Our Covid Family Travel Plan

A new travel blog post from lifestyle blogger Kelly Page for blueGrayGal talking about Travel Trends 2020. Kelly poses in an Alexis white lace dresses with top knot bun.

I’m prepared for some flack on this post, but I think it’s an important message. Some of you may find it offensive, some interesting. What kind of blogger would I be though if I didn’t lay it on the line…

I got very sick in October 2019. I struggle a lot with sleeping disorders. My body cratered in October and I hit a low I’ve never experienced. Thankfully, with help from top doctors and a loving family I was able to recover pretty quickly.

After finally getting better my husband and I went on a date to regroup. In an effort to start making good changes to keep me on the road to feeling better, he asked me what fuels my soul and what I felt may be missing in life.

My husband is the most amazing man on the planet. No one has ever loved me as he does. I always have his full attention, his primary concern is always mine and our children’s well-being, and he treats me with a calm and nurturing way. There’s no yelling in our marriage. Arguing? Sure. But he’s always respectful. How I managed to get him will always make me wonder. I’m damned lucky. He’s also the most interesting person (forget man – literally person) I’ve ever met. I fell in love with his way of thinking, loving people, and being present with those he loves. Within our relationship, I’m the weak link. He’s the kind of person I wish I could be.

When he asked me this question my immediate reply was “Travel. I miss traveling. We have everything else I could dream of wanting.”

Babies Having Babies

We were 26 years old when we got married. We had our first baby when I was 28. We were babies.

Before having children, I was one independent chick. I have an “I got it – don’t worry about me” mentality in life. If there’s a will, there’s a way, is how I’ve lived my life. I don’t see constraints – I only see challenges I need to work around. 😉

Before having our beautiful daughter, I worked in National Advertising for AT&T and traveled quite a bit. I loved the independence of seeing new things, meeting new people, freeing my mind from the everyday. Being alone with my thoughts is totally cool with me.

When our daughter was born, I quit working to stay home with her. That was always an agreement my husband and I had – he was always on board with me staying home and I felt lucky because I saw being able to do so as a gift.

But staying home meant giving up some freedom I was used to having. All of my friends worked, so it was a bit of a lonely life for me. I didn’t adjust as easily as I thought I would.

My husband made some career changes very early on in our parenthood journey. These changes ultimately being life-changing in the greatest way, but the first few years were really, really, really hard.

Any form of travel or “extras” in life went out the door for financial reasons. After a few years, we recovered financially. And then, surprise! Identical twins!

Do you know how hard it is to find someone to babysit a 3-year-old and newborn twins? I’ll tell you – impossible.

So, the traveling continued to be a hiatus. Fast forward through a few major life changes, years of adjusting, wonderful gifts, and adventures. But I couldn’t conquer some health issues I’m genetically predisposed to and had to deal with. Which brings me to October 2019 and my husband’s question.

“Travel. I want to travel.”

Dorado Beach in Puerto Rico. The rocky beach area of the Ritz Carlton Reserve.

Best Laid Plans

When I told him about my want to travel during our 2019 talk, he was fully on board. Our kids were at a perfect age – 12 and 9 respectively, we had the means, he has hit a point in his career where he can work remotely and take more time off, and I was feeling better and ready to pack the suitcase and go! Travel Trends 2020 was looking like overseas was the place to be. I quickly booked two international trips for our family. I had itineraries planned, hotels booked, airfare settled, the works. This post may have been the beginning of an international travel blog.

Then… pandemic.

Wha wha…. Lol. Jokes on me! Girl, you ain’t going nowhere!

Thinking (way) Outside the Box

We are now nearly four months into the new world order. We have a closed national border, states shuttered, restrictions and a fear of, well, everything. The world is closed for business. Or, is it????

Remember my default school of thought: where there’s a will there’s a way?

Our school system in Atlanta is a mess. It’s a mess everywhere actually. You know this. I don’t need to tell you this.

My brain started churning. Perhaps this new world didn’t have to be a punishment, so much as an opportunity to live differently.

Nothing had changed in our situation. Our kids are still a great age, my husband can work remotely, and we still have the means. The only difference is we can’t go where we want or maybe do all we want.

But we can still live.

Kelly Page, BlueGrayGal, write a travel blog about my travels in 2020. Walking on an infinity edge pool at the Ritz Carlton Puerto Rico resort.

