I am so excited to finally feel like I can start posting about travel and vacations again! No one is more ready than me for travel to return to normal… My clients are starting to rebook trips and I’m planning out our trips for the rest of 2020 — and it feels so good! I’ve known for years how important traveling is to me, but it wasn’t until everything was at a standstill that I truly understood the importance of travel to myself and my family.
The time that we spent sheltering in place was great in a lot of ways. It provided our family with a lot of quality time — hours and hours that we would have never had together otherwise. It also gave me time to reflect in ways that I haven’t been able to do since before my trio was born. It was a break – a reset – to really remember what is important, to focus on gratitude, and re-evaluate our lives and our priorities.
The last year has been a challenge for me, personally. I won’t go into all of the details, but God has been pushing and testing me over the last year. I thought that completing my Ph.D. would be the magic potion (ha!) and yet life continues to push me in new directions. I feel like I have grown so much as a person over the last year – with new goals, a new direction, and a life plan that I couldn’t have even fathomed a year ago. And as “normal” life starts to resume, I have to admit I’m so excited about the future and our new normal.
For our family, we were so happy to resume traveling! In early May, Mike realized that being at home was reaching its limit for me (the shelter in place was the longest I had not traveled in YEARS!) and reached out to one of my agents to try to plan a surprise vacation for me. Surprises don’t last long around here, but Mike did all of the legwork for this trip (with Ashley!) and that was so sweet and so appreciated. Sometimes, even the travel agent needs a travel agent!! 😉
In late May, we drove to Pensacola Beach and it was just what I needed. The trip helped to separate the shelter-in-place from summer and gave us a nice dividing line.
Our family has only road-tripped a few times, as we always choose to fly to save time and arrive at our destination more quickly. I guess a benefit of life coming to a standstill is that we had plenty of time to spend in the car too! While I’d still choose a plane any day, the drive went really well and it was nice to be able to stop in places that we wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to see.
We arrived in Pensacola Beach on a Sunday afternoon and we went straight from the car to the beach. We all needed to see the water, sand, and sunshine – even if we were in sweatshirts, sweatpants, and totally disheveled!
I plan to write more about our trip to Pensacola Beach over the next few weeks, but it was exactly what our family needed. It was the perfect way to start our new normal and to focus on how grateful we are for each other, this life, and for our freedom to travel!