Why I Took a Vacation During a Pandemic
Arizona - May 12, 2020

woman sitting on sedona rock looking out to Sedona

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Nothing like this could have ever been planned.  I’ve stayed home during the Covid-19 pandemic as instructed with my family.

Recently, with the Covid-19 outbreak has caused so much fear and stress. Mental health during the Covid-19 Pandemic is a topic that most people avoid but I found myself jumping on the crazy train. I took my family hostage with me on the train while in quarantine.

Isolating while staying home has taken me to a place where my mental health has declined. This virus nicknamed the Corona virus has taken over our lives. Staying home is not my cup of tea but I have listened and obeyed the rules for the sake of my family and others.

Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations like the outbreak of Covid-19. Some people worry about their own health and the health of their loved ones. Some people develop a change in sleep patterns. People have difficulty concentrating, increase use of alcohol or other drugs, have worsening health issues, and for those that suffer from mental health issues, it can get worse.

It’s clearly safer to stay home.  But at what cost?

People’s mental health is being severely effected due to the Covid-19 outbreak. They want to know when social distancing will end, where they can be tested, why they aren’t being tested, when the kids will go back to school, when they can have play dates, and if there is another wave coming, etc. With all these unknowns, I think I just about hit my breaking point.

But it was planned, just not by me. It is all so clear now.

Nothing could fix it, not a water slide bounce house to keep the kids busy, not educational games, self-help books, hikes, indulging in food or my husband or kids. I tried it all.

I’m not new to all of this. I suffered post partum depression with both of my children. Becoming a new mother can be equally as isolating.

It can just take one stressful situation to put someone over the edge.

So, I took a vacation during a pandemic.  It wasn’t planned but so needed.  A spiritual experience facilitated by something bigger than me is the gift I received.

view of Sedona

Traveling has not been an option for me although it’s a big part of our family’s life. The travel industry is not set up for social distancing. Even now that Arizona is opening up, no one is talking about getting on a plane for a vacation during a pandemic.  Even so, we miss traveling.

We have been staying home.  for.six.weeks.  six.long.weeks.

Everybody Has a Different Breaking Point

Isolating does not look good on me. I don’t do well isolating and if you throw in homeschooling two energetic boys that are on top of each other all day, well, it’s a recipe for disaster. Everyone needs space at some point.

It has been tough to say the least.  There’s been days I have just crawled into bed and prayed for it all to be just a bad dream.

I am not a teacher and never wanted to be a teacher.  I respect that profession but I already have a profession.  I wouldn’t ask a plumber to start writing blog posts in addition to fixing drains.  I wouldn’t ask a landscaper to write blog posts on Ring Pop Pinatas while they are cutting grass and shaping trees.

For all of us that don’t homeschool, we were thrown into homeschooling crisis mode. It is stressful. I’ve made mistakes like turning in schoolwork on the wrong day or turning in my kindergartner’s schoolwork to my second grader’s teacher. But I don’t need a pandemic to do something crazy. I’ve taken the wrong kid to school before, showed up on days off and brushed their hair with a fork. I can laugh about it now.

But the days have mounted up and the hikes have faded away because of the heat, so the isolating has caused stress and anxiety.  

The good news is that I will laugh about a lot of things that have happened during the pandemic. I am thankful for this time with the kids.  It has changed my perspective on everything.  Covid-19 has changed us forever. 

I find myself not being able to sleep, laying in bed overthinking everything.

I question the future and worry about things out of my control like school starting and people losing their businesses, friends waiting for the green light to go back to work, my families health and so much more.  

I see moms breaking down on social media, confessing about how they feel like failures and can hardly manage it all.  I see conspiracies and the media feeding fear to us and causing stress.  

And yes, we could  turn it off, but I want to know what’s going on in the world.  I need some hope. 

At some point we break.

If you need a to get Away, Sedona is the Place to go

I decided to take a road trip to see a friend.  She’s not just a friend.  She’s a friend that is in my inner circle.  I don’t often hang out in groups of people. She is like family.

There’s a handful of people that I would spend time with while social distancing.  She is one of them. 

She decided to get away and come up to Sedona with her two dogs and relax at the Sky Ranch Lodge.

garden at Sky Ranch Lodge

The Sky Ranch Lodge drew me in instantly. The beautiful landscaping, ponds and fountains. The peacefulness. Oh, and they were running a great special. If you book 3 days, you get the third free, including discounted rooms. Bonus!

Wedding area at Sky Ranch Lodge

Originally I was only going for the day. But my husband told me to stay and that was it for me. Four days of bliss. It is truly an oasis in the sky.

Hotels have Covid-19 Safety Guidelines they must Meet

The Sky Ranch Lodge has guidelines that sometimes change daily as I witnessed it first hand. They are on it, trust me!

Now starting May 15, they have implemented curb-side check-in until further notice.

My main concern was sanitizing. How could I know I was in a clean environment where people are coming and going?

