Psychologists say that people often get more satisfaction from planning and dreaming about a trip than from the trip itself. That’s because we spend way more time planning a trip than we do actually taking it. The trip’s memories may persist, but there’s no doubt that the pre-trip time is immensely satisfying.
The first part of 2020 was spent canceling trips that we spent numerous hours planning, booking and looking forward to. Understandably, many people were depressed seeing their plans disappear into the COVID-19 ether.
Eventually, we started to make plans that took the current environment into account. For us, that meant spending time on socially distanced trips.
As time went on, Sharon and I started to feel more comfortable traveling and even spent a few nights in hotels. When it came to 2021, we had no expectations until November 7, 2020, when Joe Biden was declared the winner of the presidential election. While we waited to hear his acceptance speech, I decided to look for hotel rooms in Washington D.C and found that the Grand Hyatt had award nights available.
We had a short conversation, after which I booked a room before they were gone. Sure, Washington D.C. was asking all visitors to get a negative COVID-19 test but we were OK with that requirement. If anything, we were sure the incoming administration would have a safe ceremony for the politicians and guests.
It was less than three weeks ago that because of the increase of COVID-19 cases in Washington D.C. and across the nation, our Congressional representative emailed us and asked that we please not visit the capitol for the inauguration. Sharon and I had another quick conversation, and neither of us wanted to travel to Washington D.C. anymore. It only took a mention of this and the Congressional advice to the Hyatt Twitter team for us to get our non-refundable award reservation refunded.
If we had held out and hoped for the best, look where we would be right now. An insurrectionist mob stormed the U.S. Capitol last week to try and stop the certification of the election. After the riot, many of the participants gathered to relax in the lobby of the same hotel where we had a reservation for the inauguration.
I’ve never been more relieved that I WASN’T going on a trip than this one. Even if I still had time off from work and we had prepaid bookings at hotels, there’s no way we’d be going on this trip. I don’t know any smart, sane person who’d willingly travel to Washington D.C. next week.
I’ll spend the one vacation day I kept from work to watch the ceremony from the safety of our home, with Sharon and our dog. Hopefully, we’ll someday be able to safely attend an Inauguration in Washington D.C. without the fear of getting a deadly virus or being caught in the middle of a violent mob.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary