Getting Ready for Travel in a Post-Vaccine World: Women Who Travel Podcast

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Inspired by the “Women Who Travel Guide to Getting Back Out There” package, which launched earlier this month, we’re spending this episode looking to the future—whether that be tackling travel anxieties bought on by the pandemic, relearning how to meet new people, or redefining our comfort zones. Joined by Traveler associate editor Megan Spurrell and travel writer Jessica Poitevien, we also swap notes on the big trips we’re hoping to take when it’s safe to do so.

The conversation doesn’t end there, either. We want to know where you are dreaming of going on your first trip back out there. Email a voice memo to [email protected] with your name, where you’re based, and what you’re planning, and you might hear yourself in an upcoming episode.

Thanks to Jessica and Megan for joining us and thanks, as always, to Brett Fuchs for engineering and mixing this episode. As a reminder, you can listen to new episodes of Women Who Travel on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts, every Wednesday.

Read a full transcription of the episode below.

LA: Hi. This is Women Who Travel, a podcast from Conde Nast Traveler. I am Lale Airkolgu and with me as always is my co-host Meredith Carey.

MC: Hello.

LA: For this week’s episode we’ve decided to do something that feels a little wild right now. We’re going to look ahead to the future, and talk about dipping our toes back into travel once it’s safe to do so. It’s all part of our package, the “Women Who Travel Guide to Getting Back Out There,” a collection of stories that look at what travel might feel like in a post-vaccine world and how to get excited about it. Joining us in our virtual studio today are two of the package’s contributors, Traveler’s associate editor and podcast regular Megan Spurrell.

MS: Hi.

LA: And travel writer Jessica Poitevien.

MC: To kick us off, I want to ask a question that under normal circumstances would be a very normal casual question but feels so loaded these days, which is: How is everyone doing right now?

JP: That is a loaded question these days. It’s been a loaded question all of last year and definitely going into this year. I am doing pretty well, staying busy with work which is a blessing in a time when so many people are struggling in that department. Yeah, mostly spending time with family also. I was not expecting to be in Florida, but got stuck here during the pandemic, and honestly I’m glad that I got stuck with family. Feeling pretty good overall.

MC: Megan, how about you?

MS: I feel like we have to mention that we’re recording this on the end of inauguration day, so it’s been a long one. Long one as in long day, long month, long everything. But I feel like right when you asked the question I wanted to just exhale, and that’s kind of how I’m going into this year. I’m feeling like a lot has happened, and I’m trying to exhale, relax, and try and look forward to what’s ahead. I know the pandemic is still raging, and there’s a lot to feel down about, but I’m also trying to control the one thing I can which is my head space. This package, it’s so exciting to actually look forward to when we have good news of the vaccine we can really hold onto.

MC: I think as I have friends and family and friends of friends and friends of friends family starting to get vaccinated because they’re frontline workers or because of health issues or because of their age, it finally feels like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. It feels like we’ve been just chugging along in this tunnel like, “We’re here, it’ll end at some point.” And now even though it feels like it’s not as close as I would love it to be, the end of the tunnel is in sight, and that feels exciting and gives me a little bit more motivation to think to the future and make plans, because I know we’ve been talking a lot about … Lale and I have said on the podcast many times in the last year it’s hard to make hard plans right now, and this is giving me kind of a reason to do that.

LA: And I think even if it’s not hard plans, it’s sort of giving yourself permission to dream and fantasize a little bit.

MC: Soft plans.

LA: Soft plans. New York Times had a really lovely story over the weekend in the travel section about how important it is to let yourself dream and let yourself fantasize about the things you can’t wait to do once we’re able to and it does help you get through to the next day.

MC: Absolutely.

LA: I’m doing a lot of that right now. Especially given that my dad just got the vaccine. Shout out to Hassan, and shout out to the national health system in the U.K. Thank you NHS.

JP: Awesome.

