Culture | Health | Lifestyle | Travel

Traveling Between Variants

Traveling again opens up the world, and exploring new places for a few days in Miami leaves me ready for so much more. Miami has some of the best dining options anywhere, and also some of the worst drivers. I delighted in the best sushi I’ve ever had, while marveling at some of the most ill-advised driving decisions I’ve ever seen. Each destination offers its own unique reveals.

You forget how much you learned to love the life of a nomad until you’re locked in place for a year. One business trip and it all washes over you again. The anticipation and cadence of a meeting, the shift from one hotel to another as you change cities, overcoming language barriers, and the food versus fuel debate in your head as you scan unfamiliar menus. It’s all part of the life of a traveler, and you count your blessings when you can travel again.

And yet this business of fighting the virus and its variants isn’t quite over yet. There’s an underlying unease about the virus amongst the thoughtful, and a heightened awareness of crowded spaces. Eating out in a place like Miami involves many crowded spaces. You hear of Australia locking down and patrolling streets and contrast it with the freedom of movement and the casual closeness in packed spaces in Florida. Who is right?

We may move closer to normal, but the generational impact of the pandemic on the collective psyche of humanity will be felt for our lifetimes. When you travel again you immediately see the world differently than those who are still sheltering, because you have to. The world is moving on even as the virus is doubling down, and you’re either casual with your personal health and responsibility to others or you’re not. I’m surfing the edge and I know it, but the thrill of travel fills me up anyway.

Travel by its nature requires a leap of faith and calculated risk. If you have the freedom to travel, then do so responsibly. That begins with getting vaccinated and practicing good hygiene. Risk is never eliminated in life, but it can be mitigated. Because getting back out there illuminates this beautiful gift of living, and it would be great for everyone to get back to the brighter days.

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