In April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines for fully vaccinated travelers. For many, the news has been a collective sigh of relief. The fog of anxiety that’s accompanied travelers over the past year is finally lifting for some. However, COVID is still a reality that will change the way we vacation for the foreseeable future.
Local DEI specialist and recruiter, Dominique Ellington, recently celebrated her 30th birthday at the Hard Rock Los Cabos, whose COVID policies ultimately sold her on the trip. She and a group of friends booked rooms adjacent to a private pool, effectively creating their own isolated villa on the resort complete with full in-room dining services.
This trip looked very different from Dominique’s last stay in Cabo, which was filled with excursions and late nights downtown. However, she found peace in the simplicity of long overdue time spent with loved ones. In many ways, travel has become less about doing and more about being.
Last August, D.C. native and artist Nate G. found stillness in the desert. Months of isolation in his Brentwood apartment began to affect his mental health, so when he was invited on a friend’s birthday trip to the Mojave Desert, he leapt at the opportunity. In the beginning of the trip, Nate didn’t know the majority of the other house guests. However, he left feeling that he’d forged some genuine connections with people of “like mind, like spirit, like heart, [and] like melanin.”
The highlight of Nate’s week was hiking Red Rock Canyon, a conservation area outside of Las Vegas. As he moved up the sandstone peaks, Nate was struck by the view from each new height. The red formations were ever changing, spherical shapes – wide open and fluid, a stark contrast to the four walls he’d be confined to throughout much of the pandemic.
Nate credits the trip as a turning point in a difficult year and encourages others to travel into nature as much as possible. “Now is the perfect time to invest in a life experience,” Nate told WI Bridge. “The material things run their course, but I wouldn’t trade anything for my experience in the Canyon. That changed my perspective on life.”