I put myself into self-isolation on February 24, 2020. Since that date, I think I have left my house seven times. Mostly I took trips to the grocery store to pick-up groceries curbside. I’ve gone through drive-through fast food a few times and twice, went on a drive, just to get out of the house. I’ve cut my own hair twice. I haven’t colored it, because no one was really going to see me.
My daughter and grandson did a drive-by visit a few weeks ago where we kept our masks on and refrained from hugging. This past Sunday, I had my first social-distancing outing with my daughter and her family and my son. We wore our masks and again refrained from any physical contact.
But today, I did something brave and crazy. I booked a trip to Taos, New Mexico for this coming weekend. I’ve never been to Taos. A few weeks ago, knowing I had some vacation time to use, I started to look for a place in Santa Fe. I had been once before and really wanted to go back, but talked myself out of it because of COVID. I thought about car camping, renting an RV, something that would allow me to leave my house for a few days and still be somewhat on lockdown. Car camping seemed too dangerous and quite frankly, smelly, and renting an RV for 4 days is outrageously expensive. So I was at a loss, so I planned nothing.
This morning, on our weekly call, my co-workers asked me what I was going to do with my time off, and I told them that I had no plans and it made me really sad. I am a person full of wanderlust and the thought of not leaving my house (where I also work) was just too much. Because it’s already well over 100 degrees in Tucson, I thought I should at very least take some day trips to cooler places.
I’m not sure when I decided that I might as well look for a cool private place to stay so I wouldn’t have to rush home every day, but I did. I booked a place in Sedona, AZ only to be rejected because it had already been booked. I decided to look again at New Mexico and found a beautiful casita in Taos. I’ll be able to still cook for myself, take walks in a cooler climate, and have plenty of quiet time to read and write and do whatever catches my fancy. But, probably most important to me, I won’t be staring at the same four walls.
I am so grateful that I have the flexibility and the means to do this. I don’t want to waste the blessing, so I plan on having a little self-driven writer’s retreat and work without distraction. I’m actually really looking forward to the 17 hours of driving back and forth, and I can’t wait to see this beautiful little town in person. For me, a solo road trip is a great way to get back to myself, work out issues in my life without distractions or other obligations.
It looks like I’ve got some planning and packing to do…