Over the past 6+ months, I've been prioritizing family time, with friends a close second.
In 2023, I've already traveled to Florida with Mom to see the cousins and my uncles and went to Kentucky with my brother and his family + my parents and friends for his 50th birthday.
I am incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by both family and friends who are generally mindful, educated, and understand how to support others.
My cousins have also served as my core cancer support group. A mixed blessing, but they have played such an important part of my journey the past 18 months. I have been leaning hard on their experience in this journey and their advice has been invaluable.
We have been driving or getting a room on the Auto Train to minimize the crowds and risk. It helps that the Auto Train starts in Northern Virginia near my house and ends near family in Central Florida.
I have also been travelling (generally) with someone else - either my Mom or my partner. It's good to have back-up to split up the drive and help with logistics and navigation.
We also take more time to get to our destination - so where I used to cannonball to Florida via car, we now take a couple of days if we are driving.
My car stamina has improved significantly, but it's still variable and unpredictable. Right now, I'm good for 5 hours driving myself and about 10 in the car splitting the driving.
Airplanes are still out of the picture unless it is an emergency. When I was working and travelling a lot, there was always the "post-plane crud." This was pre-COVID. Recent reports of friends and family coming down with the latest round of COVID after plane trips have solidified this particular travel boundary for me.
Admittedly, travel is tiring and potentially a high-risk activity. I've been taking the risk because my numbers have been good enough, with precautions, that I feel relatively comfortable with how we are traveling. Everyone around me is also very mindful of each other's health. That helps.
I am finding that changing my environment on occasion, as tiring as travel can be, helps keep me engaged with life and keeps me inspired.
It is important to me that I'm able to make memories with my family and friends while we are all in OK health and can spend time together under happy circumstances.
We've had a series of health scares and the elder generation is aging quickly. It's nice to get together to be together. No occasion. No real reason other than to enjoy each other's company.
I'm very fortunate in that I have a family I enjoy hanging with.
I'm grateful I have friends that are supportive and intelligent.
And I'm grateful I have the resources, means, and health to travel and see the people I love.