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What Stage Are You In?

I have been taking a trip yearly since 2015. Before that I did not consider myself a traveler, nor did I dream of travel. Now it is in my blood. In addition to the trip itself, preparing for the trip gives me endless hours of entertainment and potential for personal growth. I have a Best of Paris tour scheduled for September that is unlikely to happen. I have definitely gone through Kubler-Ross' five stages of grief:
1. Denial: "This virus certainly isn't going to keep me from going to Paris". On this forum I suggested to another poster that her trip to Scotland shouldn't be cancelled.
2. Anger: "I can't believe that the world is conspiring against me". This was an irritable, moody time. Don't look at me the wrong way, let alone say something I won't like.
3. Depression: "I can't even stand to think about going on another trip". I stopped researching. I stopped watching educational videos about art and history. I stopped making pretend trips through the Paris Metro. This phase lasted for weeeks.
4. Bargaining: "If Rick doesn't cancel, I am going, and If Delta doesn't cancel I am going even if the museums are closed." This wasn't me talking, it was a phase.
5. Acceptance: "My life isn't over, I will make it to Paris and many other places, when it is safe to do so." I am now ready to start planning for the future. It won't be specific and detailed as it would be for an actual trip with dates. My husband helped by telling me, "You are one who plans for trips, so start planning." So tonight, after work is done and chores are done, I am looking forward to getting on my laptop and planning for future trips.

What stage are you in?

Posted by
5646 posts

How about Stage 6, where I'm hoping that I wont get sick or the money doesn't run out before I can travel again? 😐

Posted by
4452 posts

vandrabrud, this post showed up at a good time for me. We knew our June 22 tour would likely be cancelled; in fact when the RS staff told us last week "Ummm, don't make your final payment," the handwriting was not only on the wall; it was flashing in neon colors.

None of which made it any less of a jolt when I saw the email today from RS tours: "Important update on your tour."

I'm somewhere between Depression and Acceptance, using your criteria. After our first tour was cancelled three weeks ago, I put up the guidebooks and the maps. Why bother?

But I'm starting to get a twinge or two - maybe this is a good time to tweak the itinerary I had so meticulously planned? Maybe we can stay a week longer, add Venice, and cut a day or two out of Rome?

So I think that's a good sign.

Posted by
1177 posts

I went through them all, then repeated a few stages. I think I may repeat a few stages again!

Our trip wasn't until November. DH's work has decreed they must take 50% of their vacation by August 31st. That means if by miracles our planned trip goes, we won't be on it. I'm hearing rumours my work might try similar. Now if only I could get that one refund I requested...

We also plan to go south next February with friends so I cling to that. They are 70+ though so it seems unlikely (although they are currently more optimistic than me on this).

We are fortunate. We have our health and our paycheques. And our next trip, whenever it is, will be all the sweeter. (And probably with a bigger budget!)

Posted by
31 posts

Our trip (My Way Alpine in late June) was cancelled today; not a surprise, but still sad. I just cancelled Munich and Geneva hotels and am working on the airline, but I think I'm at stage 5, acceptance. This trip was planned to coincide with our 30th wedding anniversary. (And shhh, don't tell Rick but it was actually Plan B. Plan A was taking the Alaska state ferry from Bellingham, Washington to Juneau and seeing lots of national parks there, but Alaska didn't get its state budget ducks in a row in time for us. And now the ferry doesn't exactly sound like a good idea, anyway).

Fortunately, we live in the most beautiful and geographically diverse state in the country 😉 so Plan C will definitely be national park, national forest and state park camping in Washington at some point. If not, our deck at home is a pretty nice Plan D.

Posted by
802 posts

I am fortunate is countless ways. My mother made it through a terrible respiratory illness in March and is healthy again. My sons and my husband are healthy. I am still working and bringing in a full paycheck (so far).

I wasn't allowing myself any room to grieve because losing a trip doesn't compare to loss of life or financial means.

But, my sense of self is now wrapped up in travel. And, it is still very upsetting and yes, life changing, to have to give it up. Since allowing myself to go through the stages, I feel much, much better.

I agree that it is likely I will go backwards along the way and get depressed again, but I will be more likely to give myself a hug instead of a lecture. Hugs (virtual for now) for you guys as well.

Posted by
6538 posts

I didn't go through all of them...I started with a little bit of 4 a few weeks ago and am now at peace with 5 ( I have no real desire or motivation to plan ahead for anything amid this level of uncertainty and ground shifting beneath my feet). Travel is not a priority in my life right now and causes me no anxiety or lost sleep....it's a really fun hobby and I can pick it up later (TBD). I have a lot of other interests to fill my time with, so lack of travel right now - or in the near future - doesn't affect me that much.

Posted by
2901 posts

How about Stage 6, where I'm hoping that I wont get sick or the money doesn't run out before I can travel again? 😐

Or substitute "too old" for "sick"

Posted by
12131 posts

I'm still stuck in Stage 0: "Waiting Optimistically". When it comes to something as unimportant as a recreational activity, the other stages just dont compute with me.

Posted by
1684 posts

These stages are familiar to me and I think I have been through most of them. Our original RS Paris & HOF was at the end of April. RS canceled that, so we have moved it to October, their last tour. I guess I am still hopeful, but if not France, then perhaps an independent trip to Crete or Germany, where the virus has had less of an impact. I made a goal to get to Europe every year for the next 20 years and I hate to think I won’t get to Europe at all this year. It all depends on if they let in foreign tourists this year.

Posted by
1171 posts

Vandrabrud, thanks for posting your list. It helps to put feelings to paper (or computer screen).

Edited: I can empathize with all who lost their dream trips and money to the virus since I was among the victims of a thief travel agent who stole our trip money a few years ago. All of the grief stages hit you square in the face. But we took her to court and she ended up in jail. You can’t do that to a coronavirus so there is no emotional recourse.

I’ve vacillated between stage 3, Stan’s stage 6 and stage 5. Stage 1 ended six weeks ago. I didn't have a trip planned for this year but had penciled in three different options for Spring 2021. Now I'm not sure if I want to travel that soon especially since no one knows if Covid-19 will have a resurgence this winter. I came home from Italy last year sick with the worst cold of my life and this is much worse.

I'm not ruling out travel in Fall 2021 but, again, who knows what will be happening. On my stage 5 days, I'm ready to order travel guides and start basic planning. But then I wonder how accurate guidebooks will be (stage 3 again)--will hotels, restaurants and specialty tours survive; will museums and tourists venues be open; will transportation schedules be similar to now.

My plan was to do a tour every other year because that's want the retirement funds allow. After the three trips I want to do, I'd have to decide if I will be agile and healthy enough to want to travel (Stan's stage 6).

Posted by
1854 posts

I'm in "Acceptance" for my May trip - I'd have left in 10 days. I don't wish to slip back into "Depression" during the dates that I would have been on my trip, so I'm lining up virtual tours and activities to enjoy for each planned destination instead. So maybe I'm in "Replacement" stage?

As for my September trip to Poland, I'm still in "Denial" - I'm not optimistic of being able to travel that soon, but I haven't actually begun to cancel hotels. And of course I have to play the waiting game on my flight.

Posted by
2 posts

I guess I'm between 4 and 5. Our July trip was cancelled today and the heartbreaker for us is that it was supposed to happen last year. We had to cancel our first RS trip because my partner was in an accident that required surgery 5 days before we were to fly out. We lost our flights and half the trip credit because we were dumb and didn't get insurance. So, here we are again. At least, we hope the flight will be credited and we can make our 3rd try at it next summer.

Posted by
7112 posts

Stage 3 "Depression", may be too strong a term. "Bummed out" may be better.

Kind of like Moses, wandering around the desert, not knowing when we will arrive at The Promised Land, so making plans is mostly a mental theoretical exercise, rather than a practical endeavor.

Bah humbug!

Right now 'planning' a trip is like your first turn in playing 'Battleship', just a shot in the dark

Posted by
82 posts

I'm still in denial for my september trip to England. I'm still hopeful that the virus burns itself out and England magically opens itself up for tourism. My hubby is not so optimistic but is currently going along with me. Sigh.

Posted by
1894 posts

Your list is very similar to, although for different reasons, as the stages of grief. When going to grief counseling, they will say you can be at any of those stages at any time, they don't necessarily always follow a set pattern. I was at all your stages over the loss of two planned for and much anticipated trips for this Spring/Summer. Right now, I would say I am somewhere between your stage 5 and Stan's stage 6....accepting the loss of those trips but planning on taking them both as soon as I feel it's safe to do so, as long as I am still able and whenever we will be allowed to travel to Europe for pleasure. On the other hand, I am grateful that my family and myself are all still healthy, (semi) contented to follow our state's directives and stay at home and still receiving incomes. Tomorrow I may feel differently and I will accept that as best I can! This is a good post; we know we aren't alone!

