to do, I’m grateful for a lovely reprieve. This weekend, I’ll be heading to the Gulf Coast, where a dear friend has a beautiful home near the sand and salt water. It will be on the chilly side, but the company—five dear friends—will be warm and welcoming. We got each other through the worst, darkest days of the pandemic--virtual school, cold outdoor meet-ups, pre-vaccine holidays--and we’ll see each other through what I hope is this last stretch of this nightmare. We will eat, drink and be as merry as we can be, after we all take our rapid tests, of course.
We’ll get back to the rest of the world, sooner rather than later, I hope. But right now, I look forward to a much-needed respite from the bitter cold and mean winter, post-holiday blahs. I’ll post a few pics of the beach soon!