Unprecedented Times call for Radical Thanks
Unprecedented Times call for Radical Thanks.
Early this year, the Coronavirus pandemic exploded onto the global stage, putting a halt to international travel within weeks and pushing many of us around the world into local lockdowns. While no one could have predicted the economic and political consequences, along with the loss of life – likewise no one could have predicted the tiny, everyday silver linings that shone through this dark and dismal time.
Stuck at home in an effort to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe and healthy, we took up new hobbies like baking, gardening, home improvement, and reconnecting with family and friends through virtual calls, Zoom parties, and drive-by visits. Many of us were given the opportunity to work and learn from home (or anywhere), leading to more time spent with our families and a newfound appreciation for the love, connection, and kindness that keeps us together. In short, while it may seem counterintuitive, this pandemic has been a time for gratitude and thanks.
We should all be thankful for this unprecedented opportunity to slow down, take life one day at a time, and learn to live with less – less in-person entertainment, less eating out, and less international travel.
And it is perhaps this last part that has had the most wide-ranging impact on gratitude. Now, more than ever, we’re grateful for the ability to stretch our legs locally and to explore what’s on our own doorstep. With international trips limited, we’ve had to turn our desires to destinations closer to home.
Road trips have become popular this year, with families piling into the proverbial station wagon and hitting the open road for outdoor adventures like camping, visiting National Parks, or safe stays in destination hotels and resorts. Private residence vacations as well as whole-home rentals through Airbnb and VRBO have also proven popular with their ample privacy and opportunity to avoid crowds.
And still others who don’t yet feel the time is right to travel have taken up digital exploration. Virtual guided tours, VR experiences, and video highlights of renowned global landmarks have kept many cooped-up travelers happy and grateful for this virtual lifeline to the wider world. Slow travel has also gained in popularity with people both participating in these experiences in real life and watching these experiences as a form of armchair exploration.
As we head into 2021, uncertainty still prevails and returning to “normal” is just beyond the horizon. And, while we can’t say what the future holds, we do know that facing it with composure, calm, and above all gratitude is the best way forward.