The COVID-19 Crisis – What To Do Now?

It hit us pretty hard. One day, you have a spring and summer full of trips planned, and the next, you are staring at an empty calendar. We held out as long as possible, but at some point, we had to make the responsible decision to cancel our upcoming trips.

We canceled our trips within days of the travel ban imposed by the United States Government, reinforced by Secretary of Defense restrictions placed on military families living in Europe. We saw the writing on the wall and held out hope, but the climbing number of COVID-19 cases made the decision fairly easy.

Fortunately, since our plans constantly change, we always book flexible booking for our trips. The biggest loss came from the idea of missing out on our already tight travel timeline. We won’t live here forever, and probably not longer than another 18 months. So, I decided to hit the blog, to let you all know how the restrictions affect our family, what we’re going to miss, and what our plans are for the future.

Our kids were somewhat disappointed with missing out on some future trips, but they were much more disappointed that the virus would impact their everyday life. Military guidelines have essentially restricted us from doing most things on the economy. I held a family meeting, and even gave extra restrictions as a precautionary measure.Our oldest, and adult, works on the economy and relies on public transport. I restricted her use of public transport, since it’s a possible way for the virus to spread. Our high schooler goes to Kaiserslautern High School on base, but participates in off-base gymnastics and has several local German friends. Our youngest participates in a youth German soccer league. The restrictions mean our children aren’t able to see their friends during their off-base activities or hang out with their friends at the mall. While it sucks, they also realize it’s hugely important to not contracting and spreading the disease.So, for all the things we won’t be able to do. First, we canceled our Heidelberg trip that we were leading for Friends of KMC.We had a skiing trip to Feldberg planned for the March 4-day weekend.We planned to go to Rome over Spring Break, with stops in Lucerne and Lugano, Switzerland. Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, we canceled the Italy trip and scheduled Disneyland Paris. We’ve canceled DLP now too.Mid-April we planned to spend the weekend in Stuttgart for Frühlingsfest.Late April we planned to spend four days in The Netherlands. We were planning to visit Keukenhof and Giethoorn while there.The way things are looking, we will likely end up canceling our June trip to World Club Dome in Frankfurt.On top of everything listed above, the Spring is the best time to get out and see Central Europe. For our Facebook page Kaiserslautern Day Tripper, I put Weekend Edition on a hiatus since so many events were getting canceled.Given everything listed above, I also see this time as an opportunity. Honestly, the first reason is to take a break. You may have heard that we are accidental travel bloggers. We’ve always been filled with Wanderlust, and we started Kaiserslautern Day Tripper as a family experiment. Somehow, over months, our following grew to thousands of followers. While it’s a pleasure to bring a service to the Kaiserslautern Military Community, just posting Weekend Edition every week is a huge undertaking.I wish we could spend more time focusing on family vacations and day trips, but Weekend Edition often takes time away from that. I look forward to this forced hiatus, so it could help us get back to our roots.Some of our friends know that we are avid runners. Our weekly trips has stalled some of our training plans, mostly preventing us from going for long runs on the weekend. While it would be nice strolling cute villages while the weather is great, it’s also great running weather right now. This forced break from trips will help us focus a little on that.With an adult child as a built-in babysitter, Nellie and I are blessed to be able to live our best life in our late-30s. However, in the short month of February, we spent three weekends away from the kids (Bruges, Chamonix, and Paris). It’s not that we don’t like bringing them along. Our kids just love staying home and hanging out with friends, so even when we’re not traveling, they rather be downtown or at sleepovers. This time is a great opportunity for us to share stories, watch movies, and play board games. As I write this, we are sitting around a fire playing enjoying story time.We are taking the time to Spring Clean! With all our spring trips canceled, we have tons of time to clean. Between a shedding golden retriever, the storage bins still sitting in the open, and last trip’s suitcase that just never got put up, it’s a great time to do basic house cleaning we would probably never get to.If we are fortunate, COVID-19 will be a thing of the past in a few months. Fall trips are just beautiful as spring trips, so we’re now focusing our energy on that. Our “travel season” is from January to August, but now we’ll just shift that to the right a little. Maybe we’ll see Budapest in the Fall. Maybe we’ll take an autumn trip to the Black Forest. We now get to go back to the drawing table, and take trips we probably would have never taken.Look, I’m about as crushed as anyone. I couldn’t wait to meet some of our followers on our Heidelberg Train Trip, and I definitely couldn’t wait to stand on a table, shouting to Sweet Caroline at Frühlingsfest. Unfortunately, the situation is much out of our control, so we might as well take advantage of it. No one knows how long this thing will last, but enjoy the break while you can. Most of all, stay safe out there!

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