pub note 6-21

Mobility increased drastically during the 20th and 21st centuries. With that came opportunities.

The more jobs on the menu, the more likely you are to find a rewarding career. The more climates that exist on your location menu, the more likely you are to live in an environment pleasing to you. And, of course, a better job and a better place to live should lead to a more satisfying life, and in many ways that’s the case. Changes in technology and communication have worked together on this, and as a result, families have become more spread out than ever before. Thankfully, technology also allows us to be more connected via social media, Skype, etc. Similarly, technology also allows us to travel easier, faster and cheaper than ever before.

But we all know there’s no substitute for the real thing. Watching whitewater on video isn’t the same as the thrill of actually paddling on it. Reading about romance isn’t the same as living it. Perusing culinary magazines will never be a substitute for those savory bites taken in person. Much of the separation between extended families has been further exacerbated by the recent experiences with COVID-19. Even geographically close families and friends had less interaction. COVID restrictions meant fewer venues and opportunities for reunions, weddings and other celebrations — which led to even fewer occasional gatherings. For many, this created pent-up demand for these cherished times when we get to catch up with one another.

Recently, I visited with my brother in Florida. It was the first time since my mother’s funeral that my brother, my sister and I were in one place at the same time. My brother’s son and his family came by and it was our first time seeing their newest and youngest child. Perhaps, as the saying goes, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” is truer than ever. It was a heartwarming highlight of the season (or perhaps the year) for all of us.

I didn’t just miss family gatherings. I also miss cruises, trips to Europe, whitewater trips, concerts, parties and celebrations, graduations, weddings, reunions and just hanging out with friends. Let’s hope this whole COVID thing continues to dissolve, never to return again. I also hope you get to reconnect with everyone and everything that you hold special and dear. While the family and friends aspect is in your court, perhaps some ideas on how to catch up on your adventures can be found in these pages. Get out there, connect with each other and nature, and enjoy!

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