What I miss about travel during Covid-19

This Covid -19 virus has put a screeching halt to all travel worldwide and not a single country has been exempt.  The shit hit the fan in mid-March 2020 while we were in La Fortuna, Costa Rica.  Instead of heading back to the USA, we elected to voluntarily self quarantine for over three (3) months in the Cloud Forest of Monteverde, Costa Rica.  As our Costa Rican visas were about to expire, Barbie and I made the executive decision to shift the location of our self quarantine.

We were looking to isolate in a tropical climate and in a safe location.  Surrounded by nature and wide open green spaces, with few humans around and easy access to white sand beaches.  So, Maui is where we are right now.  We felt Maui, in the middle of the South Pacific, was the safest place that met this above criteria.  Far away from the problems facing the mainland USA but still be in our home country.  The islands of Hawaii are effectively closed to tourists due to the 14 day strictly enforced mandatory quarantine.  We plan to hunker down here for as long as it takes for the world to open up again for safe travel.

So, what do I miss most about not being on the road traveling around the world?

NOTHING.  A REAL TRAVELER CANNOT BE STOPPED!

So, what do I really miss about being restricted from continuing on our world journey?

EVERYTHING!

I miss the grit of travel.

I miss life as usual…..which I have always taken for granted.

I miss creeping around anonymously and getting lost in the crowd in a foreign country.

I miss the research, the planning and the anticipation of the unknown….the journey and all of the new and interesting experiences.

I miss getting that $6 full body massages on Khao San Road, Thailand.

I miss grabbing a random shared snorkel that some stranger just used on the snorkel boat trip to the Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

I miss watching the random elephant walking down Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok in bumper to bumper traffic.

I miss the excitement of seeing our plan come to life and the first glimpse of a new place.

I miss being jammed alongside fellow travelers on a sweaty hot ferry en-route to the island of Koh Rong, Cambodia.

I miss smelling that ubiquitous, stank ass stink, at a SE Asian outdoor meat & vegetable market.

I miss eating and drinking sangria in a bustling and festive tapas bar in Seville, Spain.

I miss eating shoulder to shoulder with the locals at a taco stand slathering guacamole onto my arrachera taco from a shared bowl in Mexico City.

I miss waking up every day in a foreign and unfamiliar place realizing I can choose my own adventure.

I miss eating famed killer brunches at a crowded Aussie beachside cafe in the Gold Coast, Australia.

I miss entering a new country and not knowing what to expect.

I miss brushing up against random strangers at one of the many bustling markets in Yucatan, Mexico.

I miss talking to other travelers……up close.

I miss the communal eating, with my hands, from a shared tagine clay pot in Marrakech, Morroco.

I miss being a ‘nobody’ in a little corner of the world and far away from home.

I miss the sounds of school children playing in the school playground in Inle Lake, Myanmar.

I miss wandering around aimlessly without a fucking mask.

I miss being in the thick of the steaming hot, sweaty and crowded Gospel tent at the Jazz Festival in New Orleans, Louisiana.

I miss the excitement of getting lost in the back alleyways of Hanoi, Vietnam.

I miss all the spontaneous adventures and the many ‘what the fuck’ sights that pop up on a daily basis.

I miss the crowded snorkeling boat tours in Palawan, Philippines where the local crew carved our delicious fresh fruit with their unwashed bare hands.

I miss drinking kava with my lips pressed against a shared wooden bowl at a Fijian ceremony in Fiji.

I miss grabbing with my bare hands that daily hot freshly baked french bread from the bin at the small local supermarket in Moorea, French Polynesia.

I miss the Sunday, butt naked, beach drum circle sunset party at Little Beach, Maui.

I miss sharing a spliff with a stranger sitting next to me at a coffee shop in Amsterdam.

I miss the crowded and boisterous scene at the pubs in Dublin, Ireland.

I miss touching on the betting machine screen at Saratoga Racetrack, New York with my fingers and then eating popcorn with those same unwashed hands moments later.

I miss the famed ping pong show on Patpong Road in Bangkok, Thailand.

I miss walking thru the labyrinth maze of a jam packed shopping medina in Fes, Morocco.

I miss the surreal-ness of being in a place I’ve never been…… thousands of miles away from home.

I miss the aged Thai lady artistically cutting the sweetest pineapple on planet earth with her hands on Railay Beach, Thailand.

I miss preparing dinner in the community kitchen among random travelers spanning the globe utiilizing shared utensils at the hostel in Queenstown, New Zealand.

I miss that obligatory fruity welcome drink and icy cold welcome wash cloth, wiping the gobs of sweat off my face upon check-in at every Southeast Asian guesthouse.

I miss not having to plan meals and simply walking up to and eating at a random streetside market vendor in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam.

I miss using the shared bike system in the Netherlands.

I miss the surreal experience being packed shoulder to shoulder with worshippers at the Western Wall In Jerusalem, Israel.

I miss the non-socially distanced camaraderie of the Australian and New Zealand guesthouses.

I miss not having a plan. Waking up each morning having a day that changes my entire life.

I miss the freedom and the feeling of butterflies in my stomach on the plane ride over.

I miss the pounding in my ears anticipating the return of my passport from the immigration officer – and that sweet sweet relief when they slide it back to you and say ‘enjoy your stay, NEXT!’

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