|The World has been through many ordeals…many far worse than COVID-19.
We will survive and eventually thrive, just like we always have.
The past month has been an ordeal for many; some emotional, some financial, some both. And we have made it through it not really knowing how – or even at times why – we would. We also know we are not done going through this and don’t know when we will.
But we do know we will get through this and that there is an end. That “end” will happen because the world will not shut down forever. It can’t. It won’t. However that “end” – or, better, “new beginning” – will require adjustments in our travel regime; whether it is something as simple as departure/arrival screenings or a doctor’s certificate stating that if you are over a certain age you are medically able to safely travel or, well, who really knows at this point! In fact, as I am writing this article, a World Heath Organization official, Dr. Michael Ryan appealed for a shift toward measures that allow us “to live with this virus” until a vaccine emerges.
But what we do know is that COVID-19 is ubiquitous, quickly spreading throughout the world’s population, and the number of serious illnesses and deaths are not astronomical, but rather there is a concern that at the fast rising peak they numbers may be, but only as it is relative to our health care systems during the peak period. There is no noted prospect of the overall population being overwhelmed or our populations overall ability to live and recover from this virus in the long term; especially when a vaccine is available.
Once this initial period is over (the downside of the now infamous “curve”) there will be a return to normalcy. A normalcy that is similar to how the world deals with the flu, car accidents, bathroom falls and the other conditions that face humans every day: Life is imperfect, there are risks that we acceptingly live with, but it must go on…and going on includes the most important part of survival: The Joy of Living!
I do have to say something that may not be politically correct, but is a very certain reality:
Yes, Dirty Harry is correct, “A man’s (or woman’s) got to know his (her) limitations!”
Having traveled the world so often over the past decades, I have – and most all of us have – come across people that we have thought should not be traveling or, better, should not be traveling in a way that negatively impacts others (possibly a private experience rather than a group one or a less rigorous one).
This will, of necessity, be a relevant and necessary topic of travel conversation. The days of it being all about “my” vacation are going to have to be tempered if not eliminated. With social spacing we have all learned that what we do impacts others…possibly significantly.
One ugly thing that I have observed over the past month is a troubling increase in the amount of self-absorption and failure to be self-aware conduct. It goes beyond the illogical hoarding of toilet paper, rice and eggs. It goes to some people, too many people, failing to respect the lives of those around them. Failing to make sure their conduct does not adversely impact those around them…like not going to the store when you are symptomatic or recently were. Traveling to second homes and rentals in vacation mode to areas that they know cannot support them being there and are specifically told not to come; even when they know they are supposed to be in their primary residence . Even clogging open spaces so that those who trying to engage in proper social spacing cannot.
So with that, what can we do? We can either focus on the current situation or the limitations that are clearly going to be imposed upon us or we can plan for that travel experience we all so desperately need while working within those limitations. I prefer the latter and the resulting Joy of Living!
I know. I know. For some, especially in the luxury travel market, there is going to be more concern and impact due to health-related issues. But this is where the previously overly-optimistic view of one’s limitations needs to be honestly dealt with so that there is Joy rather than Frustration.
To give a personal example: I used to ski pretty much anything and would do it with about as much speed as I could handle (sometimes more, which would result in what in skiing terms is called a Yard Sale…think about it. LOL) But now I say, “I don’t bounce the way I used to“, so I more enjoy making hopefully pretty turns and enjoying the views. My friends, most of whom are younger than me, ski the extremes and I just honestly – and comfortably – say to them I can’t. I don’t even buy lift tickets to where they regularly ski…because I know and accept my limitations. Yet I find Joy in my skiing and in their Joy of that which I will not take part.
I would not be focused on the near term, though as Clint Eastwood said, “You’ve got to ask yourself one question, ‘Do I feel lucky?'”
I am comfortably looking at planning travel in July 2020 and onward. That is not to say that travel may not begin even as early as May 2020, but I consider those to be more a possible Last Minute deal situation. And, of course, travel in July is not guaranteed; especially without acknowledging some areas will not be available.
If you are considering something less exotic with less concerns over logistics, Alaska this summer could be a great experience. I think Europe will be opening up as well, but with some limitations. And, of course, for the North American winter, South America and Antarctica are perfect. (I am heading back to Antarctica on the Seabourn Quest’s December 20, 2020 sailing…but more on that in my next article.)
Too close in for your comfort or not the optimal time, I am seeing very significant demand for 2021. In just the past two days I have had to tell clients that the expedition, river cruise and ocean cruise they were interested in were almost sold out. That’s right, the luxury market is HOT for 2021. So if you have Future Cruise or Travel Credits; especially those at 115% or 125%, NOW is the time to plan and make those bookings.
Is there something more enjoyable than planning your next vacation while you are sheltering at home? Yes: Booking It and Looking Forward to reengaging in the Joy of Life!
If you are interested in planning or booking a new journey, give me a call, drop me an email or send me a Facebook message!
US: (877) 2GO-LUXURY (877-246-5898)
UK: 020 8133 3450
AUS: (07) 3102 4685
Everywhere Else: +1 530 562 9232