Below is my first attempt at creating a short story for a competition. While I have self-published a book, writing a story to be reviewed by a panel of judges while being available online to anyone was way outside my comfort zone. My submission definitely wasn't perfect but if I had sat on it, I probably would have missed the deadline!
Not only was it the start of a new year but the start of a new decade! I had to do it justice so 2020 was set to be my most action-packed travel year ever! Bourbon tasting in Kentucky, swimming with sea turtles in Barbados, sailing in New Brunswick and a drive across Iceland were all in the books. It was thrilling, it was going to be an epic adventure...until it wasn’t. I, like everyone else, watched with an increasingly heavy heart as each one of my plans were cancelled and refunded with no clues as to when, if ever, I would be able to rebook. Suddenly finding myself working from home until further notice, sitting at my desk in a bedroom converted into an office, the view from March 2020 onward was just a grey fog to me. Travel was my life, travel was what I spent all my money on, to my friends I was ‘The One Who Travelled.’ I didn’t know who I was without my next trip planned. I also didn’t know 2020 was going to be a destination all on its own.
I quickly realized without needing to commute and having nowhere to go, I had all kinds of time on my hands. The online courses and webinars I always meant to watch but never had time for, the novel I started writing ten years ago and thought I would never finish, all got done. Spending time in nature, spending time with my bubble, became the new fun. Who knew when my parents told me I didn’t need to travel all the time that they were telling the truth?? I had never learned the value of staying home, staying local and focusing on those closest to me. 2020 flew by and 2021 entered. I knew things had changed when my cousin excitedly messaged to say if I met certain conditions, I could visit her in New Brunswick. I thought for a split second and my reaction was, meh, I don’t really want to.
What? I don’t want to travel? Mind blown! But it was true, my priorities have changed. However, that does not mean Sunwing is off the hook. 2022 needs to be LIT! Not only have I changed but how I appreciate travel has changed. The next beach I visit, I am watching the sunrise and sunset every day. With a bucket of cold beers, feet buried in the sand, I’ll watch the stars come out, look for planets and get excited by every shooting star I see. I am going to pop some bubbly on the first night and the last night to honor the occasion. I am going to order what I want from the restaurant and enjoy every bite. I am going to be happy just to be there and be in the moment. Never again will I take for granted the special privilege that is travel, knowing now how easily it can be taken away. 2020- lessons learned.