Posted by
5511 posts

Stage 7, Reality.

Life as we’ve known it is changed forever. Travel will be vastly different. There will be a new normal.

Stage 8, Adapt

Posted by
122 posts

Seven years ago I began a wonderful B-Day tradition>I would celebrate my MAY birthday outside of the USA. This year I was planning 8 weeks in Eastern Europe that included a week of volunteer teaching in Poland. I spent almost one year doing background reading so this solo trip would fit a retired teacher's budget. Sad to report, I will be in Arizona instead :( I feel cheated. At age 77 I don't have many years left for solo travel unlike some younger newly retired. I am thankful for places I have been: SE ASIA/Central America/ Ecuador/Europe and the amazing Greek Islands...but still there is personal grief!

Posted by
2637 posts

What Claudia said. And probably slightly depressed, wondering if I will ever again: get my hair cut, go to church, go to the gym, or travel.

Posted by
265 posts

I keep going up down the list. Our August plans are still very much in question although they are domestic, so we continue to be somewhat hopeful. I am still having trouble accepting our canceled trip three weeks ago since it included family members that we haven't seen in a very long time. Basically I find myself at stage 3 more often than not. I'm looking forward to when we are able to again spend time with family and friends. I'm sure that will help and I will again be able to focus on travel plans. All phases of travel make me so happy, not the least of which is the planning!

Posted by
896 posts

I cycle thru the stages daily! Ha! I am currently somewhere around bargaining and acceptance but was at depressed and angry the other day. ;) Denial still sneaks in there too, as I made a September reservation for Disney World.

Posted by
529 posts

I am at stage 6 -is it? Hoping that my and my dad's financial situation and health remain such that we can travel next year. My disappointment that our July Rhine cruise/Paris trip was cancelled was tempered by my thought of a nice stay-cation at our local beaches. This was early in our shelter-at home- days when staying at home was a novelty. Now I am hoping that our beaches will be open and that some of the Plan B festivals, etc will still happen

Dad is booking , or has booked, a river cruise for next spring. We will have a hard decision to make if things aren't significantly improved by then. My main fear is that Dad will get this horrid virus .

I am also so very grateful that we took the opportunity to travel as much as we did and did not put it off. ( Granted Dad was already in early 70's) but we had traveled throughout my childhood. So grateful my parents put a premium on travel over other choices. I did the same with my son - US and Europe. ( and that I was fortunate to have both time and money for it)

When I was in my 30's , a co-worker passed away suddenly. She and her husband has been planning 1) a 10th anniversary trip and 2) to start a family. In the 2 years that followed, I saw so many of our friends either take the trip they had been talking about (but never doing) or having a baby. It was a painful lesson.

Sadly, I am in the "canceling" stage of my Summer USA trip. So, Bummer stage. Then, I tell myself that having to cancel a trip just means I am still luckier than most people by being a traveler in the first place. No Covid-19 health issues as yet for me and my family. Have a nice house, a "rainy day" account to keep us afloat. I have far more for which to be grateful. So, I just tell myself "Buck it up. This is an inconsequential matter."

Posted by
812 posts

Great thread. I am finally at acceptance. The 2. Anger really hit me hard. I was so mad about the virus, mad at China mad about everything. It really was not depression, I was just not in the mood about planing and still not. I saved all my info and is tucked away in my box of trip info for later date. I am not sure when we will take our RS tour or even know when we will go again. My work goes on river boat cruises and our next on is on the Danube in December. I have not been charged anything yet. I am hoping if is it cancelled or I will back out. My gut thinks 2020 is a wash, that’s just my feeling. I don’t want to go thru all this crap on getting refunds a second go around. I heard the shop owner say that our cruise lady/travel agent is having a conference call with Ama on Friday. Then I got our next one for sept 2021 on the Douro for Portugal/spain.

I would rather skip this year and pick up lots of extra days on my PT job for our trip money. I added third day to my schedule since March.

It is just a wait and see thing

Posted by
4452 posts

I may have slipped back into Stage 2: anger. I find myself snarling today, and I'm not usually a snarly kind of person. I think having received formal word that our tour has been cancelled hit me harder than I thought it would. I thought I was prepared for it, but I guess I wasn't.

Posted by
207 posts

I think I am still in a pre-denial stage. I have a trip mostly booked starting Sept 6th flying into Barcelona, and heading up to the Dordogne area, then to Bordeaux, then to the Basque area, and finally back to Barcelona. I continue to watch and wait to see if things don't loosen up enough to allow the trip to occur, (albeit with social distancing restrictions).

