COVID-19 has been going on long enough that we have all settled into new habits or – a new normal. Some are great and include time with family, home-cooking, and getting projects done around the house. Others are unhealthy and include going out to eat most nights, binging a new tv series each week, or losing touch with family and friends. There is a balance to everything that you need to establish for yourself, as you did before, in order to maximize your happiness. I find myself reflecting on this often to make sure I am keeping myself on track for my future self.
Today I’d like to talk about traveling and vacations. It is more challenging, sure, and definitely weird. I can’t tell you how many times I am running back to my car for my mask so now I keep one folded in my pocket at all times. Mental checklist; wallet, keys, phone, chapstick, mask… – F!
Whether you believe in the pandemic or believe it’s all political, traveling is different. Even so, it is possible to still have a wonderful adventure with your loved ones and take in new and exciting things. You see, as we have fallen into our new-normal, so have the businesses and tourism around us (mostly, some may not recover and that is heartbreaking (support your local small businesses!)). Let me share with you an adventure of how my wife and I made a fantastic trip come together out of this pandemic.
We live in NY, and NY is a big state. We decided to take a trip up to Buffalo and Niagra Falls. A 5.5 hours drive
First we returned to the scene of the crime, the falls themselves. Open to the public, beautiful, magical and outdoor. While many families were there, the groups were easy enough to keep distance from.
Then, a cathedral (St. Paul‘s I believe) we were driving past that had some of the most grand architecture I have ever seen stopped us in our tracks. We had to check it out and it was beyond beautiful! There was no service and it was open to the public for tours and walk through. I wish I could’ve taken more photos, but it didn’t seem appropriate with the other individuals around. Sorry!
Now I am normally a huge fan of aquariums, but at the Niagara Falls Aquarium, all of the exhibits in tight quarters were closed. The touch tank? Also closed. I understand why given present circumstances, but I was surprised since it wasn’t advertised before hand or considered with pricing. While the arrows guide you around through your appointment, which should be nice, being geared towards children means they are running every which way. When we were there at least, parents were taking it easy and didn’t really care. So with the chaos of loose-children and the coolest exhibits closed, it wasn’t as fun as our other activities.
Such as the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. Similarly to many of the tourist locations, arrows guided you along the tour and entrance by appointment only. It was beautiful to have less people there and we really didn’t have to rush through anything. I recommend strolling through here to really take in all the details and information. If you go with the right person, you may even find it romantic. Mostly indoors exhibits, but there is a large outdoor garden trail and gazebo.
Now the gardens were nice, but our best excursion on this trip was the Buffalo Zoo. Also by appointment only with arrow-guided tour, and it was massive. Animals appeared healthy, park was clean, and most of the animals came out to play. Staff was friendly and informative, clearly love what they do. These are not the best exhibits, but I was having a really good time and didn’t take many pictures – that’s how you know its worth the visit.
Who knows when things will be back to a certain level of normal? Not me. What I do know is that life has never and will never wait for you to give yourself what you need. Need to leave your house? Go, take a day and do something local to support the community. Need a vacation? Take one, places are taking precautions and there are some great deals out there for those looking to get away – doesn’t have to be far to be away from home. Do anything you’d like, to your desired comfort level, and take precautions for those around you.
Moral of the post? Enjoy your life, be safe, and live a little.