LA: Given that we’re all sounding quite optimistic and quite hopeful right now, I don’t want to bring the tone down. But thanks to the pandemic, I will say that I think travel and anxiety now go hand in hand, and probably will do for some time. Jessica, you spoke to a range of travelers about their experiences and fears during this entire pandemic period, and looking forward as well. Tell us a little bit about what you learned from that reporting.

JP: I think the most interesting thing about what I heard from all these different travelers is that it really reflects the attitudes that we’re seeing and the reality that we’re seeing in that everybody is handling this pandemic differently. I know for me personally, one of the hardest things was feeling like I was living in a twilight zone. And everybody had their own version of the twilight zone, their own version of reality, and I saw that to be true in my reporting as well, just with the range of people’s feelings, what they felt comfortable with. Some people saying, I’m staying at home, I don’t want to even go to a hotel and sit in a hotel all day, I don’t want to be in the same ventilation system. Then there are other people who thought, “Okay, I can go out a little bit more.” I know somebody I spoke with went to a destination wedding, although that made them extremely nervous the entire time that they were there, they felt at least to a degree comfortable enough to be able to do that.

I found that interesting, just the range in how people are handling it, their views on what’s appropriate I think was a big thing. Also in speaking with Bethany Teachman who is a professor at the University of Virginia, she kind of went over a whole range of things as to what is making people so stressed out these days—there’s a lot of things—but specifically as it relates to the pandemic and traveling. And a lot of the things that she touched upon went beyond that idea of exposure. That’s kind of the obvious one, everybody’s afraid of being exposed to COVID. But then there are other aspects. People being afraid of travel shaming, which was a big one. They just don’t want to be dragged on the internet by friends or family or strangers calling them out for traveling in the middle of a pandemic.

There are people who maybe are financially secure right now, but they’re worried, “What if I spend this money to travel and then something happens to my job and I regret having spent that money?” That was an interesting one that I hadn’t thought about. There were a lot of different types of anxieties that are kind of manifesting themselves nowadays.

LA: One that I found quite striking that came up in your story from one of the women that you spoke to was also the anxiety that comes with the prospect of spreading COVID or giving it to someone else, and the kind of individual responsibility that everyone carries, which sort of feels at odds with travel shaming anxiety, although it all is kind of under the same umbrella in the end.

I’m wondering, the professor that you spoke to, did she offer advice for dealing with that anxiety? And also the sources you speak to, was there kind of a common thread in terms of how they were trying to deal with it? Or was it just very much like, I’m going to stay at home?

JP: As far as the people I spoke with, a common thread in how they’re dealing with COVID-related anxiety, whether that’s with travel or in life in general has been a lot of yoga and meditation and breathing exercises. That has definitely I think been a common thread that I’ve seen.

As far as the professor, she gave a few different tips. I think one of the most important ones—and probably one of the more difficult ones—is making sure that you are going to science-based, evidence-backed resources for information. There’s so much information out there, and it contributes to that sense of confusion and to that sense of being in the twilight zone, because you read one article that says flying is totally fine, and then you read another article that says X number of people were infected on a flight and then you just think, All right, what am I supposed to do now with all this conflicting information? And she spoke a lot about how it’s the fear of uncertainty and not being able to control your environment that is what causes a lot of anxiety for people in general and especially now with COVID where there are so many factors that are out of our control.

Another tip that she gave was to kind of change your mindset when you are considering your travel plans. If you have to cancel plans, she suggests don’t think of it as a cancellation, but more of a postponement kind of thing. She also suggested not even taking an all or nothing approach. Maybe you can drive to your destination to try and make it a little bit safer, or you can make adjustments so that you aren’t completely throwing your plans in the trash, but you are still mitigating those different risk factors.