When I bought my tickets through British Airlines, they only required me to put down a few hundred dollar deposit, with the requirement I pay the balance by 8/1. So, that's when I will have to start making some decisions. But things could change a lot by that time.

I would consider it annoying, but not a catastrophe, if we have to cancel.

Posted by
1115 posts

One 5 came quickly for us. We were packed and ready to leave for New Zealand on March 13. We had to go through ALL 5 within days !

Another 5 was so disappointing when they cancelled the Passion Play in Oberammergau. We had finally decided to go and this trip was happening over my summer birthday. So many fun activities had been planned !

But I am on 4 for our trip to Sicily in October. I may be into acceptance by the time summer rolls around....

What has kept me sane is looking at 2021 and 2022. I feel optimistic when I can take ALL of my research and planning to plot these trips into the next years. We will get to travel again. It may just be a new normal.

Posted by
3444 posts

I am still at a mix of anger, depression, and acceptance. I have accepted I will not be traveling as I hoped, but am still angry about it and depressed. Things will improve. I might write that great American novel I always wanted to write while I wait for the world to want tourists again.

Posted by
1527 posts

I’m going with Claudia’s #8 most of the time. We’ve had enough of those, “Oh, didn’t see that one coming” that #8 is a default mode. For instance, Alaska Airlines has just changed our “return to WA home” flight next week for the 3rd time, getting less desirable each time. But, they’re still flying and we can’t wait any longer, sooo we’ll get up at 4 a.m.

And, somewhere in there is gratitude that we had only paid for flight and river cruise for planned mid-August. Those should be pretty easy to deal with assuming that the cruise is indeed canceled. At our age, the clock is ticking, but I’m thankful we have memories to savor.

Posted by
346 posts

I was planning a trip to Amsterdam & Belgium for September 2020 - luckily no plane tickets bought yet and only one hotel reservation that I can cancel without penalty. I'm basically in 5 - Acceptance now after spending quite a bit of time in 3-Depression (or "bummed" as someone else said). I'm 99% sure I'll skip the Amsterdam trip this year and will continue to save so I can hopefully spend a month in Italy in the fall of 2021 after I retire. I did just cancel a domestic flight to Baltimore set in early May to see my daughter. I have over a year to use the Southwest credits. I'm more concerned about the future of international air travel. What will it look like? Masks the whole time? Who knows... I am very fortunate that I can work full time from home and keep my paycheck. Tough times...

Posted by
1737 posts

Vandrabrud,
How clever of you! Thanks for doing this. I’ve been through most of these stages after canceling my trip to Italy in April, NYC in May. I’m expecting to cancel another trip to NYC in July but hoping against hope that my RS Poland tour will go Sept. 8-17. It’s so soon after August 15 that I’m doubtful. And yes, as someone said, it’s only recreation and I’m grateful for my many blessings- work and health. Still it’s okay to grieve over our losses because on the other side of grief we can be prepared to experience the new reality we will face. I believe, as Claudia said, there will be many changes such as small shops, hotels and smaller sights disappearing. Plus the personal changes like wearing face coverings, social distancing and questioning whether strangers are well or carrying the virus when we are out and about. Public transportation may not be so safe never mind pickpockets!
There was a time in American life in the not so distant past that mass shootings were a public health danger. See how fast that fear has receded from our consciousness!

Not to be glum, I will still be thrilled to travel again. This past weekend I was reading my guidebooks and peering at my RS Europe map dreaming of Europe.

Keep on travelin’.

Posted by
802 posts

Thank you for all of your great comments and perspectives. Coping is certainly an individual response, but I see that we have a lot in common.

Posted by
294 posts

I have been through the stages a couple of times, first for the trip that was interrupted and again for future travel.

I was in Egypt when all of this exploded in March. Before I left for the trip in early March, I would have described myself as cautiously optimistic -- concerned enough to stock up on non-perishable food and toilet paper but not concerned enough to cancel the trip. The first case in New York was confirmed less than a week before my departure, and the virus seemed like a distant thing affecting mostly China and Italy. The cancellation of Carnival in Venice a week or so before trip was a big red flag, but I still figured I had enough time to get the trip in before things got bad. In hindsight, I was probably in denial.

The trip to Egypt started out fine. Sure, I was much more diligent than usual about hand hygiene, but otherwise everything proceeded as normal. We explored tombs and pyramids; we rode camels; we ate lots of good food. I kept an eye on news reports, but still didn't worry too much.

