Back in the day when we were working stiffs, my husband and I enjoyed Sundays as a day of rest. It was our habit to settle with a mug of coffee and several muffins, sided with fruit, and enjoy a leisurely read of three (!) Sunday papers: the LA Times, The Orange County Register, and The Wall Street Journal.
Filled with colorful cartoons, the Funnies were my first read, while my husband dashed for the Sports pages. While he went on to the front page and opinion sections, I perused the Travel section, traveling the world over hills and dales and oceans in my dreams. These pages, too, had full color photos to entice. I made lists and booked many trips in my mind. When we selected our one trip abroad/year, we were often able to nab ‘firsts’ such as seeing the Renaissance paintings that were discovered in the bowels of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia and the opening of the newly-refurbished tomb of Neferarti, King Ramses’ favorite wife, in Egypt.
In the last decade print papers have faltered as social media became many people’s news source. Opinion and immediacy replaced the thoughtful filters of journalism. People became influenced by the ribald flavors of anger of absolute bias… There was a paper shortage… On and on, the tribal drum of newspaper bankruptcies and closings have cut the guts from our beloved tradition.
Then came the insidious threat of COVID, a virus that ruled the world. With many people frightened and forced into home stays, travel became yesterday’s pleasure. My beloved Travel Section was gone.
But soon enough, my husband and I began to binge watch travel shows on tv. Rick Steves carried us to Europe and Huell Howser carted us around California. While not exactly the same as in-person travel, these vibrant guys enthused about the places they visited and carried us along with them.
We got by.
But in the last few months, the travel sections in all three of our Sunday papers have been inching back. Color photos were huge, the writing alluring, and we allowed ourselves to think beyond Puerto Backyarda.
We called our longtime travel agent. He was as thrilled as we were to book us a trip… his agency had faltered alarmingly and he had a family – and an ego – to feed. He adored his clients, too, and was happy to hear that we’d all made it through the pandemic alive. Something to celebrate!
Guess where we are going, peeps?