Why I Traveled During COVID

Colorado Dude Ranch
Travel is an extension of who I - and who many of us - are. It’s a short respite from our everyday lives; a chance to immerse ourselves in a different world. Traveling allows us to shake off our weariness and bask in that which intrigues and delights us most. Yet, I wondered, when would we travel again?

So, when a client asked me to research travel options for immediate travel, I delighted in the task. My research unveiled an abundance of destinations and experiences. Road trips in Alaska, Villas on the beach and Dude Ranches in Colorado which allow for ample social distancing with proper safety protocols in place. Not only did I see it was possible to travel, but it became enticing! The lure of a horse ranch getaway became too irresistible so my daughter and I packed our bags and flew to Colorado.

Was it scary? Surprisingly, no. I know for some people this sounds irresponsible or it is impossible. It’s a personal choice to travel right now. Personally, we took extra safety precautions like flying an airline that doesn’t book middle seats; our daughter and I each had our own row both directions. We wore double masks the entire time indoors and stayed more than six feet apart from others. Even our rental car company had enhanced measures in place; limiting the number of people on the shuttle and contactless pick up of the vehicle with pre-registration.

It’s what happened once we arrived at the ranch that opened my eyes to why we risked traveling at all. Nestled between mountains in a remote part of Colorado, I was able to forget about masks and cleaning and tracking kids’ screen usage. All the mundane repetitiveness washed off me as I took huge, deep breaths of that crisp mountain air. I read by a cast iron stove fire while sipping coffee; hearing stampeding horse hooves off in the distance. I rode sun-up til sun-down for three slower-paced, mind-recharging days on my trusty horse, Skip. I vicariously delighted in the other guest’s (only four other families were there) stories of their day spent fly-fishing, trail hiking or horseback riding.

Looking back, I realized it was a much needed break. We all process things differently. For me, travel is complete immersion in another world. Hearing the history and eating the local food and meeting people from other places invigorates me and my insatiable curiosity. This trip reminded me of how big this world still is and all the places still left to be traveled. It also motivated me; gave me the fuel to choose to dream of future travel instead of giving in to fear or boredom. Travel may not be the same, but I am thankful it is possible and optimistically hopeful for the future

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