Travel Plans

I had such high hopes for this Summer.  Last year’s Summer was a bit of a dud, what with my husband spending most of it recovering from two surgeries.  The weather had been good and the Covid numbers down, but we simply couldn’t take advantage of it.  I’m not looking for sympathy, I’m just explaining why my expectations for this year were so high.  I wanted to truly enjoy this Summer, spending as much time as possible outside and taking several trips to exciting new destinations.  I wanted to make up for everything we missed out on last year, and then some.

But that isn’t what happened.  It’s not fun to be outside when the temperatures creep above 100 degrees, especially when that’s coupled with high humidity.  Sometimes it cools down enough that we can be outside later in the evening, but it’s often rather brutal during the day .  And while we did schedule a few trips, none of them are to places I haven’t already been.

At first I was a little put out when I realized that this wasn’t going to be the Summer I finally got to explore the Pacific Northwest, visit the Grand Canyon, or discover some charming New England coastal towns.  I really wanted to go to all those places, and more, but by the time we had scheduled our trips to Iowa, Kansas and Indianapolis, our schedule was full.  I’ll admit that I had a, “what the heck happened to my plans?” moment when I realized our travel calendar had filled up without including any new destinations.  But then I thought about it some more and realized that we had some very good reasons for our choices.

We were not going anywhere new or exciting, but our destinations were still important.  We went to Iowa to visit my husband’s family, and it have been over two years since we’d been there, what with Covid and health issues.  We spent time with almost all of our relatives there, and few things are more important than spending time with family.  Then we went to Kansas to visit dear friends and I was also able to reconnect with old classmates in the small town where I went to Middle School and High School.  After the challenges of the last two years, catching up with old friends and classmates just felt right.

I think it was ten years ago when my daughter gave me a mother/daughter trip to Indianapolis for my birthday gift, and while I was there, I realized my husband would enjoy the attractions of downtown Indianapolis very much.  I gave him a coupon for a couple’s weekend there several Christmases ago, but we never found the time for it.  So that’s where we’re going next month, because we’ve put it off long enough. It will be a new destination for him, and a relaxing weekend for both of us.

I still have a huge list of places I want to visit.  But sometimes, it’s more important to use our vacation days traveling to spend time with the people, both family and friends, who mean the most to us.  And it’s especially important after two years when getting together with those people has been almost impossible.  Of course I still want to visit all the fun destinations on my list, but I also know that when it comes right down to it, people are more important than places….and I know we made the right choice.

70 thoughts on “Travel Plans

  1. If I have my wits about me when on my death bed, I don’t think I’ll regret never having visited some famous sites or countries. I hope I won’t regret that I didn’t spend enough time with the people I love. And I know I will be glad for the times I did.

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  2. I think Covid has given us all a wake up call that we need to spend more time visiting people than places. Experiences and memories are priceless. Glad you are still getting to travel and see friends and relatives Ann. Allan

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  3. You’re one of the lucky ones. I don’t have the time to travel now because of work, and even if I decided to take the time, I can’t afford it. Most of my friends are in the same situation. It’s good to know that you can visit family. Perhaps by this fall, I’ll be able to get away for at least a bit.

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  4. People over places! We are traveling in a couple of weeks to go to BC, Canada and then on a cruise to Alaska (2 places we’ve never been before). Still after every trip I have to say ,”There’s no place like home!” And Indianapolis is in my back yard!

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    • Lucky you! An Alaskan cruise is another thing on my “to do” list. But yes, I am always glad to come home even after the nicest trip. And I am glad I chose to visit friends and family first, and then we’ll start on our destinations. I didn’t know you were close to Indianapolis! My husband wants to see a ball game, the NCAA hall of fame, and possibly the zoo. We also plan to check out a few restaurants!

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  5. Somehow, I feel like you have a lot to look forward to, Ann. I’ll be ready for your blog posts when you go somewhere new. It’s coming! Even if it’s next year, it will be here before you know it. 🙂
    Glad you’re catching up with visiting friends and family in the meantime. It sounds lovely!

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    • Thanks, Judy! My husband isn’t retired yet, so unlimited travel isn’t on the agenda. (Also, we don’t have unlimited funds!) But I do think we made the right decision to visit friends and family first. As you say, we’ll get to our dream destinations some day, and I’m sure they’ll be worth the wait.

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  6. The wish list seems to have shuffled itself over the last couple of years, some things dropping off, and others seeming to ask for more energy and sociability than expected. I’ve gone a little feral in my isolation…
    Gearing up, slow and easy. 🙂

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    • It’s hard to “get back out there” after the isolation of Covid, isn’t it? But I guess the good part of that is that we are more discerning now about where we go and who we spend our time with. I don’t have the time or funds for unlimited travel, so we had to make some decisions this summer and we decided to see friends and family that we haven’t visited since before the pandemic. I honestly think it was the right decision!

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    • Yes, we got a ton of rain here the other night, and a little more last night! We had an empty flower pot sitting on our patio, and yesterday afternoon it has at least 10 inches of water in it, probably more. Luckily, our house didn’t flood, but we’re thinking that a canoe might actually come in handy…..or an ark!

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      • Wow! I texted my daughter in law and she had an appointment somewhere else in the city and I told her not to risk it if it was flooded. Dangerous all that water at once and you can never tell if the roadway isn’t washed out under the pavement.
        Hopefully you won’t get anymore.

