I know that lots of people travel for the holidays – to go visit with friends and family, or to escape winter for somewhere tropical, or maybe to go to a small town in the midwest straight out of a Lifetime movie. This year, I traveled for the holidays, too. For Christmas, I went to DC… and didn’t leave the hotel.
I know, I know. Honestly, I hesitated even writing this post! I completely understand how strange this might seem to some (probably many!) people. But sometimes I think that a little peek behind the curtain of my life is good – it helps people understand the realities of my life a little bit more.
So why travel all the way to DC just to stay in a hotel? It was kind of the perfect confluence of lots of different things going on all at the same time. These past few months have been challenging for me – I lost some weight without realizing, and it’s taken a real toll on my energy levels. Gaining the weight back is slooooow, and I’m tired a lot of the time! It’s been a bit of a struggle to adjust to my current reality – the constant internal battle between what I want to do and what I know I should do for my health – and what I wanted more than anything was time to rest.
But there’s also the continued mental and emotional toll of being disabled during a pandemic that feels like it’s never going to end. Now that the weather is colder and outside activities are much more limited, I spend a lot of time in my house. Most of the time, I really don’t mind – I am very content with my own company, and I have lots of things to keep me busy. But sometimes, after a while, the sameness of it all just gets to be a lot. I find myself wanting something – anything! – different. At that point, a hotel in a different city starts to feel like a real vacation! Obviously, the pandemic doesn’t end just because I cross state lines, so I still have to live basically the same (isolated) life that I do at home, but at least I’m in a different space, with a different set of walls, and a different set of restaurants to order delivery from.
But it’s still hard to explain to people, sometimes. Hard to explain that while a lot of the world is pretending the pandemic is over, I have to take just as many precautions as I did last year – maybe more, since other people are taking so many less. Hard to explain that even though I’m in a fun city with so much to do, I can’t just pop over to a museum for an hour – because the getting ready to pop over takes 3+ hours on a good day, and often longer in a hotel that isn’t specifically set up for me, and with my mom and dad as my caregivers who have to split their time between helping me, helping my sister, and getting ready themselves. Hard to explain that temperatures that seem cold but tolerable to most people mean that I’ll spend the next 4 hours trying to warm my fingers up enough just to make them function again.
So I went to DC and never left the hotel. Lots of reading, some matching pajamas, lots of Harry Potter watching, plus some new movies – Spirited and Matilda the Musical were both excellent, and lots of takeout meals. I ate so well – I even splurged on Nobu takeout one night and felt so fancy. It was COLD, so I didn’t mind being inside sitting under my blanket – I had no desire to weather the freezing temperatures. It was a great little DC staycation, and I have no complaints.