About half way through the trip, we boarded a dahabiya -- a 12 person sailing vessel -- for a four day cruise down the Nile. Late on the afternoon of the first day onboard, I was relaxing calmly in a hammock on the deck, savoring the peace of being disconnected from internet chatter, when we got a call from our tour company that Egypt was suspending all international flights.

I went through several stages of grief in a hurry. First, there was denial: maybe the tour company was mistaken; this couldn't really be happening. Then, there was depression: all the dreams about the trip had just been dashed. Then, there was the bargaining: they are only suspending flights until March 31; maybe we can just spend another week of so in Egypt and then go home. Finally, there was a quick acceptance that the trip was over and that we needed to get out of the country ASAP.

We managed to get out of Egypt, but our passports were confiscated (and later returned) by border security in Athens, and we were denied entry into Turkey. After a tough couple of days, we made it back to the US safely.

When I got back to the US -- , a very different place than what I had left a few weeks before -- I was still planning to go back to Egypt to complete the trip as soon as practical. Initially, I was figuring maybe in 2021 (denial). Then maybe 2022 (bargaining). Now, I just accept that I don't know when, if ever, I will make it back to Egypt or any other country.

I am trying to focus on accepting a new normal and to move forward from there. Accepting this new reality is still a struggle.

Posted by
215 posts

Well,

I have definitely gone through all of the stages and now circling back around. I am currently in the DENIAL stage again which I have reset the trip for Sept 2020 and being optimistic! We were suppose to leave this Friday for Scotland so this week has been a mix of anger and depression and blame. Although, I am still well, I do have a job and a home......I so long to see the world. My heart does ache for all of those that have suffered and then I feel guilty.

Posted by
423 posts

Wow Marie. You’re lucky you didn’t get sick. I know 3 people who were on a similar trip to Egypt in late Feb\early March. 26 people of the 32 on the tour came down with C19. Glad you were able to return home safe and sound.

Posted by
6538 posts

I was probably in denial.

Denial in Egypt? Is that a pun? As of the first week in March, Reuters (and Washington Post) was already reporting 30+ new COVID cases linked specifically to river cruise ships on the Nile. What were these tour companies thinking when they kept sailing and, as importantly, why did passengers willingly go along in spite of damning reports in the press? This is a good cautionary tale for the future...being too optimistic can put you and others at risk. When tour companies don't act fast and instead are driven by their own financial interests first and foremost, tourists get an illusory sense of safety and end up taking unnecessary risks. Of course, it takes two to tango.

Posted by
1716 posts

I like the 6,7, and 8. We were loosely planning May 2020 and September 2020 Europe trips when it all broke and we just dumped all plans. We were lucky too, as we had not spent any money yet. I said then that we wouldn’t be planning any travel for the foreseeable future, when it occurred to me that if ever there were an oxymoron contest, “foreseeable future” might win the prize. So now we are planning nothing, including travel here at home or any trips abroad until the future is more ‘seeable’, if and whenever that time may come. I have no regrets whatsoever. Zero. Knowing the person I love is healthy, alive and well is all I care about now.

Posted by
1684 posts

First, I have read all the comments on this thread and frankly, I feel more depressed about the comments from folks who think international travel may not be possible till, did I read this correctly, 2022? I am not agreeing or disagreeing, but that would be devastating not only to those who love to travel, but so many countries that rely heavily on tourism to make their economies humm. I do feel more optimistic than that!
I bet Rick has gone through some of these stages to. He had a large family trip planned for July to Europe that is not happening now.

Posted by
2661 posts

I moved right to Acceptance. Life is what happens when we are busy making plans. We need to remember to live our lives, not our plans. Without revealing too much about me, in 2015, in my lucky circumstances, I was told to get my travel done ASAP. So I knocked off the top of my list (Sweden, Greece, Amsterdam), while watching for the 'event' that would cancel travel. My 'have to see' list is finished (just wants now), so while the cancellation of this year's trip (I'd be leaving on Thursday) was inconvenient and I will likely not use the vouchers received from the airline before the deadline runs out, it is not a big deal for my life...it was just a want, but not necessarily part of my necessary learning experience. So, check in with your gut and keep your eyes open, and live your life while you try to fit in your wants. (Only one of my many weird experiences...LOL. Be nice...as this is my life.)

Posted by
884 posts

I feel like I am in several stages all at once.

