Thursday, December 31, 2020

Dear 2020, Don’t Let the Door Hit You on Your Way Out

                                              Moraine Lake, Alberta, Canada

Here we are, on December 31, 2020.  What a year it has been!  For many of us, it has been a year of inconvenience, missed social opportunities, extended time periods without seeing our loved ones, unemployment for millions, and tragedy for far too many.  As a student of history, I still do not think I have come to terms with the magnitude of the historical event we have all lived through.  For those of us along the Gulf Coast, perhaps the closest event in terms of repercussions would be 2005 with Hurricane Katrina, but then again only a portion of the U.S. population was affected by the storm, it was not a global event like COVID-19.

As bad as 2020 was, when you look back at history (not to sound tone deaf here) there were many more years in history that were far worst.  With the Spanish Influenza of 1918, it is believed that as many as 50 million people died globally.  With the 30 Years War in 15th century Germany, as much as 1/3 of Germany’s population perished.  So, don’t get me wrong, 2020 was rough for a multitude of reasons, but we enter 2021 with a vaccine on the horizon and hope for a bright future.

My wife and I were fortunate that our employment remained stable throughout 2020, but we were more or less hermits at our home.  We love to travel, and in 2019 we took two trips that now looking back were once in a lifetime opportunities.  Two of the trips we went on were to Red Rocks Amphitheater, an open-air venue 10 miles west of Denver, Colorado; and Banff, Canada, a small town in the Canadian Rockies.

One of the reasons I love to travel is that it gets you off your couch, out of your comfort zone, and encourages you to try new things.  The scenery is also beautiful.  Whether you are in the U.S. or Canadian Rockies, you realize very quickly how lucky we are to call planet Earth home.

Traveling is time consuming and expensive.  Trust me, when you see the bill for plane tickets, rental cars, and hotel rooms your heart can race at times.  But I do not regret one trip that my wife and I have been on together.  Each trip has led to new experiences and allowed us to see our country and our friendly neighbor to the north in their most beautiful pristine environments.  I humbly recommend that everyone travel at some point in their life.  Save your money and collect whatever coupons or promotions that you may need, because you will never forget the experience. 

If you are reading this article, congratulations!  You survived 2020.  Let us now look forward to a bright and hopeful 2021. 

Happy New Year!

JAQ


                                                           

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