MC: Talking about what people are comfortable with, what their zone is for COVID is something that we’ve talked about a lot on the podcast, and I think a lot of anxiety right now can be wrapped up in this feeling of pressure to do things we’re not comfortable with right now. You were talking about the person who went to the destination wedding. They were comfortable with doing that, but it also made them anxious. How has everyone been approaching these situations? How do you think it’s going to change your approach to travel in the long run? Because when you’re talking about things you can control, saying yes or no to something is a big part of that.

MS: Yeah, for this package the story that I wrote was about the power that comes from saying no to things you don’t want to do or that you aren’t comfortable with, and I think it’s something I felt at moments, in travel moments in the past but especially during the pandemic. Jessica, reading your story I thought of how at different times, I’m these different people. I have these different anxieties in different moments, but I think when you’re confronted with an opportunity to go to a destination wedding or to maybe hang out with a bigger group of people than you want to or whatever it is, I’ve felt so many moments where I just get a gut feeling sometimes that I either know I don’t want to do something or I know that it makes me uncomfortable enough and think about it long enough that it’s probably not something I should do.

And I think what has helped me during this time is once I figure out where those lines are of my comfort zone—based on everything I’ve read, everything I know, what feels like a good idea or not a solid good idea to me—my approach has just been really working on communicating that to people, you know? Because sometimes it’s like I know we talked about this before the holidays on the podcast and in the stories online, and it’s like it was actually very hard for people to tell their own families they didn’t want to travel home for the holidays, or maybe they lived in the same city and didn’t want to get together. And I think we’ve all had some successes and probably some not, and establishing those boundaries, but every time I’ve really asserted what I’m comfortable with and what I’m not, I have felt so much better in the end.

I think even though it sounds like a simple thing to do, just be like, “Oh you don’t want to go, you don’t feel comfortable? Don’t go.” It is so hard to say that to people you love. I think navigating that, I could definitely use more tips on how to do it successfully and in a way that makes everyone feel great. But I think that’s my biggest takeaway from this time is when you can say no to things and establish your comfort zone, do it because in the long run that’s what makes you feel better. It’s definitely something I’m going to carry out of this.

LA: Well and I think something that’s really difficult with saying no to a social gathering now or a wedding now is that no matter how you couch it, you are basically saying, “I am uncomfortable with the decisions that you are making and the way that you are living your life right now, and therefore I am not going to be a part of it.” And I think that’s a hard pill for people to swallow. Obviously honesty is the only way that you can approach these situations, but I think that’s why it’s so hard to have those conversations.

JP: I have two phrases of mine that I’ve been kind of holding onto during this pandemic. One is from my mother, and when she says that nobody is going to look out for you more than you and her. It’s me and her that are the ones that are going to look out for me the most. So I think about that a lot when making these tough decisions. I’m very fortunate that majority of my friends, or at least the friends that live here in South Florida are very much on the same page of being really careful. We kind of established not quite a pod, because then people are working and things like that, so there are more exposure potentials, but we kind of established this routine amongst ourselves. I’m very fortunate in that. But I do know of people who have had to tell friends or family, “No, I need you to put on a mask.” Or “I need you to keep your distance a little bit,” that kind of thing. And it is really hard sometimes to be that forward, because it feels like there’s a judgment being passed when you’re telling somebody wear a mask it’s almost like, “You’re dirty. Wear a mask. I don’t trust you,” even though it’s totally not that, but it could feel that way.

Essentially that idea of nobody is going to look out for me more than me. If I were to get sick, I’m the one who’s going to face the consequences, nobody else. Consequences from health to medical bills which are not fun in the United States. We do not have the NHS like Lale’s dad. That kind of empowered me a little bit more to make the decisions that the few times I had to make them, that kind of empowered me.

The other phrase that I always remember comes from my aunt. I have a lot of women in my family, a lot.

MS: They’re giving great advice.

LA: Very wise women.

JP: There’s a lot of women in my family. And my aunt always said if somebody has the audacity to ask you something that they should not be asking you, you can have the audacity to say no. And just no fear, no trepidation, just, “No, I’m not going to do that.” That’s another one that I have been holding onto in these times and making decisions.

