Ashlea from Afar provides a great framework for dealing with travel withdrawal, or as she calls it, “travel grief.” For myself, I would not call it grief, it is more like withdrawal. But I am so fortunate to have a wonderful situation here at home, the ability to work as much as I want, and still enjoy a wonderful life.
Anyway, she calls it the Five Stages of Travel Grief. Of course, she travels for a living. I do not. She spends half of her year on the road at Afar’s Editor at Large. I am fortunate if I go somewhere, even nearby, once a month.
The corona virus not only changed her travel plans, it has changed travel. It may even cost her livelihood, at least in the travel business. But better than losing her life!
Stage One is denial. China seemed so far away. Early February is when the words Wuhan and corona virus entered her world. Maybe it just centered on the cruise industry? Wrong! Apparently, she was looking through the same rose colored glasses as the Orange man? I honestly thought I would be able to fly to Greece on April 6. So, I was in denial until the Governor of California issued the shelter in place earlier this month,
Stage Two is anger. I was never angry, but I am sure the editor was. She was screened three times in Ecuador, and no temperature taken at JFK?? Same for people flying back form Italy, China, and several future hotbeds of the virus. All around us, concerts were being cancelled. Then the NBA, NHL, Broadway plays, schools, and Spring Training. Probably the most difficult for me is not having live sports on TV. Bottom line: it was affecting her livelihood!
Stage Three is bargaining. OK, she reschedules, or finds alternatives. Flights are cheap, but the bad news piles up. I knew my travel would stop until June, at the very earliest. She was smoking some bad dope! Perhaps she should have gone shopping for food and paper goods? My biggest worry was wondering when Trump would accept this as a pandemic! He was more worried about the economy.
Stage Four is depression. She got depressed, as I got more upset with Trump’s total ineptitude and lack of empathy. I finally had to forego a promise I made to myself, to stop posting anti Trump stuff on FB. Yes, I was free of the bots, but growing more upset. I finally had to say and do something. He is the worst excuse for a leader I have seen, short of tyrants and murderers like Ceausescu or Putin.
Stage Five is acceptance. I don’t know if the seriousness and reality of isolation has set in, particularly to our younger population. I never cared to go shopping for food or household goods. I miss seeing my friends. I do miss my trips. But I can work, exercise, enjoy my life at home. We have it better than most. No complaints.
Staying home is a small price to pay for safety and maintaining good health. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Embrace something new. Volunteer! Donate! Read! Learn a new language!