I work for a non-profit and was (am) due to retire at the end of next month after 18 years, to be finished off with a 30 person choral tour to England in June. So beginning in March, I have cancelled all events for the rest of our season, a major trip for 30 other people (including one of my daughters), and my own 5 week extension following the group tour. It’s certainly not my fault, but I think I have felt worse over all the exciting things I cancelled for other people. Grief on two different levels. I am definitely at acceptance of the current situation now, but Claudia’s 7 & 8 resonate. As I begin more to accept that we don’t know what the future of travel will look like, I am having to come to terms with grief and acceptance of that, as well.

I love the details of planning - and that is not really an option right now since who knows what those details will look like a year or two from now. On the other hand, since we really don’t know anything, I can reasonably still look ahead at future travel since my age, income, and time will theoretically allow me to travel once the time is right.

After an absolute horror of summer 2018, I traveled a ridiculous amount in 2019, for which I am so glad. And I know I am so much more fortunate than many people, so being grateful for that is also real in this odd mix.

Posted by
406 posts

I have a September trip to Italy planned.

I’m still in denial a little that’s a no-go (if the cases and deaths decrease drastically and the country opens up without quarantine, perhaps it’s still a go)

With a foot in anger (this is not going to happen, a huge trip for us and I’m ticked and in a bad mood).

Posted by
1018 posts

5.5- Acceptance and Grateful. Grateful that we have been to Europe 3 times in the last 12 years and did not procrastinate travel till our kids were grown, till we had enough money or because it was intimidating and we had no idea how to do it on our own. Grateful that I am not sick or suffer long term affects of being sick and have the ability to plan another trip with my also healthy husband that I know will happen. We had a rough winter health wise, one of us has been constantly sick since December, with me just getting over pneumonia. Using this time to work on our fitness (lose weight), health (take vitamins and better diet) all with the vision of travel, so yea, planning for travel.

Posted by
1003 posts

We are disappointed about not traveling in 2020, but glad that we were able to travel to Europe in each of the last five years. I am also happy that we did not wait until retirement to travel.

I believe that one of the keys to contentment in life is to be resilient and adaptable. There will come a time for all of us when major trips are not possible.

I actually feel a bit relieved that our planned September trip is definitely not happening. Delta just cancelled our flight, so I was able to apply for a refund. RS will probably cancel the Best of England tour, or at least offer a deposit credit for a future tour.

Posted by
294 posts

Agnes:

I was probably in denial. Denial in Egypt? Is that a pun?

Wasn't intended that way, but, yeah, I suppose so. :-)

As of the first week in March, Reuters (and Washington Post) was
already reporting 30+ new COVID cases linked specifically to river
cruise ships on the Nile. What were these tour companies thinking when they kept sailing and, as importantly, why
did passengers willingly go along in spite of damning reports in the press?

The report about the three people in Maryland who contracted the virus on a Nile cruise came out the night before I left for the trip. The first report of the people in Texas didn't come out until I was already in Egypt. All of the cases were traced a single ship and a single infected person from Taiwan. The CDC had advisories only for China and Italy.

Even as late as February 29, Rick Steves was saying that it was "all wheels up" for a trip to Turkey in early April. (I had been planning an extended layover in Istanbul on the way home.)

It's easy to look back now --- in the current world of social distancing, shuttered businesses and overloaded hospitals --- and shame people and companies who continued with travel plans during February and early March. My experience is that the situation changed very rapidly and dramatically between March 1 and March 15, much more than I could have imagined in the first week in March. The world that I left on March 7 was lightyears away from the world I returned to less than two weeks later.

This is a good cautionary tale for the future...being too optimistic can put you and others at risk.

Yes, which is why I am in the camp that thinks that even thinking about travel before 2022 at the earliest is optimistic. Honestly, I think that mass travel --- even within the US, much less abroad -- as we have known it for decades is a thing of the past.

Posted by
802 posts

Bob,
Did Delta contact you regarding the cancelled flight?
My flights are also on Delta in September.

Posted by
802 posts

Marie,
Thank you for sharing your experience. The seriousness of the situation definitely sneaked up on me. We didn't have anyone in a leadership role to interpret what was happening or what it might mean.
Now we know and can make better decisions in the future.

Posted by
1671 posts

I went from #1 straight to #5 and am now on my own #6: Optimism. I will travel again, it's only a matter of time and when that time comes, I'll be ready. I'm still planning, I'm just not able to fill in the dates. In the meantime, dinnertime conversation with my wife and kids is relaxed and enjoyable as we no longer need to dine and dash in a rush to be somewhere. Every day on the drive home from work I'm on the phone with my Mom who is quarantined-but healthy at her Seniors home. Life is good, just different for now.

