As I venture back on the road for both work and personal travel, I find myself feeling like I am in the twilight zone.  After a pause of 14 months, most of us cannot wait to travel whether to see loved ones, to take that vacation that was cancelled due to the pandemic, to discover new experiences, or simply for a change of scenery.  

As we pack a bag to head out the door, I find myself completely unorganized and out of my usual rhythm.  I used to have a toiletry bag ready to go, I knew which clothes traveled the best, and I made sure to remember my phone charger and wallet with ID.  This time around, there were so many other things that occupied my thoughts as well.  How many masks should I bring?  Is hand sanitizer allowed on flights?  Do I need proof of vaccination? 

There is no question that our world has changed drastically in the past year.  However, once at my destination, I found that the peace and enjoyment of travel had not changed a bit.  The excitement of seeing my son after a year and a half was both exhilarating and a relief.  The opportunity to have new experiences and dine out at a restaurant was awesome.  Travel is not just a fun thing to do, it is a much-needed stress reliever, good for our mental and physical well-being. 

This week I was visiting some of our hospitality partners in the Finger Lakes/Ontario County.  As I stood on the dock of Seager Marine, I felt myself stop and take a moment to breathe in the fresh air and smells of the lakeside.  As I did so, I watched visitors and locals alike interact, and I enjoyed seeing their smiles and their new appreciation for some sense of normalcy.  When dining out, it was so nice to see the servers smile, grateful to be working again, and patrons enjoying the experience. 

One of the many benefits of the Finger Lakes region is the ability to spend much of your time outside on bikes or hikes, sitting by the lakeside with a glass of wine, or out on a boat on the lake.  You can experience dining on one of the rooftop restaurants or walking through the gardens at Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion. Whatever your passion, these experiences, that we have all missed this past year, offer a great way to ease back into the world of travel.               

Getting back on the road again may sound a bit daunting, but once you venture out you will be reminded of the excitement and wonder of travel.  Take baby steps, visit someplace close to home, enjoy the outdoors and fresh air, and do your research to be sure you are comfortable with the destination.  Travel is back, so pack your bags and get out there to experience all that the world has to offer!