Our current homebound way of life is undeniably tainted with mystery. I find myself questioning the end of quarantine as I wonder about reaching the end of a rainbow. Above all, in these uncertain times, I can’t help but send my heart out to those that don’t have a home to retreat to, or those who have a home that poses a threat to them in some way.
I am grateful to be healthy, safe, and comfortable at home, as I hope all of you reading this are, as well. And as many of you can probably also relate to, one of the biggest dampers on my spirit is not being able to travel, and even worse, not even being able to confidently plan future travels.
Each passing day seems to bring contradictory information from government officials and scientists alike, rumors, and worst of all, the turning over and over of my own mind, lost in the lack of distraction. The “COVID-19 scare,” as my favorite morning radio host has been calling it lately, makes it uber-challenging to stay positive about the prospect of international travel in the foreseeable future.
Instead, like many of my loved ones and probably many of you, I’m loving the delicate joys on my daily neighborhood walks,
including the bird that pooped on me mid-flight – I’ve heard it is good luck – and observing the subtle and not-so-subtle transformations of the neighborhood, North Park, San Diego, where I’m currently perched.
I’ve dedicated myself to cooking my way through my new Indian cookbook, Fresh India by Meera Sodha, cleaning and organizing, daily meditating with my Insight Timer app,
and tending to my new indoor plant friends, who are my only living company if you don’t count the occasional fly that makes it through the screen or the little worms that occasionally make a cameo in the fresh herbs from the market.
I have to admit, guiltily, that with acknowledging the gravity of the deaths, sickness, sadness, isolation, despair, anxiety, fear, frustration, and boredom that have come with this pandemic, I am also grateful for this “pause” on life to catch my breath and check-in with myself. I’ve pursued a double life for many years: two continents, Europe and North America, and two professions, travel and theatre. Isn’t it easy to get caught in the current of life until you finally make it out and ask yourself, “Why did I get out?” or “Why did I stay in for so long?” and “By the way, where am I?” (A little existentialism never hurt on a Thursday morning in quarantine, right? Ha!)
Meanwhile, I’m taking the opportunity to dust off a myriad of memories and photos of adventures that were tucked away for safekeeping. Some long ago, like magical Berlin, and others recent, like boisterous Puerto Vallarta. I was caught in the current for a long time, moving too quickly to download these adventures, but I’m sitting on the shore now, enjoying the pause, and putting them back together. Because, in actuality, we all really can travel now. With our imaginations. Anywhere we’d like to go. No one can stop us from that – we are bound only by the limits of our own creativity.
I hope a few anecdotes and intriguing snaps from my travels will inspire your traveling daydreams from the comfort of your own homes. New adventures coming soon. Hope to see you then.
In the meantime, if you have some extra time on your hands, start traveling now with a few of my most beloved travel adventures:
And a personal favorite of mine, especially for artists and lovers of art: