Last week marked one year since the beginning of the COVID-19 shutdowns and the restrictions that followed for the rest of 2020 and into 2021.
Looking out my apartment window, I am seeing young grass on the ground, buds on the trees, and flowers beginning to sprout. I can’t help but wonder if this spring is the ultimate metaphor to a reawakening. A new attempt at life, a new way of seeing normal, and a new chance to make this world better, not only for ourselves, but for our fellow man and for future generations.
My mom and my in-laws all received their vaccine last week. I’m receiving my second dose this week. The light is growing brighter and brighter as we reach the end of the tunnel.
A new year and a new life has arrived. Sure, we will still wear masks in public to protect others and help make others feel safe. Sure, we’ll continue to do our part to social distance until everyone has the opportunity to receive the vaccine and herd-immunity finally kills off this vicious and ever-evolving virus. However, events will be planned, travel will resume, and we will reunite with family and friends.
How are you doing? I know that Noah and I have wondered how many awkward moments we will be facing. I think we’ve forgotten how to be around people and engage in social situations. Will we be more shy and standoffish? Will we lose our ability to interact and end up embarrassing ourselves? Hopefully our filters still work, at least a little, to avoid offending someone…But, it could happen!
As we step back into life, let’s realize that this will be difficult. It may be like riding a bike…It may take some time. We will need to be patient with ourselves and others as we try to steer through this new and renewed life. Some of us have been very lucky. Some of us have lost everything. But, all of us have had to navigate some very stressful and draining mental fatigue and mental health issues. Denying it won’t help. Recognize it. Face it. Forgive yourself. Forgive others.
As we look forward to the future, I’m taking a look back at all of our quarantine adventures.
How have you spent your year?
Starting a travel blog in late 2019 wasn’t the best decision. However, I do believe that writing each week and sharing our adventures with all of you has helped keep me sane. From moving across the country to living in the two biggest COVID super-spreading locations in the USA, it’s been a roller-coaster of emotions. Adventuring at home has given us some fun, some escape, and basic joy even when the world around us seemed to be falling apart. How did you adventure at home?
- Our Top-10 Stay-At-Home Activities
- Our Favorite Travel TV
- Travel-Based Subscription Boxes
- The Best Travel Books
- Virtual Travel and Tours
- Travel Theme Nights at Home
- Downsizing and Upscaling Your Home
- System Engineering Your Home
- Self Care for 2021
- Enjoying Winter Walks
- How to Fight the Winter Blues
New York, NY
Yes, we left sunny California mid-pandemic. Yes, we moved to the epicenter of COVID-19 in the United States. Why? Because we’re a little insane, and we’re helplessly optimistic that this city will bounce back, and we want to be a part of it.
Are you planning to visit NYC this year? If so, check out our musings on top tourist destinations, spots off the beaten path, and the best this city has to offer right now.
- Pizzas, Parties and Poetry in Greenwich Village
- The American Museum of Natural History
- Christmas in Midtown, Manhattan
- Holiday Spirit in NYC
- The NYC Zoos
- Tea Tasting in Soho and the Lower East Side
- The New York Botanical Gardens
- Halloween in Sleepy Hollow
- Halloween in New York City
- Exploring Queens: Long Island City
- Exploring Long Island: North Fork
- Living in NYC: 3 Months In
- Exploring Downtown Manhattan: FiDi
- Exploring Brooklyn: Red Hook
- The Best Observation Decks in NYC
- Exploring Queens: Rockaway Beach
- Exploring Our Neighborhood: Midtown East
- Exploring Central Park
- New York Awakening from COVID Slumber
- Wandering and Wondering in NYC
- Midwest Manners, California Idealism, New York Passion
- On the Move During COVID-19
Politics and Pandemic Pondering
Polarization…Feuds…Social Media Squabbles… It’s been a year. I’ve had to write my way into making sense of it all. Here’s a recap of the things that left me reeling.
- Scandals are Sticky
- I am a Patriot
- Riding the Second Wave
- Pretending, Normalizing, Mistaking…Feeling?
- Support the Arts in the Time of COVID-19
- Black Lives Matter: The Year to Wake Up
- United We Stand — Apart
- Questions on Quitting Quarantine
During the waiting…the waiting for elections…the waiting for a vaccine…the waiting for life to return… I had a lot of time to plan “at-home” events. And, a lot of time to question why we do certain things, why and how we celebrate, and what it means for our culture as a whole. Check out the traditions we’ve continue in 2021 (so far).
Should I Come to New York in 2021?
YESSSS!!!! I finally get to update this announcement! If you live in the U.S.A., then go get your vaccine and come visit! As of April 1, quarantine and testing will no longer be mandated. Quarantining for a few days is still recommended, but we are reaching the end of the formal testing, paperwork, and quarantines for domestic travelers! Huzzah!
***UPDATE*** On April 1, 2021 New York will no longer be requiring quarantines for domestic travel. International travelers will still be required to quarantine. All travelers will need to fill out a NYS traveler form upon arrival.
You’ve waited patiently, and New York is still here! Start planning your trips!
As always, don’t forget to Toast The Moon to all of your international travels by visiting our store, and make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and the ‘gram to catch all of our latest posts and adventures!
Stay in your region this year, stay safe, stay distant, and be like the NYC statues – wear your masks! We’ll see you on the other side.
Noah and Majhon