Dec 20: Travels past & future

Part of the 2020 good-times advent calendar! If you have ideas, and/or would like to see something fun drawn into the advent calendar, please let me know. Comment below or email/WhatsApp me and let’s have fun this next few weeks.

Mass cancellations of discretionary travel is one of the many bummers of 2020. I am in the rare minority of people that did a lot of airmiles in 2020, with some trips within Canada and 3 trans-Atlantic flights. However, no other travels are on the horizon, since it doesn’t seem reasonable to plan that before we know what health recommendations might come up or what requirements will be involved with travel – quarantines, vaccination records, border restrictions, etc.

Tom and Bernie and Nathan and Michelle had extensive and coordinated European travel plans this summer, which we hoped might intersect with a visit to Sweden. Alas, they got a summer staycation and stayed healthy at home. When talking about the distanced-fun Advent calendar, Bernie reminded me about Gävlebocken, the giant straw goat erected each holiday season in northern town Gävle, where we used to live. So Bernie’s suggestion lands today, on her birthday! Gävlebocken is easy to enjoy from a distance, via twitter or livestreaming video, and also to look back at photos and even blog posts from that time to remember and enjoy the nostalgia. Do you have travel or event photos you haven’t looked at in a while? It could be a lift to go and look through them, and remember what fun that was.

Another form of travel-adjacent enjoyment is thinking about and planning a future event. It is difficult right now to pick dates and book specifics, but you could think about where might be fun to visit, and then what you might like to do and see when you get there. You could look at others’ photos of a place or read their blogs; Graham found some great Bologna food blogs before we traveled there and it helped direct our gelato seeking. You could get a travel book and read about the history or culture or tourist offerings and make a list (or draw pictures) of what you’d like to do when you get there. You could check out the many professional and amateur travel shows on YouTube. Rick Steeves is a *bit* of a dork, but his tips and interpretations are so great (absolutely recommend his books too!) It is not the same as traveling, but we won’t all be grounded forever and it can be a lift to plan fun things to look forward too (even if we don’t know quite when they will happen).