Paddling Forward

Hello, progress! We’ve shut down, self sequestered, given up social contact, masked and sanitized, all while weathering the multi seasonal impact of COVID on our jobs, families and sanity. I’m long overdue to reconnect, embrace cherished friends and family members and explore new terrain. Aren’t you? If you’re born to wander, jetaways are finally within reach.

First, baby steps. Imagine that place you’ve been longing to go. Pick dates. Make a plan. This year or next? What distant roads are calling? As a swimmer, I use visualization on lazy days when I have to drag myself to the pool. Get up, dress, drive. Get wet. Stroke. We don’t get anywhere without committing to movement. Recalling my last triathlon competition, I am reminded of one sweet experience I would have missed if I hadn’t taken that first step.

Having just completed 3 races including a half marathon in one month, I was drained, couldn’t gear up for another contest. I told myself: just go, see what happens. I suited up, loaded my bike, drove to the event, snapped on my ankle timer then sat on a curb. Barely there. Amid the noisy buzz of pre-race excitement, I got in line at the pool. Uncertainty, discouragement plagued me. Up popped my mantra: a million times. I’ve done this a million times. It’s my internal pep talk before every bump in the road to burn past an obstacle. So it goes with our travel dreams. Cerebral maps will actualize. Envision them. Anticipate the exhilaration. Start packing.

Has your imagination been in overdrive? Mine has. This past year, I’ve expanded my destination focus beyond my comfort zone, considering Japan, Patagonia, the frontiers of Western Canada. I’m discovering more about our glorious planet than I previously had time to explore. Catching up on NatGeo articles revealed spectacular spots, some of which are right on our doorstep. I’ve had an enlightened appreciation for our beautifully fragile planet. Untold stories of hidden gems meticulous described, framed by iconic photography, are showcased in visually appealing splendor.

Being engulfed in prolonged adversity can trigger a gloom and doom headspace. Flip that mindset. It’s important to remember that everything runs in cycles. Adopting a positive outlook keeps our minds open to fresh options, enabling new channels for our energy. Sharing resources and helping someone else whose battles are greater brightens perspectives.

About that race? An unexpected outcome. After the swim and 9 mile bike trek, I was running on fumes for the last leg, a 2 mile run. One mile in, I ran past my inspirational friend Sharon, cheering from the sidelines who’d registered for the event at my suggestion – and then placed first overall! Seeing my struggle, she paced (ran alongside) me the last mile, continually encouraging me all the way to the tape. I ended up placing 3rd in my age group with a medal. Baby steps. Surprising results.

So it has gone with this pandemic. We’ve leaned on, supported each other, gotten this far. Let’s continue that path, stay connected and focus on future possibilities. While this dark travel cloud appears on its way to our rear view, it’s never been more crucial to have a knowledgeable professional. An advocate is essential to navigate the labyrinth of daily updates regarding entry requirements, travel insurance changes, destinations affected by Covid. Check in times have increased in concert with higher passenger volume. Seasonal weather impacts from past and upcoming tropical storms require research and oversight.

That’s who I am and what I do. From the first dip to the last mile, I provide guidance and pertinent info with timely revisions to reflect our ever changing travel landscape.

Travel is rebounding. Destinations are in demand. Don’t let this train leave the station without you. Let’s plan together!

Your feet will bring you to where your heart is. ~ Irish Proverb

Published by eileentravel

Explore. Dream. Discover. Mark Twain inspires, Journeys Afar delivers. Collaborating with clients, I customize trips to create enriched destination experiences shaped by personal interests and preferences, such as soft adventure, ocean and river cruising, food and wine, history/architecture, and family gatherings. My trip bliss includes writing about and sharing personal adventures ~ which sometimes includes unexpected detours. Life is short, the world is wide, let's go!

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