It’s like beating a dead horse to say that we’ve all lost a lot this past year, be it family, friends, health, freedoms, jobs, and at times, even hope for the future. I’ve been blessed to have remained healthy with no disruption to my job, so the main effect I’ve felt has been related to travel and personal freedom. After having travel plans fall through for various reasons multiple times, it looks like our next planned trip may also be cancelled because of the current gas shortage going on here on the East Coast. Just as I had finished building our itinerary and my excitement was building, this latest crisis happened and I turned into a blithering pile of self-pity.
Why, God? Not again, can’t we just have one thing we have planned work out? We were just staying in the US on this trip, nothing too crazy. I’m basically at the point of not wanting to get my hopes up for any event to actually come to fruition at this point. As many people have a growing optimism these days due to the vaccine rollouts, I’m feeling the opposite. I see our freedoms diminishing and government overreach increasing exponentially and it feels like the world is closing in on me in many ways.
I believe the decision to vaccinate needs to remain as each individual’s choice with no mandates, but the travel outlook appears as if most European countries will be incentivizing the injection by requiring long quarantines in order to visit if you choose to remain unvaccinated. If only we all had unlimited PTO, that wouldn’t be an issue, but I know for my situation, a quarantine of 10 days is not something I can work around when I can only take one week of vacation at a time.
I won’t go into all my reasons why, but I won’t be getting the injection in order to travel or for any other reason. It would undoubtedly make life much easier if I did get it, and would open up the world to me again in the next few months. It’s a heavy feeling, knowing that travel as I’ve known it for the last 37 years is likely over, but I know it’s the right one for me and for my own health and fertility.
It’s a hard adjustment knowing this probably isn’t a temporary travel halt and is more like a funeral for my wanderlust as the landscape appears to be changing permanently. I truly hope I’m wrong about the direction that travel is heading, but if I’m right, I may never be able to cross another country off my bucket list. What do you do at funerals? You grieve the person you’ve lost and often reminisce about the good memories. I feel both of these things deeply regarding the opportunities I’ve had over the years and I’m incredibly grateful for all that I’ve been able to explore – I just wasn’t ready for it to come to such an unexpected end, but that’s how it is with most losses, I suppose.
Yes, I still have the USA open to me and there are countless places I’d love to explore here, but it’s still difficult to stomach not having the freedom to visit other countries. I’ve realized through this though, that I have made travel somewhat of an idol in my life. I was often much more consumed with planning for my next destination than with my relationship with God.
I don’t think there is anything inherently wrong with having a strong wanderlust or passion for travel, as God created this beautiful world for us to explore and enjoy, but if He isn’t what I desire most, I’m missing the point. I don’t want to worship His creation more than the One who created me. I find myself wanting to cling to any control I have to make my own happiness, but it’s pointless. I was never in control, I just had the illusion that I was forging my own path. I was reminded of this verse: “A man’s heart plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” Proverbs 16:9.
I’m honestly rather scared of what life will look like without the one thing that has been my passion for so long, and something I’ve been “known for” by my friends and family. I’ve always enjoyed being the one who was jetting off to somewhere new and exciting or sharing a new post about my latest trip. When I’ve been defined by one thing, how do I go about moving into a new space and new purpose? I don’t know the answer to that, but I know I can depend on the truth of Proverbs 3:5-6 – “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” I’m sure I won’t stop traveling completely, but going forward, I will likely be using this platform to share more about other passions in my life, including my faith, nutrition and medical freedom, so now’s your chance to unsubscribe if you’re no longer interested.
Thanks for reading my ramblings.