A lot of the different travel anxieties that the women I spoke to mentioned are things that I’ve felt as well. I’ve had the fear of travel shaming, even when I was just taking a drive up to North Florida I was thinking, “Oh, what are people going to think if I post it?” I usually post all of my travels on Instagram. What are people going to think? Are they going to judge me? Am I going to get all these hate comments? It just makes me very nervous to even think about getting things like that. And of course then there’s that possibility of getting somebody sick and things like that. I identified with a lot of that kind of back and forth, and destination wedding is also a looming conversation in my life, and something that has caused a lot of back and forth. I really identify with what Megan said earlier about feeling like you’re different people at different times, because sometimes I think, “Okay, I can take all these precautions and I can do X, Y, Z, and then I will be totally fine.” And then other times I think, “Oh, but what if this happens? And what if there’s this other unknown factor?” I used to not be nervous at all about travel. My biggest anxiety with travel was just getting to the airport on time because I’m a last-minute packer.

MC: Yeah, welcome to the club.

JP: I’m like two hours before? Let’s make it one.

LA: That stresses me out so much.

MC: I was like, we might be the same person.

JP: Yeah but now there’s just so many different layers to it for sure.

MC: We’ve been talking about family and friends and people a little closer to us, and approaching those situations. But I think something that we have probably all been missing that is such a huge part of travel is meeting new people. And I would love to know after so much isolation, is meeting new people going to be an important part of your travel experience? And how do we even make new friends when we haven’t been doing it in so long? It’s such a silly question, but I really want to know.

MS: Oh my gosh, I miss new people so badly, it’s not silly at all.

JP: Same. I’m a big people person, so I miss my random conversations with strangers.

LA: You know what I really miss is being drunk in the bathroom of a bar and there’s some woman who says she loves your lipsticks.

MC: Anything, anything, anything.

LA: Or your outfit and then you’re like, “Oh my god, I love you too.” And then you just talk to this random for 10 minutes and never see each other again. Beautiful.

MS: That’s the golden interaction. And those are the people and the moments that I didn’t realize I needed to mourn not having at the beginning of the pandemic. It was my family and my friends and my coworkers and seeing people regularly.

I’m worried that I’m going to at the end of this be really overwhelmed by all the things we can do. I know it won’t be just all of a sudden life is back to normal. I know it’ll take a long time and be gradual, but I don’t know, thinking of how many people you interact with when you’re on a trip, and all the excitement and hubbub of the airport and the person sitting next to you, and maybe you talk to the stewardess, blah, blah, blah, that sounds kind of overwhelming today right now. I’m tired thinking about all that, even though I want it. I don’t know how I’ll adjust.

LA: I was in a book shop the other day and I feel like when you’re in any public space at the moment, unless you’re with someone you know, you don’t interact with anyone.

MC: You’re just a mute walking around a store.

LA: Yeah, which is quite pleasant often. And this guy started trying to talk to me about the book I’d picked up. I think it was from the best intentions, I think he had just read the book and really liked it, and I was like a deer in the headlights and I put the book down and I left. I cannot talk to you.

JP: I had a similar experience recently, and I think I just looked at the guy like, “Sir, no.”

MC: Now is not the time.

JP: First of all, just no, because please don’t hit on me in public. Secondly, this is a pandemic, you need to keep your distance.

LA: But it did make me think about especially when you’re traveling alone, which is something that all of us on this podcast have done. And a huge part of that, even though you are alone and enjoying your own company, you also want the option of meeting new people and making new friends. And I think that the techniques you apply as a solo traveler might be transferable to everyday life when we start to get back out there. And I’m interested to know what everyone’s sort of tricks are for socializing when they’re on the road and meeting people and getting chatting to people when they feel like doing so.

