Food for Thought
Wanderlust in the Time of COVID-19

How many of us feel isolated and trapped because of this pandemic? Everyone I have spoken with in the past several months has expressed feeling shut-in, shut-out, and displaced by the necessity of avoiding social contact and the immense disruption of travel since the onset of the pandemic. As we get beyond parenting and move into retirement, many women find or rediscover a love of travel. Travel is one of the ways many of us experience the richness of life, culture, and nature. At a time in our lives when we have been primed for years to go adventuring, our dreams are fractured by fear of contagion, shut down of the travel industry, and financial hardship.

So how do we safely satisfy our wanderlust? When even the simple pleasures of eating out, socializing with friends, or taking our grandchildren out to a park or museum are denied us, imagination, virtual outings, and reminiscences must suffice. Many people are finding satisfaction by turning to the great outdoors. Sales of trailers and outdoor camping gear have skyrocketed and camping destinations have been more booked up than ever. For those of us that are physically and financially able, travels to state and national parks or national forests can give you an almost COVID-free interlude.

If we are unable to travel, there are many ways to engage in travel virtually. There are websites that host virtual tours of domestic and international destinations and there are feature films, documentaries, novels, online photo collections, and television programs that can temporarily transport you to another culture or historical era. Our imagination can be our best friend in times like these. We can revisit our favorite travel experiences. Many of us have more photos than we can count and seldom take time to revisit these wonderful memories or reminisce with others with whom we may have shared some of these experiences.

Questions to Consider:
1) Has wanderlust been a significant part of your character and lifestyle?
2) How have adventure and travel been a part of your life at various times?
3) After retirement and before the pandemic, did you find yourself traveling more or less? What types of travel have you done and which has been your favorite?
4) How has COVID-19 changed your goals and your life with respect to wanderlust?
5) Have you found some safe ways to indulge your desire to go and do? Share some of your ideas with the group.
All rights reserved © 2020 Beth Firestein, Ph.D. Wise Women Group