Why I’m Not Sweating Being “Stuck” At Home

As the world starts to open up again, bit by bit, I see a number of folks begin to travel.  I also see a number of folks who are planning travel.  And, another group of people who haven’t even begun planning a trip.  I’ve been home for almost 90 days now.  That’s the longest stretch I’ve been home since our son was born a decade ago.  You would think that has me antsy to get back out there.  After all, my life has been travel for more than a dozen years.  With plenty of time to think about it, I’m surprisingly comfortable at home.  There are a few reasons why.

There’s Still Health Risk

The last time I checked the numbers, there were still about a thousand people a day dying in the United States from COVID-19.  That’s a pretty sobering number to me.  I don’t begrudge anyone who feels comfortable traveling.  For me, a big part of staying home has just been about minimizing risk.  I could travel, and the chances are really high that I’d be okay.  But, the travel, for work or pleasure, wouldn’t be necessary.

This is one of those age-old situations where I’d normally say something like, “Well, I won’t put my family at risk, but I’m willing to travel.”  That’s the thing about COVID-19.  Me traveling does put my family at risk.  I have teams I trust running the business units I’m responsible for elsewhere in the country.  No better time to let them lead.

Leisure Travel? 2 Problems (Okay, Maybe 3)

There have been some great travel deals pop up over the past few weeks.  A few desirable destinations (Greece, some spots in the Caribbean, Iceland) have started to open up to foreigners.  It’s summertime and we canceled all of our trips during the time the stay-at-home order was in place, one-by-one, until they were all gone.  Why not book something now?

First, I don’t want to risk my wife or kids getting sick.  That’s unlikely, but still not worth it to me.

Second, from what I’ve been reading there are enough restrictions on the places that are open to make it a less enjoyable trip. With greatly reduced tourism counts, many activities are still closed or delayed.  Could we have fun somewhere?  Probably. But, we’d also likely miss some of the best reasons to visit faraway places.

Lastly, what happens if we get stuck?  Again, unlikely.  But, what if the US closed the borders again, or if we contracted COVID-19 overseas?  I just don’t want to push those boundaries right now.  Honestly, I’m perfectly fine with someone else being the guinea pig and sharing their experiences (hopefully not like Nomadic Matt, who ended up contracting COVID-19).

Family Matters

Family does matter.  If you’ve read my blog for any amount of time, you know how important family is to me.  Being home with them has been great.  But, we’re not talking about those sort of family matters.  We had a family matter that ended up getting folded into the pandemic.  My wife has had shoulder issues for a while now.  Physical therapy wasn’t working.  When elective surgery opened up, we decided to get her shoulder taken care of now.  Being home for the entire 6 week recovery process would have seemed crazy a few months ago.  Now, it just seems like the best timed decision I’ve made in a long time.

I Do Want To Travel

We cancelled a number of great trips so far. There was that room in Mexico with our own private pool on our patio.  Oh, and a trip to Bermuda we’ve been looking forward to for years, paid for 100% on points (something that I may never get lucky enough to swing again).  Iceland is high on our list and it’s getting closer and closer to being okay to go.

Our family has pivoted to thinking about road trip adventures.  Heck, we even contemplated renting an RV.  I’m not a camper, that’s for sure. Could I do a few weeks in a souped up RV?  We just might find out.

What are your summer plans?

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  1. There is always next year for travel, as airlines employee I miss travel for the first time in 20 years no traveling this year I don’t want to be in a metal tube for 15 16 hrs even if the middle seat is empty
    I stay home thank you

  2. Bravo, Ed. Part of being travel addicts is being able to know when is NOT the time to travel. That time is now. Hot spots are popping up all over the place (14 states now have their highest counts!), and who knows whats next. Remember all those things we talked about that you never did but were close to home?! Now is the time to do them, as well as spend good time with family. The world will wait, let it heal. 🙂

    1. Joelfreak, we’re looking at all those places close by. At least the outdoors ones. 🙂

      The increasing counts do give me pause, and further reinforce that a car is the right fit for us versus an airplane right now.

  3. We have just started contemplating a road trip to see my parents. It’s a 13 hour drive, so it can (and has) been done in a day.
    We’ve been pretty strict about social distancing and I plan to be tested 5-6 days before (if) we go. I haven’t seen them for a year and they are getting older.
    Weighing the risk/reward is so hard. Their state has few cases, so my worry is much more for their safety because our state is a poop show to phrase it kindly.
    We can play in the mountains there, so that would be a nice change of scenery.
    But we canceled trips we had planned to Florida, Cancun and New York this summer. Just not worth the risk for us.
    And I am so blessed to have kids who not only understand, but are making the best of it.
    It’s been different family time, but still fantastic family time. A time I’m trying to appreciate because I will never get this much time with them ever again.

    1. Fawnn, I’m appreciating all the extra time with my kids as well. We’re looking at a 7-hour trip to visit family, with all the same concerns about risk that you have. I don’t think they’re easy decisions. Like you, I’ve been pleased that my kids have mostly understood the need to be safe.

  4. Do whatever is right for your family. We won’t be getting on a plane IMHO until late late this year.

    we rented a RV via rvshare.com two summers ago and drove from spokane WA to glacier national park. it was fantastic.  i highly recommend it.  the beauty of rvshare (like turo) is that you are renting private party but insurance is mandatory.  so we were able to choose a RV that fit our needs, but when my wife inadvertently scraped the AC unit off the top, we were limited to $3K in damages and fully covered for the rest by the insurance co.  you can find Ritz Carlton or Comfort Inn level RVs.  if you want to do it, look at secondary cities — the same RV rented out of Denver was 2x the price renting from Spokane.

  5. Just like the rest of you, I’m gasping for air. I’d love to plan a trip and get back on a plane. But not now. No rush. Health is a # 1 priority. My wife and I are playing good cop / bad cop. I’d like to do an overnight road trip upstate NY. I’m willing to chance it. Watkins Glen and the Finger Lakes are nice places to revisit. I don’t mind fast food takeout. My wife isn’t keen on that. She’s happier headed to a market to buy food.

    Good cop bad cop. She’s a no-go on the trip. Her extra vote is the tiebreaker. 😉

    We were hoping to re-schedule our March LHR/UK trip to the fall. Not happening. Maybe next March?? Who knows. No rush. Good thing we have multiple trips and experiences banked over the last 42 years of marriage.


  6. As seniors, we sadly have cancelled all international leisure travel this summer.

    We do have one domestic trip planned, flying Southwest to assist our daughter who is expecting a baby later this summer. That trip seems worth the risk.

  7. We also cancelled all of our planned summer trips. It was a bummer but we just didn’t feel comfortable doing it and I keep reminding myself that all of these places will still exist next year. We did, however, travel to an airbnb lake house about 4 hours from our home. We packed all of our own food, (even cooked a few freezer meals ahead of time and traveled with them in a cooler with many ice packs), brought our own cleaning supplies, made the trip without stopping, and have essentially quarantined in a new location. I realize it’s not for everyone but for us it was a good way to mitigate risk and still get away.

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