MS: I’m worried that one of my main things is you’re eating at the bar at someplace you want to go, and someone else is eating alone and you end up talking and you give them some of your food. I think food and drink are such a easy way to bond with people that you don’t know in a new place, even if you don’t really speak the same language you can kind of figure it out. And now I’m horrified at the idea of passing a bottle of grappa to a stranger to drink out of or something, which those are the moments to me when you’re traveling where you just can easily connect. But I also think now every single person in the world has something very major in common to talk about now.

MC: The small talk I don’t think is going to be the problem. I think we will all find that we are, one much better at small talk because we all have a thing to start with, and two I think—I would hope—that we’ve all become better listeners and actually might be able to turn the small talk into something more valuable because we have been missing that for so long that it won’t feel as simple and quick. It’ll feel like more of an interaction.

I think the thing that I am thinking about more as I think about what my trips going forward will look like is if I’m on a solo trip and I’m by myself, but I want to meet new people or I need that human interaction, I think I will do things like group activities that I might not have considered previously so that there is a small designated group of people for me to start friendships with, whether that’s a cooking class or just a group walking tour. It doesn’t have to be something big and crazy, but just to again like the pandemic is that equalizer, have some activity or thing that breaks that barrier that would exist otherwise if we were just strangers.

A barrier that I think didn’t exist as much before, but I think will going forward is that kind of nervousness about someone being close to you in the store or asking you random questions is kind of eliminated when you’re all forced into some sort of hands on thing or just walking around. That’s I think something that I’m thinking about more and more is how I can put myself in a position to meet people, specifically do things to meet people rather than rely on going to a bar or going to sit at the main table at a restaurant. Because I think it’s going to be harder at the beginning to get back into the swing of that, specifically.

JP: The things that you just mentioned are actually my favorite ways of meeting people when I travel. I will always do a walking tour, or I love food tours specifically, those are fun. But I will always do some kind of activity and then make it a point to make some friends during that activity. And a lot of times there are other solo travelers there too, and then we’ll end up teaming up to go gallivanting about the city or doing whatever.

The people are definitely the part of travel that I love the most, and the part that I miss the most. And even I’m the kind of person that will chat up the Starbucks barista. I used to be a Starbucks barista for that reason. The people aspect is definitely what I miss the most and want to get back to.

I’ve found that I’m connecting more with people on social media nowadays. A long time ago, somebody that I follow, she said, “Why don’t people introduce themselves online?” We kind of just watch people’s lives and then never interact. We just start conversations with them without any kind of normal thing that you would have if you were in person. If you were in person you would probably introduce yourself. So I’ve been doing that, I’ve kind of made a practice of that. If I follow somebody new because I really like their account, I will message them and say, “Hey, I just found your account and I really love it. My name is Jessica, nice to virtually meet you.” Through that, I’ve made a few internet friends. I even met one of my internet friends in person.

We have these new ways that we can meet people, and I have a feeling that because we’re all starved for that social interaction, that even people who were maybe not super open to it before will be more open to it once they have the opportunity. I know one of my friends, she’s not really a huge party person but she’s like, “When this is over, I want to go to the clubs, I want to be like flash back to my early 20’s and just go-“

MC: We’re going to Vegas.

LA: I’m going to be at the first rave. I just want to go to a rave so desperately. I think going back to walking tours and cooking classes and food tours, thinking about when we kind of things start to open up and we ease ourselves back into socializing again, there are lots of those sorts of group activities that take place outdoors, which I think will be a wonderful kind of in between stage for people to start to socialize again. Especially there’s some great hiking and outdoors organizations. We did a whole collection of stories about them back in the summer for women who travel, but one that comes to mind is Hike Clerb, the L.A.-based women’s hike club that’s run by Evelynn Escobar Thomas. And she runs outdoor meet-ups when it’s safe throughout L.A.’s parks and hiking trails.