So what are the new Travel Trends 2020 has to offer? I’ve spent the past six weeks putting into plan an entirely new way of living just for the fall. We pulled our kids out of school and have filed for homeschool status. I’ve hired private teachers to ensure that not only do they not fall behind, but maybe, even thrive and have the undivided attention of a great teacher to work on their weaknesses, and further develop their strengths.

And throughout all of this, we will live off the grid traveling to as many places as the virus will allow.

Yes, we plan on flying. Yes, we plan on exploring hotel life. Yes, we will also rent houses. Yes, we may road trip.

Yes, the virus could catch up to us.

But we will do everything within our power to be safe, but be together as a family living the best damn few months we can muster.

And if we are home, then we are home as a family hanging in, learning, trying to have some semblance of a normal, social, happy life. But when we can… we will go see, go do, go learn, go love, go have fun, and go live as a family.

Kelly Page, lifestyle blogger, Kelly Page for BlueGrayGal is in a white lace dress with Pink Chanel tweed bag in Ritz Carlton Dorado Beach.

Travel trends 2020 may be different, but we will be nimble and adjust. I’ll be updating this travel blog as I begin this adventure. Maybe the jokes on me. Maybe we aren’t going anywhere but at our home. Maybe this travel blog is a one (post) and done as we realize this was a bad idea. Maybe we get sick (God forbid.) Or maybe this is a time period in life we’ll always look back on as a “Wow. We did that and how amazing was it” timeframe. Time will tell.

In the meantime, look for travel blog posts about what it was like flying for the first time in a pandemic. What it was like visiting a hotel, a state park, a restaurant, the works.

I understand fully if you disagree with my school of thought. Please just know that I love my family more than anything and my husband and I will do everything in our power to protect them, love them, but not just survive this pandemic, survive it happily, and as a family making memories.

Never in my life would I want to harm my family, extended family, friends, neighbors, anyone. We will be masked up, take tests, quarantine and be safe.

In the meantime, we are off to Wyoming in the not so distant future. It’s time to fuel my soul and show my kids that where there’s a will, there’s a way…

I’ll keep you posted via a new travel blog series. Please keep us in your thoughts and wish us well. In the meantime, stay up to date on this travel blog with our travels by getting the newsletter.

love,

kelly

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22 Comments
  • Sarah
    July 20, 2020

    This was a much needed post for me and maybe a lot of people struggling with this new way of life. Ben Carson said we have to control the virus we can’t let it control us. Our family is going to make the best of it too. Be safe and God bless you!

    • Kelly
      July 20, 2020

      Thanks, Sarah. I *really* appreciate that. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve lived through (sounds like one of them for you, too.) Somehow we have to conquer our anxiety and live. Whatever “live” means for you. I appreciate your support and send you lots of postive thoughts!

  • Carol
    July 26, 2020

    Selfishness. That’s what it boils down to. Do what feels good for you and your family and worry about no one else. Don’t you think the rest of us would like to travel, shop and explore like pre-pandemic times? We ALL would but we choose to be more caring about the rest of America and the world. The only way we will be able to slow COVID-19 spread is to stop traveling between states and spreading the disease. I live in the mountains of North Carolina and everyday I see more Georgia and Florida license plates than North Carolina ones and, yes, our COVID cases are on the rise because of it. Please stay home. You can still live. It may take imagination and a little work but you don’t have to travel to live. Think of others.

    • Kelly
      July 26, 2020

      I understand your concerns, Carol. We stayed home for a full four months. This was our first 5 days leaving our home. We had a lot of small business owners thank us for supporting them. I fully understand your viewpoint. We are testing ourselves prior to leaving on trips and testing ourselves upon return. I wish you the best. kelly

  • Nancy
    July 26, 2020

    Be safe!

    • Kelly
      July 26, 2020

      Thanks, Nancy. We will be doing everything we can.

  • Kerri Weber
    July 26, 2020

    Good for you! You’re living life! You’re not living in fear. I look forward to reading about your many adventures!!!!

    • Kelly
      July 26, 2020

      Thanks, Kerri. To be fair — we were fearful. The anxiety was real (a future blog post will cover that), but baby steps. And *very careful* steps!

