Dear Wayne and Wanda,
I’m in the middle of a very frustrating debate with my partner. We’ve been super locked down since the pandemic began. Both of us work from home now. We haven’t left Alaska. Our social circle is extremely small and basically limited to one other couple; they also work from home, and our outings have mostly been backyard barbecues and hikes.
Before COVID-19, my partner and I took routine trips to sunny parts of California and Hawaii. Travel has always been where we spent our money. With winter coming, I am getting very anxious. I can’t imagine not taking a trip somewhere and I want to make it happen.
My boyfriend says we should wait out the epidemic, “do our part,” be patient, and one winter here won’t kill us. I say we’ve done our part, there’s nothing illegal about traveling right now, and I literally will lose my mind if I am stuck here until spring. We have fought about this almost daily with neither of us budging.
I told him if he doesn’t want to go, then I will go without him, and that took the fight to another level. Now he says I’m abandoning him. I’m the one who feels abandoned! I feel like he’s being a drama queen. Am I a total jerk to go on a trip alone?
As much as pundits and talking heads like to say “we’re all in this together” when it comes to COVID-19, the truth is, we are completely unaligned about how to get through this pandemic. With many dynamic months behind us — and who knows how many still ahead — it’s understandable that disagreements about how to live day-to-day are seeping into our households and relationships.
And you are in a relationship, which means there’s an implied obligation to compromise and also to make decisions for the health and wellness of your partner and your household. In normal conditions, a solo trip might not be such a bad thing. In the context of COVID, with all of us feeling stressed, uncertain and uneasy, is this really the time to leave your guy so you can go sun yourself solo on a beach somewhere? Is your wanderlust worth possibly breaking your relationship? How much would you really enjoy that getaway knowing your decision might mean you’ve let your love literally get away?
You could argue that if you should stay home to make your partner happy, then he should let you travel to make you happy. Where he has the upper hand is you’re the one mulling a move that has inherent risk in our current reality. I’m not saying you’re in the wrong — I’m also not saying you’re in the right. Like COVID, your situation is complicated, with no clear right path forward. But your ultimate decision could carry long-lasting consequences that aren’t worth a few days of umbrella drinks and sandy beaches.
Don’t be a jerk and go alone! If you have a companion pass, take me with you! I really, really need some sun and fun, too, and I promise to buy all of the mai tais! I wish. For real, though … I’m not going anywhere and I’m dying to go somewhere!
Alaskans have officially entered the season of darkness — we’re waking up to dark, we’re getting off work and it’s practically dark, and we all know that we’ve got two more months of increasing darkness ahead. Oh, and the impending seasonal cold and snow and ice and wind and rain and ... Yeah, this is a tough transition time for most folks every year.
Now factor in 2020′s COVID-induced spring and summer hunker downs and bubble dwelling and we’re all feeling some level of stir crazy — and it’s only October! Naturally, you’re craving vitamin C, dance parties and daiquiris. Every MVP traveler, including yours truly, is daydreaming of faraway places, and some are even still hopping on planes. But most foreign countries and fantastic places don’t want anything to do with us careless, COVID-carrying Americans. Our own country: Well, Hawaii is pretty much closed for business. California? Well, it’s on fire … Florida? It’s in the middle of a historic storm season. And just about everyone everywhere is looking sideways at strangers these days.
So yes, you can still travel. And yes, you can travel alone. But where would you go, really? And can’t you survive another month or two for when your boyfriend — and hopefully everyone else — feels more comfortable traveling and some popular destinations are feeling more welcoming? For all the good vibes you’ll get from sunbathing all day and partying all night during an extended weekend in Arizona, you’ll still have to come home to dark days, a bummed boyfriend, and a COVID-19 test or two. Not worth it.
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