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  • Writer's pictureLacy Starling

#21: What do We Really Need

Before Covid, if you'd asked me the one thing in my life I couldn't live without (besides food and water and smooches, of course), I'd have said travel. I love to travel, and I used to do it as often as I could. Brian and I were reliably on a plane to somewhere new every few months. In the three years we've been together, we've gone on no fewer than 17 trips (not counting the travel I've done solo for work.) Being on a plane, seeing new places, having those experiences, was something that made the long hours and hard work worth it. I didn't spend money on jewelry or fancy cars or a big house or designer purses, but I did spend pretty freely on travel.

Then, my state went into lockdown. Within weeks, three trips I'd planned in the spring were canceled and several more were in question for later in the year. At first, I was really sad. For the first time in her life, I wasn't going to be taking Catherine to the beach for Spring Break. I wasn't going to be able to show Brian one of my favorite cities, Montreal. I didn't know when I'd be able to see my mom again if we couldn't travel to her in North Carolina. And our honeymoon, a bucket list sailing trip in the Virgin Islands, was cancelled. It was a weird time and I felt like one of the great pleasures of my life had been taken away from me. (And yes, I'm aware that these are completely #uptownproblems. I'm not comparing them to the trauma and instability so many people felt then and are still feeling. It was, simply, a bummer.)

After a few months, though, I realized it was okay. I was okay. I didn't need to travel to be happy. Brian and Catherine and I were able to make our own fun at home, with the occasional kayaking day or hike or walk to the ice cream place down the street. We took a three-day honeymoon to a cabin in the woods in Kentucky once we were allowed, and it was lovely. (Not a sailing trip in the Caribbean, but lovely.) And I don't think I probably need to tell you how much money I saved by not traveling so much. (It was a ton, and it is allowing me some freedom to start something new.)

I know that once we are able to, we'll travel again. It will be different, and I'm in no rush to get on a plane, but eventually, I'll be comfortable with it. I'll start seeing other parts of the world again, and having new experiences and exposing my daughter to different cultures. But in the meantime, I've found out that I don't NEED to travel. I just really like it.

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