This Just In: 229 Days

Wanderlust (n): a strong desire to travel.

A lot is going on in Florida right now with Hurricane Isaias is off the coast. Our COVID numbers continue to spike, leaving many of us to wonder why schools are opening.

The global pandemic’s toll goes far beyond infection rates and body counts. There is a massive mental health toll on the sidelines, while the focus is on keeping people physically healthy. This week the weight caught up with me.

First, let me state this comes from a place of privilege. I fully understand that what affects me may not affect you, but it’s ok for all of us to grieve the year that would’ve been.

The last time Carla and I traveled anywhere was 229 days ago, when we took a two-day trip to Savannah, GA, and St. Augustine, FL, for our anniversary. 2020 had several exciting adventures in store, including a week-long visit to San Diego in the spring and a 10th anniversary trip to Spain in the winter. Both of these, along with our annual September staycation and a few school-related trips for Carla are all currently off the table.

Earlier this week, we both experienced a touch of wanderlust and explored weekend staycation options here locally. There are over 120,000 hotel rooms here in Orlando, most of which are currently empty. With credit card points and hotel discounts, we contemplated inexpensive or free options to get out of the house and enjoy some relaxation.

Then reality hit.

As much as we’d love to get back into the world and travel, even if it’s in our city, it’s just not safe. Even with masks, distancing, and a “ commitment to clean,” the virus is too much of a threat.

Maybe later in the year, the situation will look a little better. Despite rising death tolls, there are early signs the infection rate may be peeking in Florida. But right now, we continue to live in quarantine. And for two people who love to explore our world, that’s hard.

To compensate, we’re ordering a lot of decadent take-out. Stuff that’s as delicious as it’s incredibly bad for us. Like a pizza/calzone hybrid covered in chicken wings and garlic knots. Granted, it’s a far cry from exploring Spain, but at least it makes us happy.

Whether it’s eating all the comfort food or something else, find ways to cope with the pandemic. Our mental health is just as important as our physical health.

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