And in the story that we published about meeting new people that runs in part with this current package, part of it talks to one woman who is a big diver, and she’s always used diving lessons and diving experiences as a way to meet new people. The story uses such a wonderful analogy. You first need to say that you’re kind of with someone and getting to know someone, but you’re in the water and you’re apart at the same time and you’re outside as you can possibly be. Alex Erdekian who wrote the story also likened that that experience of coming up for air is kind of what we’re going to feel like after this. That first time of kind of taking that plunge and then coming up for air with someone by your side, and that just feels very appealing to me. And it reminded me that there’s lots of opportunities to meet new people maybe slightly sooner than we expect.

MS: I was going to say, it makes me think of some of the types of trips that we’re talking about when we first get back out there. I think a lot of people have these things that they kind of always wanted to do or always put off. For me one of them is getting certified to scuba dive. It’s kind of nice to be like when you’re accomplishing something like that, and you have the people who are working on a shared thing, that small talk gets easier like we were talking about. You have your people who are kind of there for the same purpose, and I think those types of trips as well will just be so popular and so satisfying. It would be really nice to go through something really meaningful with strangers as well, physically in the same place diving together. That sounds fantastic.

MC: We asked this question to Samantha Brown last week, but speaking of the diving trip, I feel like this, Lale, is going to be a question that we ask at the end of every episode coming up, so buckle up for everyone’s answers. Speaking of a trip that you want to take, what are the places that you guys, or the types of trips that you want to take first? What is your first big trip back out there? Sounds so dramatic.

MS: Back out there.

JP: Yeah. I want to hop on the longest flight possible and just go wherever that will take me.

MS: I’m like yeah, where don’t I want to go?

JP: There’s a part of me that feels like I’m wasting time. There’s nothing I can do about it, because the world is what it is. But I have this sense of I’m 30, and not that my life is going to end anytime soon, but I need to take advantage of my youth and get out there and do all these things. The world needs to get it together so I can go out and do all of these things. I joke with my family. I’m like the minute it’s safe, I am hopping on a plane, I’m going to Asia, and you’re not going to see me for a long time. I have not been to Asia at all, and that has really been high up on my list for a long time, so there’s definitely a good possibility that my first trip will be there.

But on the flip side, talking about what we were saying earlier about fantasizing and how that can help people get through, my family and I, we’ve been fantasizing about this ball that happens every year at Versailles, at the Palace of Versailles and everybody, especially if you just watch Bridgerton it really will make you … It’s called Galantes, I’m saying that terribly. With my French last name that’s embarrassing. They have a ball, they have two balls every summer. And you dress up in period clothing, like 18th0-century type clothing and the big skirts. So we have been-

MS: Oh I need to see photos.

JP: I’ll send them to you. It’s so beautiful. And they have one ball that’s more like a club-by kind of experience. Everybody is still dressed up, but it’s club-by. Then the other one is just straight baroque music, the outfits, everything. My family, we have been dreaming of going to that. That’s been our collective thing that we’ve been talking about, that we get really excited about. And my sister is already trying to come up with a budgeting plan, because you have to buy these tickets November, December to go in the following June, June of the following year. So she wants to budget now so that if things are good by November, December we can buy to go by June.

LA: That sounds like a great timeline to work with as well. You can legitimately get excited.

JP: Exactly. I sincerely hope by June 2022-

MC: You’re in a full period dress.

JP: I am so excited, I love dressing up for festivals and things. I went to Oktoberfest in 2019—which I’m so glad that I got to do that. I spent two months in Europe and I went to Oktoberfest. Seventy percent of the reason was because I wanted to wear the dirndl. I really want to wear one of those. Yes, I’m excited for the period clothing.

MC: Megan, besides getting scuba certified, is there a specific place that you want to go or another type of trip that you’re thinking about?

MS: My first little lap will be seeing family and friends that I’ve missed a ton like most people, but I think I definitely want to get scuba certified. I’m having a mix of wanting to be in beautiful natural places—so scuba will scratch that itch—and then just cities, exciting cities that I’ve always dreamed of.

