Last week I planned 24 trips. Sure, 15 were for grocery pickups, but nine were on VRBO.
Travel planning is my latest pushback against pandemic-induced claustrophobia. We may not be leaving home, but that doesn’t mean we can’t dream of leaving home.
I’ve never covered so many miles on so little fuel.
If it’s cold outside, I view beach houses. Bright tropical palettes and palm trees swaying in the breeze call, “Come!” I can even visualize myself on the beach — tall, tanned and so incredibly thin that passersby yell, “Put some meat on those bones, lady!”
I punched in travel dates and received a message that says 30-day minimum stay required. So much the better. It is beyond my control. They demand I stay for a month!
If it is snowing, I’m browsing majestic ski lodges made of huge timbers. That’s me by the outdoor fire pit cradling a cup of hot chocolate in my hands, all decked out in my sporty ski jacket with coordinating ski pants. I don’t have a ski outfit, but when I dream I like to include wardrobe. (And weight loss. See above paragraph.)
A lot of my travel is food-inspired. We have Italian for dinner, and I’m back online teetering between Sicily, Florence and Rome. So few clicks; so many choices. Seaside escape or rolling hills of Tuscany? Do we want the villa that comes with the winery tour or the villa without?
I’m jetting around the globe with absolutely no concern that my passport is out of date.
Steaks on the grill? Say hello dude ranch. Put me down for a dry and dusty cattle drive, mending fences and sleeping under the stars. Now checking the box for “authentic western ranch experience that comes with high-end amenities.” So you really can have it all.
If a history book puts me to sleep, I create a trip board for the place where the history happened. Why read when you can tour?
If only I could earn frequent flier miles and hotel points for sitting in front of the computer. If only vacation therapy was covered by our health insurance. “Doctor, doctor, I need some vitamin See!”
I’m not the only one doing vicarious vacation therapy. On VRBO nearly every place I’ve saved to one of my 3,000 travel boards has been viewed by 289 others in the past few hours.
Nobody’s booking, but everybody’s looking. Much of the world now works from home and travels from home.
There are two sides to these vicarious vacations. The downside of not actually leaving home is not leaving home.
The upside of not actually leaving home is that we avoid long car trips, airport security and struggling to cram a bag that won’t quite fit into overhead storage.
That said, it would be nice to go somewhere.
I miss the little soaps.
Lori Borgman is a columnist, author and speaker. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.