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  7. I always feel there is a quiet sort of joy to be found in making repeat visits to particular locations; equipped with a little familiarity we see places differently, start to move amongst them with less amazement, but more detailed appreciation. When we add loved ones into the equation, the package becomes quite the winner. I take a strange, private pleasure in having favourite hang-outs in places I don’t call home, but can now call known.

    Of course I’m probably just odd…:)

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    • I don’t think that’s odd at all! We’re the same way, which is one of the reasons why as soon as we get the opportunity to spend a week down south, we go to Sanibel Island. We may not live there, but it is very familiar to us due to our frequent visits, and there is something very comforting in that. So I know exactly what you mean, and it makes perfect sense to me. I love the way your phrased that, too….not home, but known!

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  8. Very true. Especially if they’re people you like! But I understand missing traveling to somewhere new. And my husband and I are getting older! So it really felt like we lost out during those couple of years.

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    • Yes, that’s the problem with aging—we’re aware that our time is not unlimited. I also feel the pain of missing out on a couple of years, and I’m anxious to get to the places I’ve always wanted to visit. But once I really thought about it, I realized that what we really wanted to do first was visit friends and family we haven’t been able to visit in the last two years.

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  9. Oh Ann,…I appreciate your words so much! I had high hopes, too. Grand Canyon in April…I wanted to just drive anywhere after two years of feeling “stuck”. His, as always, said “Well, Karla, you’ll be journeying with me in MY way!” Gulp! I admit the time with family and friends has been precious. I hear HIM! I’m not letting go of those dreams, but I’m listening better. Blessings and peace! 💛

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    • I know, Karla, and I’m so sorry! You have a terrific attitude and are always in my prayers. Sometimes it’s hard to listen to things we don’t want to hear, isn’t it? But you are right to hang on to your dreams….they will come true, when the time is right. Meanwhile, you’re inspiring a whole lot of people through your blog, including me. Thank you for that!

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    • Yes, it’s sad we have to adapt due to climate change, but it does make sense to take our vacations during the more moderate weather. And yes, the small breaks are just fine for now. I know the day will come when I can visit at least some of the places on my list!

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  10. As long as you are with family and friends, where you travel does not really matter. I think there are always new things to discover, even in places you have been before. I am happy for you that you had a good time with family and friends.

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    • That is so true, Svet! Being “stuck” at home so much in the last two years has proven that…we’ve deliberately looked for the new in our own city and state. And I totally agree that who we are with makes us much happier than where we are!

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  11. I think you made some very wise choices! I think just getting away and having a break in our routine is so very important. A vacation is really what we make of it. Spending time with friends and family is a wonderful thing and it does not matter where the location is. 🙂

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    • Thank you, Linda! And I think you’re right, it’s the break from routine that is important more than the actual destination. Even better is when we get to include our friends and family in that break!

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  12. I think you’ve made the right choices, Ann. I wish I could travel, but work and caring for my mom kind of prevent that. It’s been three years since I’ve seen my only sister, for Pete’s sake! I keep reminding myself it won’t always be like this, but who am I kidding? COVID is still on the loose, and there doesn’t seem to be any slowing of this recession. Sigh. But yeah, enjoy Indy! My son and I went there when he was little, and we had a blast!

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    • I’m so sorry you aren’t able to travel or see your sister, Debbie! That’s got to be hard. We all have unique situations, and those situations do dictate what we’re able to do. I agree that both Covid and the recession aren’t going anywhere, which makes things even more difficult. Hang in there!

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  13. I can now relate to oppressive summer weather, Ann. Since moving to Arizona, all of our outside activities are conducted during the cooler early mornings. The blistering afternoons are only bearable indoors and under constant air conditioning. I admire you for prioritizing visits to see family, especially after the long pandemic. Now that you have caught up with family and old friends, maybe you can treat yourself with a trip to a new destination?

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  14. I’m sorry this is another rather pear-shaped year. But I like how you turn it around because sometimes things aren’t meant to be, not in the way of fate so much as in the way of practicalities. The things you do end up doing can be just as important or enjoyable.

    I wish I’d been somewhere this year other than the supermarkets and the odd trip to another town (for a hospital appt but we had a wander around the town, so I guess not quite as boring as it could have been!).

    I’m glad you got to see your hubby’s family in Iowa, then see friends in Kansas. Those are two big things right there. And then for next month to finally do the couple’s weekend in Indianapolis (I went there over a decade ago for work, loved it!) that should be fab. I know you’ll have lots to look forward to in the future but I’m glad you’re still able to enjoy what you can this year despite the change to how you’d imagined it turning out 💜

    Caz xx

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    • Thanks so much, Caz! I know your health stops you from traveling as you would like, and I agree that I was lucky to be able to at least see some family and friends. The other trips will happen, eventually. I even think it might be time to start planning something for next year. Our plans don’t always pan out, but if I don’t plan, then it will never happen. Take care!!!

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    • I completely agree! Sometimes we just need to listen to the voices that tell us what’s really important. Going somewhere new is great, but friends and family are most important, and that means we need to use our vacation time to visit them first, I think.

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  15. I wholeheartedly agree. People are much more important than places. I just returned from an extended visit to the States, visiting family and friends. At first, I dreaded the travel but it was a wonderful trip and my heart is full (a little sad at saying goodbye, but none-the-less full). You’ll get to those new destinations in the future I’m sure. Hope you are well and keeping cool! 🙂

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