I think I’ve mentioned this on the podcast before, but last year I was supposed to go to Beirut and Istanbul, both places I’ve never been. I’m getting that on the books immediately. And I also want to return to cities I love. I used to live in Rio and I haven’t been there since I lived there years ago, and I just want to get back and dance to music with strangers in the street. That is what I’m craving. It’s mainly doing all the things I’ve put off for years.

MC: I feel like my duality is that I, on one hand, really want to just park it on a beach. And I want to be not doing anything, because I have decided to do that. Like I chose to do absolutely nothing, versus currently being limited to very few things. Going back to the British Virgin Islands is one hand. Other hand, same thing with cities. I’m like get me to Singapore, get me to Hong Kong, get me to hustle bustle, lights, things I’ve never seen before, food I haven’t tried. I want all new things, and I want to be very overwhelmed by that. I have those two types of trips that are both so equally fulfilling that I need to figure out how to execute them ASAP as soon as we are able to. Because I think I need both. I need both things. And probably if I joined you on that trip to Asia, we could probably find a beach to sit on and a city to go to.

JP: I think so. I think we can.

MC: Yeah.

MS: We’re all going to have a lot of vacation days piled up, so I think you’ll be able to do it all.

MC: Yes, perfect.

LA: I think those two-pronged dreams feel very common for people, because I also have that. On the one hand I’ve been very lucky that I live with my partner, we have been able to support each other throughout this whole thing, but we live in a tiny apartment, we’re both used to traveling loads. And I would love to just go off on a trip by myself and be independent and explore by myself and get to know myself again. Because I think that this past year has probably changed us all in ways we’re not quite aware of yet. And I want to find out who I am at the end of this. That sounds very …

MC: That’s your Eat, Pray, Love fantasy.

LA: It’s very Eat, Pray, Love. But you know what? That book wasn’t written in the context of a global pandemic.

JP: You can write the pandemic version.

LA: Yeah. Oh god, apologies in advance. That, for sure. Even something as basic as I have just been fantasizing about walking around an airport terminal in the early hours waiting for a flight literally to anywhere.

LA: But then on the flip side I want to get together with as many friends and family as possible in a house somewhere beautiful, and get to just drink and eat and be silly and be on holiday together. And I’ve been thinking about Greece a lot, which is a country I love and gives you both things. You can have the chaos of a city in Athens, then you can have the lounging on the beach and doing nothing on one of the many, many islands. I’ve been thinking about that a lot. And then would love to tack on Istanbul, which is a city I know well and love. So Megan, maybe we can meet up there.

MS: See you there. I would love to see Istanbul through Lale’s eyes.

LA: And then my conscience means that I have to say that obviously the first trip I’m going to do is go home to London. That’s a given. Just need to say it out loud.

MC: We are so excited to get back out there, and we want to know where you, our listeners, want to go as well. So if you have time this week, please send us a voice memo to [email protected] with your name, where you are, and what your first big trip out there is, and you might hear yourself in an upcoming episode. If people want to keep track of where we all end up going, where can they find you on social media, Jessica?

JP: The best place would definitely be Instagram, and that would be @SheDreamsofTravel which I am currently dreaming to travel.

MC: What a good handle, oh my god.

LA: What a transition.

MC: Megan, where can people find you?

MS: I’m @Spurrelly.

MC: I’m @OhHeyThereMere.

LA: I’m @LaleHannah where I’m currently not doing much, but I promise my Instagram will get more exciting soon.

MC: If you need the most exciting Instagram, follow @WomenWhoTravel and subscribe to our newsletter, and sign up for our Facebook group. All of that information along with everyone’s links and the email address that I mentioned where you should send your voice memo will be in the show notes along with all the stories we mentioned, including Jessica’s. Thank you guys so much for joining us, and we will talk to you next week.