Finding Freedom Again

Hi fellow intrepid travelers, 

I did it. I actually made an international trip for the first time in two years. 

In this summer of vaxications, my primary goal was to reconnect with friends and family, which at first sent me all over the US, and ended in a pinnacle trip to Italy when it was safe to do so. 

My trip to Italy inspired me. It was Ferragosto, which is a major celebration in Italy and in the midst of August vacations. Happiness, laughter, and apertivos were abundant, as were masks. Italy felt the brunt of COVID-19 in a way many of us didn’t. My partner’s parents did not leave their apartment for a year…an experience that is hard to comprehend. So there was no question that everyone wore masks indoors, showed their vaccination cards to enter restaurants, and calmly waited outside small local businesses to take turns entering. They found their freedom outside, hiking trails in the mountains, swimming in the Mediterranean, dancing on the streets to outdoor bands or simply dining al fresco. 

While I cherished this trip and all my domestic travels of the past year or so, it only reinforced for me that we are in a global fight with COVID, not a regional one. We’re all trying to understand the dynamics – different vaccines, new variants, potential booster shots – and determine our own comfort level. But it’s not just about us…our actions impact others and there can quickly be a domino effect. As we head into cooler seasons in the northern hemisphere, after watching outbreaks in both hemispheres, the prospect of wearing masks indoors again may seem frustrating. But we’ve survived this far, and mask wearing feels a small price to pay to help beat this disease. I can tell you, the Italians’ still have their spirit and freedom while doing it. 

As I myself look ahead to cooler seasons and more time indoors, I’m thinking about how to shake up my routine and find ways to find solace and joy. Here are a few ideas I’m planning on, and I’d love to hear some suggestions from you.

  • Starting a gratitude jar
  • Saying thank you more frequently to essential workers, especially those in public transit like buses, subways and flight attendants
  • Calling an old friend to check in…we all love the surprise of someone thinking about us
  • Planning a new dog-friendly hike / exploration outdoors at least once a month (I wish the LA Times: The Wild would cover Boston! Of course the LA crew can also check out Portico’s article on hikes)
  • Taking a destination on my bucket list and finding a book, tv show (or movie), podcast and tik-tok local to explore it more (and of course saving any good nuggets in my Portico trip)
  • Finding new local restaurants to try (here’s the start of my Boston list)

We each have our own path to follow. While some stay close to home and only travel dream for now, others are back on the road. Let’s just make sure that when we choose to travel, we do so responsibly and kindly. 


Happy travel dreaming, 

CEO & Founder