By Marianne Cook Windham
Owner and Travel Advisor
Windham Travel & Leisure
There’s nothing new about resolutions at the beginning of the year; so let’s take a look at what this means where travel is concerned. One of the best ways to commit ourselves to travel is to plan our trips in advance – sometimes far in advance- whether a weekend getaway or a multi-week vacation. Let’s all give ourselves an exciting new adventure to look forward to!
Vacation. The root word of vacation is “vacate”. At some point during the course of a year, a quarter, a month, a week…. we need to vacate, to escape, to remove ourselves, to give ourselves a break. And personally, I don’t count the holidays; because December can be the most stressful, jam-packed, craziest time of the year for many. We ALL need time to rejuvenate and renew. We owe it to ourselves. We owe it to our loved ones, and to anyone else we are around at work and at home. Get up. Get out. Get away.
You know what? Planning trips with family and friends CAN be exciting and contagious and invigorating! Contact your favorite Travel Advisor (wink wink). Set your destinations and your dates. Start a group. Start a private Facebook page for your group to keep everyone engaged and informed. Research and immerse yourself in the destination(s). Learn about the history, the culture, favorite attractions, sites and highlights. Whether domestic or international, take note of popular dining experiences and the local cuisine you’d like to try. Get inspired by Pinterest pages; then start your own with pics, ideas, travel dreams and inspiration.
Where did Travel take me last year? Well, not as far as I had planned; however I did manage to get away every month of 2021. Adventures included trips to Las Vegas, New York City, Branson, three trips to Georgia, four trips to New Orleans and two weeks in Aruba. I also planned a European Christmas Markets river cruise in December from Vilshofen, Germany to Budapest, Hungary. We had to postpone due to COVID, lockdowns and cancellations; but we have already planned a “do over” for the end of 2022.
My recipe as a traveler: Planning the major logistical components – transportation, accommodations, and a few key “must sees and dos”. After that – and if traveling with others – I’m typically open to all suggestions. I like to leave some wiggle room for unexpected and amazing surprises that may await me. So I guess my personal travel style could be described as: “A foundation of intent, but leaving opportunity for destiny and fate.”
If the past 2 years have taught us anything, it’s that we should expect the unexpected. Throughout, we’ve reminded ourselves to have fun, to be safe, to be flexible and to be prepared to bend and adapt. This has changed us somewhat. However, it should not detour us from dreaming and creating and planning a wonderful and colorful “bucket list” of exciting adventures we resolve to experience in 2022, 2023, 2024 and beyond. Travel is wonderful, incredible, amazing, exciting, fun and fulfilling. I hope you are already looking forward to future adventures. Travel is my passion; and I’m here to assist when you’re ready to go. I want to give a special thanks to my dear friend Brad for suggesting the topic “Renew in 2022”. Spot on!
Happy New Year!!
“The most beautiful things in life are not things. They’re people and places, memories, and pictures. They’re feelings and moments, and smiles and laughter.” — Unknown