Mourning the Loss of Travel Even When You Feel You Can’t
In my post about Why You Should Be Staying Home Now During Coronavirus I mentioned I was also writing another post about managing your emotions during this time.
Is it Selfish to Be Upset About Cancelled Trips Now?
It’s not. It’s selfish to *only* think about that, yes. But I firmly believe that people can handle multiple emotions at once.
For sure, the most pressing thing right now is to slow the spread (Flatten the Curve) of the Coronavirus so that we can stop the spiking parabolic trends that threaten to completely overwhelm hospital systems around the country and around the world.
It’s super serious.
It’s not a cold. It’s not the same as a seasonal flu. It spreads fast and furious and it can lie dormant for up to 14 days while you infect others. It’s killing people at a rate of more than 10x the flu and spreading like a fire.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t have emotions besides fear and making sure you do the right thing. This doesn’t change the fact that you shouldn’t be traveling now, even if you can get a flight where you want to go.
It’s anyone’s guess when we will be able to start traveling again. It likely will not be by Easter despite public hopes for that.
And so, whether you had to cancel your dream trip or if you are just feeling antsy not knowing when you’ll be on a plane again, don’t feel guilty that you are having the thought….
My Own Cancelled Plans
The COVID-19 outbreak has meant that me and fiancé have had to postpone our wedding. As many of you know, you spend many months planning a wedding. Postponing it – especially when you can’t even be sure that your postponed date will be safe – is not fun.
Beyond that, I spent over 6 months stalking inventory on the “perfect honeymoon” including Qatar’s QSuites to the Maldives, 6 nights on points and certificates at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives in a beach villa (which can no longer be booked for points), a week in Sri Lanka and the Etihad First Class Apartments to come home.
I was initially in denial myself, not wanting to actually cancel any of the trip until close to the date “just in case” things change rapidly (despite my expectation that they will not). But in the last few days, all of the flights involved (save for a flight from Male to Colombo) have been cancelled. So, that forced me to accept it rather than hold out any false hope.
Think it’s easy to reschedule the trip given what’s happening? Nope. I can’t find business or first class flights on preferred dates for winter (high season, of course). I am looking at ways to possibly change up the trip to fit some inventory I’m seeing to different countries (and getting to/from the Maldives accordingly) but it’s on my mind. I’m back to square one. I was able to book the St Regis Maldives on points at the peak time, so that gives me some hope I’ll be able to re-cobble together a suitable honeymoon. After all, there may or may not be some pressure on Mr. MilesTalk to deliver a pretty solid honeymoon experience for the almost Mrs. MilesTalk 😉
You Can Take This Seriously and Still Mourn Your Loss of Travel
For me, like many of you, travel is life. Life is travel. That is why I do all of this. This is my passion.
I fully understand and appreciate the severity of the current environment. Heck, I’ve lost followers on Twitter for telling them to stay home and take this seriously. One wanted to argue with me that 0.5-1% of our population was a fair sacrifice to get the stock market back up. (It’s not!).
We are based in NY, in Manhattan, which currently has more than 10x the next state in total cases and where we live on top of each other. We wear masks to leave the apartment (those elevators are virus hotboxes!), we change clothes to go outside, and we wipe down everything that is entering the apartment. We have 700 sq ft for two people to exist 24/7. And knowing that NYC is quickly running out of hospital bed space (we are turning the Jacob Javits Convention Center into an auxiliary hospital), our entire goal is survival. We cannot get sick.
We are also making sure that our parents, more vulnerable than us, have what they need without leaving their homes.
At the same time, we are super bummed about postponing the wedding and cancelling the honeymoon.
I’m also sad that I have no idea when I’ll once again be in my happy place – on a plane.
I think it’s very easy for someone to shame someone that is sad or anxious about anything other than the virus now. While it’s certainly not my role to give anyone permission to feel a certain way, I do hope that publishing this helps someone that is not only feeling down and scared about the virus but also mad at themselves for having other feelings of sadness and loss to know that you aren’t alone.
And it’s OK.
How are you mourning your travel losses?
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New to all of this? The MilesTalk “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available on Amazon and at major booksellers.