Posted by
546 posts

For me it was Acceptance, Depression, Managing Expectations, and then, more recently, getting good anti anxiety drugs.

Posted by
1177 posts

Bogiesan, that's wine. I've taken to buying it in boxes. The spout is very convenient.

Posted by
930 posts

I am now in the odd stage of hoping that our September tour will be cancelled. Yes, you read that right. After diligently researching flights and almost buying that Boston Logan flight I posted about, I still held off. Right now I am out $72 - my deposit on our Budapest apt. For me it was a chance in a lifetime tour with so many guides leading the tour, and I knew there would be a wealth of choice extra things to try as they cemented ideas for the following years' tours. Getting on a tour like that will never happen again.

Still, we don't want to go to Europe to find ourselves unwelcome, with possibly many places still closed or maybe forever closed, and find ourselves with little to be able to see or do. I want it to be an enjoyable trip and be able to explore, do some guided walks, eat meals out, enjoy people watching, walk around cities and explore shops, etc.

I just don't know that early September allows enough time for things to open back up and travel resume and I suspect in the next month or two we will also receive a cancellation email from RS.

I guess a positive way of looking at it is that a cancellation will allow for spontaneity on our part once countries do open back up. I have resumed researching places we want to go.

Posted by
1737 posts

I’m wearing my RS Keep on Travein’ T-shirt which expresses my philosophy that travel will resume and while it will be different especially at first, eventually it will become rewarding again.

Posted by
625 posts

We have a Sep Switzerland tour booked. Did some vacillating between depression ( it's been a crap year for other reasons so the trip was a bright spot) and optimism that conditions would improve enough by Sep to make it a go. Neither the tour company or Delta have canceled - yet. Now kind of hoping for canx. I'd booked business class for the first time and it looks like that experience is much reduced (box meals, will the skyclubs be open?) for some time. How would social distancing work on a group tour? We actually put down a deposit for the same trip for next year so just waiting to cancel and move the money to the new trip.

Worst part i s I'm so used to having some sort of goals, plans, whatever for the year - even as a retiree. We can't even schedule an RV trip if the campgrounds don't open open. I'm pretty good at being a home body and not having a problem staying busy, but this is taking some adjustment. I need a plan.

Posted by
360 posts

I’m at Stage 4. But, sadly, or perhaps realistically, I’m a few days from Stage 5. When I saw today that they were canceling through August 15, I guess I realized the truth. My RS brand new Tuscany tour was not likely to happen. I, too, did tons of research for my pre and post days and free times. On Cyber Monday I booked many food tour and cooking class. I cancelled the first two of those today - we’ll see how that goes. Not taking a vacation is small in the grand scheme of things, but traveling to Europe is a big part of my life and who I am. Hmmm, maybe my grieving isn’t quite over yet. I am hopeful for better days. Stay well everyone!

Posted by
4452 posts

Andrea, LOL! Judy B, I like the idea of wearing the "Keep on Travelin'" shirt. I think I'll pull mine out of the closet.

Posted by
248 posts

I’m resigned. My trip isn’t cancelled just postponed for 2 years. I was supposed to leave in just 3 1/2 weeks for the Oberammergau Passion Play. I sent in my paperwork last week to convert my arrangements to their new dates in 2022. I’ve cancelled all the hotels and and I’m vouchers for the plane tickets. I don’t have details on that but as I expect I’ll have to use them before 2022 I’m planning a trip to see my sister in Massachusetts in the fall assuming that’s possible. I’ve also just received the Hawaii guidebooks I ordered from a local bookstore for the trip we are hoping to next year. The Germany and Austria guidebooks are put away for now but will come back out before long.

Posted by
1115 posts

I feel your pain, Julie.

When I got the cancellation notice on the Passion Play, I cried because it all felt real at that point. I couldn't hope any longer !

Posted by
80 posts

Thanks for this post. Just when I think I'm at a stage 5, there will be some new information that lengthens the time back to safe traveling, and I'll cycle back to stages 3 and 4. We didn't plan any European trips this year, but we did have a couple other trips planned. We canceled a trip to visit our son in Brooklyn in mid-March. Even though we had seen the writing on the wall with the situation in New York City, I was surprised at how sad I felt. We had a lot of fun "tourist" activities planned, such as visiting the pedestal at the Statue of Liberty, and seeing our beloved Columbus Blue Jackets play at Madison Square Garden. I also felt guilty that I was feeling sad when where was so much hardship going on in our world. We have an upcoming trip in August with extended family to Vancouver and Whistler that I have a feeling will be canceled. We haven't pulled the plug yet....but we've let everyone know it doesn't look good. Our Canada trip took a lot of time to plan, with survey monkey polls on when family members were available and destinations where they wanted to travel, and lots of work to find accommodations.