Sky Ranch Lodge has increased its detailed cleaning practices. Cleaning and the sanitizing of all high touch areas every hour. They are following the CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting all surfaces in the public areas and rooms including keys, public area computers, handrails, door handles, locks and latches, light switches, desk surfaces, telephones, television remotes controls and bathroom fixture handles. They are using UV lights specifically designed to eliminate viruses and bacteria.

inside a garden view room at Sky Ranch Lodge

They are keeping space between guests, and rotating assigned rooms to allow 2 days and extensive cleaning with UV lights and disinfectant specifically designed by Eco-lab to eliminate viruses and bacteria. They have initiated plans to roll out enhanced hand sanitizing stations and disinfecting wipes in each room and all public areas. All bed linens, towels, bed scarves and decorative pillow are washed with Eco-lab disinfecting laundry detergent.

I actually think it maybe cleaner than my own house!

The views are spectacular from the Sky Ranch Lodge. It was exactly what I needed. Peace, tranquillity and beautiful sunsets three nights in a row.

mesa airport vortex

Hiking the Vortex.

One of the great things about staying at the Sky Lodge Ranch is that it is next to one of Sedona’s vortexes. Vortexes (or vortices) are swirling centers of energy that are conducive to healing, meditation and self-exploration.

These are places where the earth seems especially alive with energy. Many people feel inspired, recharged or uplifted after visiting a vortex. I didn’t expect much, just a nice hike with my son.

woman wearing a take a hike tee shirt and a hat in Sedona

Although, all of Sedona is considered to be a vortex, there are specific sites where the energy is more intense. The four best known Sedona vortexes are found at Airport Mesa, Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock and Boynton Canyon—each giving off its own particular energy. Some are thought to produce energy flowing upward while at others the energy spirals downward, entering the earth.

boy hiking up mountain in Sedona

This was a lovely hike and a view that I can’t describe. It was breathtaking.

Things are Starting to Open

Today Arizona started to open some retail shops and more restaurants have opened for takeout and delivery.

We went uptown to check it out. The locals in the stores were all wearing masks and had hand sanitizer on their counters.

I talked to all of their small business owners and they were cautiously optimistic about being open.

People were very respectful coming in and out of stores making sure not to crowd each other and waiting until there was space.

There’s a little shop called The Hangin Tree inside Oak Creek Marketplace way in the back where I bought some cactus nail files and fun socks. Priorities!

The Black Cow Cafe

The Black Cow Cafe

Our first stop was The Black Cow cafe. You cannot go in, it is a walk up situation. They were extremely cautious too and gave us wet naps and napkins with our chocolate Belgium ice cream.

The Cowboy Corral

The Cowboy Corral

This is a cute store with 1800’s Cowboy Clothing, Accessories, Guns & Gifts.

Sedona Outdoors

Sedona Outdoors

This was one of my favorite stores. I purchased a pricey but adorable hat. They own lots of other fun stores in Sedona like Cheers, where my got my “Take a Hike tee and Cactus Carlos, Sedona Divine, Red Rock Impressions and many more.

Spiritstone Gems

This is one of my favorite places because it is filled with crystals. It specializes in rocks and minerals, jewelry and gifts along with healing services.

Upstown mall in Sedona

The Uptown Mall

The Uptown mall is a pretty outdoor secluded mall. Not every store was open but you could order food from HP Cafe.

Made in Sedona retail store

Made in Arizona

This is a cute shop filled with fun gifts and wine.

The Cowboy Club restaurant in Sedona

The Cowboy Club and The Silver Saddle

I walked by The Cowboy Club restaurant and is smelled delicious. There were people ordering so I grabbed a menu for later.

ribs with sweet potato fries

Later that evening we went back to order but I had forgotten my wallet. So, we reluctantly drove back to the hotel and ordered on the phone. To our surprise, they didn’t even charge for delivery. The food came when promised and it was amazing. We had baby back ribs, sweep potato fries, green beens and the most delicious cornbread I have ever had! I can’t wait to go back and see inside.

Everyone in Sedona was really friendly and we had a fantastic time.

Now that I know what it feels like to go on vacation during a pandemic, I am willing to do it again. I’m not about to book hotel rooms everywhere but I will definitely consider it with an open mind, weighing out my options. And I am definitely going back to Sedona.

Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations like the outbreak of Covid-19. Some people worry about their own health and the health of their loved ones.  Some people develop a change in sleep patterns.  People have difficulty concentrating, increase use of alcohol or other drugs, have worsening health issues, and for those that suffer from mental health issues, it can get worse.

Would you travel during a pandemic?

2 Comments

  1. Thank you for this inspirational blog on how travel is often the precise diet we need for our souls, and sometimes, that can mean taking a risk. It is beautifully clear from your blog that it was a trip into healing well worth the risk!
    Your details and the research on vortices and fabulous photography truly provide a virtual window onto a spiritual experience! Thank you.

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