Have you started planning any trips yet?
With shots going in arms, I’m having a hard time not thinking about travel. Especially after foregoing our usual trips last year, and Matthew and I spending this week’s podcast talking about quirky international hotels.
A million moons ago, when James and I were but wee lads, we made the conscious decision to start going on vacation to gay destinations and/or events. When we first started dating, he would travel to see his parents at Christmas, culminating one year in the purchase of a new car when his broke down in New Mexico. But after moving to Dallas, we hadn’t really planned out a trip. This would be the first time we decided to take a deliberate vacation.
So we pulled out our Damron guide (yes, an actual printed-on-paper travel book) and started flipping through, looking for places to go and events to attend. And we had this great list of possibilities. Russian River in California. P-town during the summer. Fire Island. Gay Pride in New York. Circuit parties almost anywhere you wanted to be. San Francisco. Southern Decadence in New Orleans.
Yet here we are 20+ years later, with our room for Southern Decadence already booked. Even with the best of intentions, we somehow made it as far as New Orleans and basically never left. No Fire Island. No P-town despite the insistence of a friend who attends every summer. We did manage San Francisco for our 10-year anniversary but no Russian River.
However, as much as we are looking forward to NOLA at Labor Day (and Key West after Christmas), when I think about travel this year, destinations have become much more about the who and far less about the where. After a year of pandemic, I suspect a lot of us are viewing travel the same way. Whether that means visiting with family or with friends.
I have noticed the odd post or two on Facebook from people heading to Mexico. (And no, not with Ted Cruz.) We have not been as bold, although we were able to run up to Colorado and visit with James’ parents over Labor Day and Christmas. A little snow instead of sandy beaches yet relaxing just the same.
As travel restrictions ease, I picture a lot of people crisscrossing the country to get caught up with one another and use their travel vouchers before they expire. I know for the last few months I’ve been assembling a list in my head of the people I’ve missed over the last year.
Bill in Denver. Phillip in Atlanta. Will in New York. Joel in North Carolina.
Randy and Tony. Gary and Karl. Jason and Jeremy. And I’m sure I could add to that list.
All of whom we met in, you guessed it, New Orleans.
So maybe it’s not so bad we didn’t make any farther in the Damron guide. While P-town or any other gay destination would have been nice, I’m not sure I’d have as many people to see.
Safe travels everyone!
Cover photo: Island House Key West