Enough! It’s Time to Start Planning!

We had some old and very good friends over here yesterday. They brought their own food and we sat on our deck for almost three hours—each couple at a small table at least eight feet apart. It was nice. No, it was more than that: it was wonderful! We forget that we’re social animals . . . that we need the stimulus that’s provided by getting together with some fellow humans.

That’s what I get from travel. It takes you out of your routine. You meet new people. You see different things. I find that incredibly stimulating.

But I’ve been sitting here—pretty much immobilized by this goddam virus—for almost a year now. And I’m fed up. If I can’t actually go somewhere yet, I can at least plan something . . . put together an itinerary with flights and trains and hotels plugged into a schedule that starts “Day One, Day Two, etc.”

Then, when the coronavirus tapers off and after I’ve had the vaccine—the first shot, with the second one scheduled—then I’ll sit down and start plugging in actual dates and making reservations on real trains.

I have always wanted to take the Simplon Orient Express (now operated by Belmond) and I figure that—realistically—I’ve got one more bite at that particular apple. Oh—and as long as I’m going to be in the general area, I’d like to take one of those two-day tours of Scotch whiskey distilleries on The Royal Scotsman. (Just think about this for a bit: It’s forty-eight hours on a private train with vintage equipment visiting distilleries producing some of the finest whiskies in the world! What’s not to like about that?) 

The main concern I have is that I’m so starved for the full travel experience, which includes meeting new and interesting people, that I’ll book those two trains before the pandemic is really under control. And I picture myself seated at a table in a fabulous elaborate vintage dining car that was built 60 or 70 years ago . . . sitting at the table . . . alone . . . with a mask on.