On the positive side, I love to research and plan, so this gives me something to do for 2021 or 2022!

Posted by
1164 posts

I'm just disappointed. I can't change what is happening in the world so I choose not to let interruption of my travel plans bother me. In the scope of things, and the needless loss of life, not being able to travel is small potatoes. My heart goes out to all who have lost their lives and to all family and friends in their grief!

Posted by
4452 posts

I seem to have regressed. Or, as often happens, I'm not as far along as I thought I was. For the last couple of day, every time I log into the RS website and see the opening photos, a wave of sadness passes over me.

Yes, I'm already planning our next trip. Several hypothetical itineraries, in fact. But evidently I'm still not at the "acceptance" stage, even though I thought I was, being the strong, realistic, practical person I am. Yep. You bet. Yep. That's me.

Posted by
884 posts

Right there with you, Jane. It varies from day to day. Yesterday great, today not so much. But it’s all just part of the process of adjusting.

Posted by
1 posts

Although this post shouldn't make me feel a little better after reading many of the replies, it actually does. It reminds me that so many people have and still are suffering way more than we. I'm lucky to be able to travel at all and also have our health. Our Scotland tour for May was canceled a few weeks ago and we quickly received our refund from RS. Still waiting on some airfare from British Airway. I'm at the prayer stage now hoping that next summer things will be safe enough, with precautions, to travel to overseas again. We were supposed to celebrate my son's college graduation on this trip before he finds a full time job. Now we just need to pray he can actually find a job. Next year our daughter will graduate from college and hopefully we can then celebrate both grads on a big trip. Really praying that my mother's health continues so she can still go with us. It will be our 3rd RS tour together. Sadly she and my father were never able to travel in retirement as he was one who passed way before his time. I can't wait to re-book and selfishly hope RS will give those of us who were canceled first opportunity to book again when they are able to release tour dates, whenever that may be. Be safe and travel on!

Posted by
5534 posts

Spoke with a friend yesterday about our canceled June family camp (which we have attended for 32+ years, the highlight of every June) and we were both relieved that the organization had canceled and we did not have to make the difficult choice about potentially exposing our families to a serious condition. So we have put our sleeping bags away and are planning for June 2021.

Posted by
812 posts

Well.... I am back to grieving/depression, only because we were to be on our 2nd day of our RS tour. Upside....we were are home for Memorial Day. We were able to go to the cemeteries for our relatives/friends. We have been overseas the past three years on Memorial Day.

Posted by
423 posts

While I've been through all the stages early on, I've moved on. Different day, different plans. Life goes on, and you adapt to what is in front of you. As a good friend of ours once said - "... and today, we have possibilities". Life is good, you just need to adapt and change your expectations.

Posted by
468 posts

Is "desperate to know for sure and move on" a stage? At this point it seems exceedingly unlikely that our September RS tour is going to happen. Rick himself has said he sees organized touring as one of the last things to bounce back. Countries aren't eager to welcome people from the US. A 14 day quarantine upon arrival would pretty much ensure most of us wouldn't be able to join a tour. I don't want to cancel the tour and get a credit on a future tour, because my own future (including the status of my job) is up in the air. So I'm waiting for Rick to cancel. I don't want to try to cancel our pre/post tour hotel accommodations and touring plans until the tour cancels, but fear that the longer I wait, the greater the likelihood the places who guaranteed cancellation within 72 hours may just go out of business, making it impossible to get our money back. Then there's negotiating with a (non US based) airline and a couple of places where we made either a nonrefundable deposit or paid in advance, assuming our travel insurance would protect us. So I'm waiting for Rick to cancel. Meanwhile, I haven't begun to pursue a number of things I would need to line up (especially finding a house/pet sitter for 3 weeks) because I'm assuming the trip won't happen. My partner would like to schedule a knee replacement for early fall if the tour is cancelled; maybe that way she'll be able to do more walking and climbing by the time tours resume. But we're stuck in waiting mode....waiting for Rick to cancel. I guess with all the uncertainty in the world right now, I'd just like to have something certain.....so that I can begin mourning, taking next steps, and moving on.