6.29.2020

Summer Travel



Last week I headed out of town for two days with a dear friend to St. Simons Island ... and it was truly bliss. After months at home I really needed a change of scenery for my sanity + creativity.  I had most definitely hit a rut where I seemed to be floundering and the simpleness of two days away in a place I really love shook it all up.  I did a ton of research before I booked the trip, checked into the status on the island and made sure it was a place I felt safe and secure.  It wasn't easy to pull the trigger (so much anxiety before), but when I did and let it settle in I began to feel the excitement of getting away. 



We are all in different places when it comes to travel right now.  For some it is not safe, for some it causes severe anxiety, for others its not the time, so I understand that we are all in different mindsets.  Would I take a plane to some place I am not familiar with ... 1000% no thank you.  I am not even sure I feel comfortable with traveling to my parents with the rise of their numbers, but that is something I check into daily.  Nathan hasn't traveled or been in crowds or even to the grocery store in four months and for him it is best.  The kids have a small group of friends we feel comfortable with as their lives have resumed a tiny bit.  For me I bounce between being ok with some places and feeling very unsafe in others.  I do not think there is a recipe for security or a scenario that is one size fits all ... it really is a case by case basis


sun shirt || shorts || basket (vintage)

I have some tips for you in case you are looking for a few days away.  I have some things that worked for me, some I had a "hard no" on, and some I read that I thought were perfect to add in to make me feel more comfortable.  I hope this list inspires you and gives you hope if you are looking to change your scenery ... and give you information for that time if you aren't ready or it isn't safe for you quite yet. 


Research. Read, check numbers and safety and ask around.  

For me I would not feel comfortable traveling to a place that wasn't familiar to me.  St. Simons Island is a frequent visit for us and I know it well.  I read a lot, checked their numbers, read all the places I love online to see what was open, what the status of the area, and what to expect. I found that two places I love to grab takeout from were not open, I learned of two new to me spots that were taking extra precautions, and I discovered that the beaches were hit and miss and would require some extra time to find a safe spot.  I can not say it enough ... do the research and then be prepared to pivot and change plans if you don't feel comfortable.  I find this is the same for me at home.  I have two grocery stores I visit and the rest we order online.  The numbers of people are light in the two I am comfortable with, and can vary heavily in the others.  If I have to stop in and the parking lot is full I pivot quickly and leave.  We have the same situation with a few restaurants near us.  Some of them go the extra mile to give us space and amenities and some don't.  We skip the ones we don't feel safe in, and frequent the others.  


Find a place you know well to stay and ask a lot of questions. 

I know the girls who own The Park and have stayed there before so I knew exactly what to expect.  When I asked questions they gracefully answered each and when I asked for extras they went above and beyond.  We ordered bikes and they were delivered to our door.  I wiped them down and we were good to go.  The Park has five units, a private pool and the units are stocked so very well.  We had everything from K cups to a juicer and even beach towels.  Honestly if we never even rode bikes to the beach we would have had all we needed with the supplies we brought.  But there is something about that bike ride and beach side chair ... it is just so good. As we were leaving the cleaning crew came in for the next guests.  I watched her clean the heck out of the unit and even take apart the couch to do a deep clean.  I was thoroughly impressed


Pack your groceries and eat in.  

With the exception of two meals we ate in with the supplies we brought.  We had lunch when we arrived at a darling spot that was social distancing outside and dinner at Halyards that took our temperature and gave us a circle of at least ten feet while we ate.  The food was over the top amazing at both and the service and the care in both was phenomenal.  There is an amazing Publix you could order groceries and have delivered via Instacart + a great Harris Teeter that does grocery shopping and brings them out to your car. 

Take a kit of extra supplies (masks, cleaner, gloves)

I have a basket in the back of my car with masks, paper towels. Clorox wipes, gloves and the like for any and all situations.  I also have a bag for dirty masks for the ones I have worn and need to be laundered.  When I needed to wipe the handle bars of my bike I was covered, when I needed to wipe down after stopping to use the restroom on the way there I was good, it just gives me an extra level of comfort. 



If you are heading to the beach find a spot that is "secluded"

Holy cow some of the areas we spotted on the beach were CROWDED.  It took some extra time to find a space that we felt safe to sit, but with some extra effort we found it.  If I had not located it I would not have stayed for any length of time.  In my opinion there were some people who felt safe outside no matter how close they were to others and that isn't the case for me.  We were so blessed that the space we chose both days stayed quiet and with the exception of people walking by us on the ocean the nearest people to us were more than 100 feet on all sides. 


Skip all tours, trolleys, and large groups.  

More than once while biking past the lighthouse I saw people taking tours.  The lighthouse and museum were doing an amazing dog asking people to mask and distance but there was no way to skip being close to others in such a small space.  These items did not meet my distance vacation guidelines.  We completely skipped all crowds, tours, and trolleys.  They are wonderful things for another time. We did visit Christ Episcopal Church for a walk around right about golden hour and it was amazing.  The grounds are so peaceful and stunning and the trees alone are worth a visit.  The history of the church is truly inspiration.  It was not open to walk in, but if you have that opportunity you should take it, the stained glass is unreal. 


Go with someone who gets your level of comfort. 

I would not travel now with someone I don't know extremely well and both understand each others wants and needs for distancing.  We had lots of conversations and both felt very comfortable checking in to see where the other was on feeling safe.  This is not the time for me to travel with someone new, although I love to do so.  I knew what she expected and the same for her, and I felt very safe saying no to some of the things we could have done.  We are in a very liquid time where things can change quickly and although new friends are always so fun for me it just isn't the time.  


image by Angie Webb Photo

All in all I am so thankful I made the decision to go.  I learned a lot, both good and bad, and would definitely make the decision to go again in the same scenario if I went back and did it over.  I think the best decision we made was to go mid week.  The weekend, we left Friday at 5 pm, started to feel different and I would not have fared well had the crowds appeared all over.  We arrived Wednesday about 2 pm and left after a full afternoon at the beach on Friday.  The timing was perfect for me and us and I truly was so relaxed.  I was most definitely on alert to make sure I knew what was going on around me where on other beach trips I felt completely checked out. Was this a family lake or beach house with a private area I would have been completely checked out and chill for sure.  


If you have any questions, I have gotten a lot on DM via Instagram, I am happy to answer via email.  One of the best things I can share is that my husbands blood work looks good so I felt better about taking a few days for just me to refresh and renew.  He is healthy, strong and was completely 1000% supportive of the me time.  He is truly THE BEST. ❤

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