Also, you can call a trusted friend and just have a calm conversation. Maybe you can tell them ahead of time you're traveling on these days and you might feel a little frantic or nervous so you can have a nice cheery chat with somebody. And maybe just save something to do on the plane or in the airport that you're looking forward to. Maybe it's downloading a movie you really like or a show you haven't seen that you've been wanting to watch. For me, it would probably be doing a crossword puzzle that I'm really looking forward to. Anything that can kind of just help you look forward to that time instead of just the dread, I think would help improve it.
SM: I think the first part of what Jess said is just so important. I heard an epidemiologist recently say that traveling during COVID now is sort of like dressing for the weather. And I just feel like researching, like you would for any travel, but just researching the epidemiological situation beforehand and sort of knowing your boundaries based on that is so important because you don't want to find yourself in a city where you're overwhelmed by some news that you find out while you were there. You always want to know the situation before you're on the ground.
LA: I love that weather analogy. It makes it feel so much less daunting and so much more manageable. And think about it in the same way where it's like, “Okay, well it's raining, so maybe I won't go outside,” and you can think about that in terms of case rates and your own comfort level. And I think comfort level is a huge thing here. And obviously if you're traveling, you can't avoid going through busy airports or train stations unless you are taking a road trip. But beyond that, you can plan your trip around things that make you feel comfortable and maybe you don't feel ready to be in a big city right now, so you want to plan something that's more focused on the outdoors and being in big open spaces, and not going too crowded or popular tourist destinations.
MC: I think the thing that I try to keep in mind is that yes, I want to set boundaries for myself, but I also kind of want to give myself an exit plan. So when I am at an airport and the gate is too busy and it makes me feel uncomfortable, I'm going to go and sit six, seven gates away. At this point, if you listen to or follow Women Who Travel, you probably know well enough when your plane is going to be boarding, it's not going to take off without you. So just plan to be there just before your plane takes off, or maybe when your group boards, just kind of adjust your timing that way so that you don't necessarily have to be sitting at a crowded gate. You could sit at a gate where no plane is taking off at that point. Or if you are going to a restaurant and it just looks too crowded, you go to the takeout option and you go sit in a park nearby. Just always having those kinds of alternative choices to make, to make sure that you're not yourself beyond your comfort zone or what you think is safe. I think we all need to cut ourselves a little bit of slack. And if you aren't comfortable in a crowd, I would just make decisions ahead of time or give yourself some scenarios to think through where you can get out of that situation and still have a great time, but maybe not in a crowd.
LA: And not enjoying crowds is a very-
MC: That was a long, that was a pre-pandemic situation.
LA: Yeah. I would say plenty of people hated crowds before the pandemic.
SM: I did. Nothing has changed.
MC: Well, thank you guys so much for joining us today. If people want to follow your travels and see what you guys are up to, where can they find you on the internet?
JP: I'm on Twitter, @jesspuck.
SM: I am on Instagram @shanmcmahon.
MC: I'm @ohheytheremere.
LA: I'm @lalehannah.
MC: Be sure to follow Women Who Travel on Instagram. We will also link that traveling in an airport story and some other stories that kind of go along with some of the questions that we answered today in the show notes, so be sure to check this out if you want more information. Be sure to sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter and we'll talk to you next week.