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Our Post-COVID-19 Travel Bucket List: The First Places We're Flying After the Pandemic

So many pieces of life have been affected by COVID-19 (a large-scale public health crisis, closing our brick and mortar shop during the first stages of lockdown, happy couples rescheduling their weddings, etc.), but I have to admit, being stuck at home, unable to travel anywhere for many months has felt like a significant loss.

Travel is an integral part of my life, and of the way I view the world. Growing up, my father was a commercial pilot, and I’ve  traveled consistently.

Archival image of Karen Tardrew's father, a commercial pilot

Travel has always been an outlet for me, a way to get out of my own head and see the bigger picture in the context of a different culture. Since we haven’t been able to go anywhere out of state for the better part of 2020, I’ve made it a point to travel locally, to explore the state that is my home. I’ve made it up to Door County, have visited state parks, and have accumulated a list of quick hacks for satiating that travel bug - on a budget. More to come in future posts!

I’ve also been storing up a collection of trip ideas in my mind. As soon as the pandemic calms down (2021? Maybe even later?), and we can safely start to travel the world again, this is where I want to be heading.


Post-COVID-19 Travel Bucket List

The Caribbean

Quarantine has made me feel pretty nostalgic, so of course the Caribbean had to make my list. On my last trip to these stunningly beautiful islands, I was greeted by a grasshopper. That small encounter was the beginning of my journey here at Grasshopper Goods, the start of my entrepreneurial venture. I can’t wait to head back to this tropical paradise with such a rich culture, soul filling reggae music, and delicious cuisine. 

Post-covid-19 travel bucket list: snorkeling in the caribbean

Japan

In 2018, I traveled to Kyoto to be the keynote speaker at an event hosted by Naygoa University of Arts and School of Design. My presentation was focused on my work at the International Visual Learners Association (IVLA), and I was able to speak on the visual aspects of work that I do in education. Looking back now, I see it as a version of my own personal Ikigai, the Japanese concept that roughly translates to “reason for being”. In that week in Kyoto, I was able to combine the great loves of my life, travel, education, the potential for this dream of Grasshopper Goods, and experience what life could be like at its fullest. I can’t wait to go back, as it was one of the most impactful trips of my life, both personally and professionally.

Ireland

A few years back, I took a trip with my mother and brother, John, to Ireland, and, in this long, hot summer, I’ve started to develop a bit of wanderlust for those moderate temperatures and rainy days, that trip where we first started discussing building the Grasshopper Goods truck. I’m craving nature, the greenery of the countryside, and a pint or two in a classic pub, surrounded by people. Is that so much to ask? I’m not giving up hope just yet. 

This time, when I head back to the Emerald Isle, I’m going to tack on a side trip to Scotland. My family and I have been binge watching The Crown, and I can’t pass up the opportunity!

Post-covid-19 bucket list: Ireland

Chile

Finally, a place I’ve only dreamed of going, Chile, the country nestled among the Andes in South America. Santiago, Chile specifically has become a hotspot for gathering artists in every medium, including music and cuisine. With imposing mountains so close by, I think I’d be able to get the best of both worlds out of a trip to Chile - an opportunity to be exposed to new and innovative artistic expression and an excuse to head out of the city and try out a hike.

In the long run, the loss of travel is not the most devastating effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. This worldwide virus will have repercussions for years to come. In the meantime, I’ll keep daydreaming about these trips, and adding more destinations to my list. Where will you be heading on your first trip post-COVID-19?

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