This has certainly been a summer to remember as we are now carefully emerging from our cocoon known the world over as COVID-19. So, what have we learned?

I think most of us here in America have learned that while we truly missed our usual summer vacations, activities and freedoms, we are now more than ready to venture back into the summer mode to which we were accustomed. I think we have a new appreciation of what we had for so long taken for granted: long summer days at the beach, travels far and wide, attendance at sporting events, family reunions, picnics and summer weddings.

We are fortunate that we live in a vast and varied country in which we are able to hibernate and yet enjoy vacation activities and freedoms. Many of us have been able to visit our great national parks, our lakes and forests, and in many cases, even our backyards, in a way that many other countries and people have not been able to do.

We hope, going forward, that travel and its associated vacation activities will continue to grow again, perhaps in a new and appreciative mode, realizing that here at home we have a vast, attractive land begging its citizens to get out and enjoy its many vistas, histories and activities.

We hope, going forward, we take note of new cruise ships and routes, whether on our rivers or the Great Lakes or up and down our Atlantic and Pacific shores. Watch for new rail packages and interesting national parks offerings that should be emerging.

We, as trip planners, must be on the lookout for coming new itineraries, new tours, and highly focused points of interest. Also, watch for re-openings and renovations of old favorite destinations with a new look. Let’s not assume that just because a destination is close at hand that it’s not as interesting or exciting as a destination on the other side of the globe.

Let’s enjoy and appreciate the company of our family and friends, perhaps some new friends we made during the post-pandemic months who now feel more like family than actual family. Perhaps some of these new friends may be the perfect addition to your numerous old travel friends when it comes to future travel ideas.

Let’s grow from the experiences we’ve endured during lockdown, Zoom, and working at home, making these experiences the basis for new ideas, new ventures and new destinations that await us.

By Marty Sarbey de Souto, CTC