  • Cathy
    July 26, 2020

    I don’t think I could bring myself to fly on a good day. Lol. But, we plan on road tripping. We are planning on Utah and I’m so excited. I have always believed that God knows the exact second He will take us home. Covid or no Covid. Do I worry about the virus? Of course I do. I think we all do, but I can’t worship God and fear. They don’t go together. ( your probably wondering why I won’t fly then.) my eardrums can’t take it. It is seriously, extremely painful.
    I loved following along on your trip. It made me really excited for ours. Happy travels, Kelly

    • Kelly
      July 26, 2020

      I wish you luck and fun on your trip, Cathy! Ours was one not without anxiety (this took a lot of courage) but we are glad we did it. We learned so much – all of which I plan to share. You’ll have a great time. Wishing you well!!!

  • Katie
    July 26, 2020

    Good for you Kelly! ☺️
    Do what is best for you and your family !

    Not what Karen… er, I mean Carol thinks is best for your family 😆

    • Kelly
      July 26, 2020

      Listen, I get that this is going to touch a nerve. Don’t mean to insult anyone for their thoughts on handling this. But I blog from an honest place, and when considering traveling I wanted info. Much like I shared my experience getting Botox, I plan to honestly share the lessons learned while beginning this. So for those who are interested, they’ll enjoy it. Those against it, it will upset them. Which I 100% understand. Having said that, thanks for the comment, Katie!

  • Lori
    July 26, 2020

    It sounds like you were well prepared and followed every rule. I too have flown several times and yes it’s a bit nerve wracking at first but you can clearly see what a good job the airlines are doing. 99.9% of the people are also following protocols!! Good for you. You made a fantastic memory for your family and taught them a thing or two about responsibility in difficult times!!!

    • Kelly
      July 26, 2020

      I agree that the airline and 99.9% of people are doing their *very* best. It was nice to support the airlines and whatever businesses we could. I’m glad to hear you’ve had safe travels as well!

  • Laura
    July 26, 2020

    Thank you for flying Delta. My husband just retired as a Delta 777 pilot in Dec and his last flight was to Shanghai, China (right before COVID hit). It’s a very big deal to have family travel on the pilot’s last flight but I couldn’t go because I was recovering from brain surgery so my adult son went. Now behind the scenes at Delta and all other airlines, many people are struggling financially, many pilots are early retiring and so many employees are laid off. The planes are cleaner than ever before, you are providing safe practices for your family, preventing others from getting your germs and you are mentally headed into a good place while traveling. My friends who live in Germany, France and Dubai are flying all over again so being sensible while flying is fine. I’m an RN, live in AZ and have a 100 year old Mother so we are more careful than most people but we excessively hand wash, distance and mask up and try to live a normal life. We must put people back to work and keep the economy going. All the best and stay safe.

    • Kelly
      July 26, 2020

      Laura, thank you for sharing that story. It’s very much a Catch-22 because we felt great about supporting the airlines and small businesses. But we know that traveling is, well… you know. Many congratulations to your husband on his retirement and my best to your family.

  • Eileen
    July 26, 2020

    I think I’d be too worried to travel, I think I’d go camping near water ,if I needed to get away. I work in a gym, and have been off work due to closure, since March 15. In this area, we are struggling to get our hair cut, get a workout, visit our sick friends, and the indoor malls are closed. My dentist shut down, due to a covid exposure. One friend is isolated due to her teen son being possibly exposed to covid, it’s been a week waiting to hear the outcome, no news yet from testing. In this area, there has been talk of another complete state shut down, so only mini pleasures right now, and what I wouldn’t give for a swimming pool in my yard!

    • Kelly
      July 27, 2020

      I’m so very sorry to hear about your friend’s son. I know several people who have had it, too. All ranging from a-symptomatic to hospitalized. It’s a terrible virus. I hope you do find the mini-pleasures and maybe a blow-up pool for the interim?! 😋

  • Jocelyn
    July 27, 2020

    I think it’s wonderful you’re open to new things during this. As long as you’re following safety rules, I don’t understand the negativity. For those of us who are traveling, the small businesses, airlines need all the support they can get.

    Please stay safe and I wish your family happy adventures!

    • Kelly
      July 27, 2020

      Businesses do need support. It’s tough for so many. Thanks for saying that– if we are doing everything we can to be cautious, testing before we leave/upon return, I felt happy throwing some money to places who very much needed the income.

  • Nicole
    July 27, 2020

    We also are committed to a different reality this fall! We are either homeschooling the kids or doing a hybrid school. We have even looked at RVs🤣.
    I look forward to following along with your adventures

    • Kelly
      July 27, 2020

      Oh! Let me know how the RV goes! We had friends who did that during the summer. It looked like the greatest family memories ever! Have fun and keep me posted!

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