Kelly Alley Headshot

After what has seemed like forever, we’re finally in the homestretch for both this semester and the strange year that 2020 has been. Yeehaw.

Don’t breathe a sigh of relief just yet at that last part, though. We still have about a month and a half left, and as we all know, based on how the rest of this year has gone, a lot can happen in that kind of timeframe.

I know it might sound a little odd coming from someone who calls themselves the Wanderer, but I wouldn’t recommend traveling to any sort of high-population areas during a global pandemic. It’s just not smart to put others at risk, let alone yourself.

In fact, if you can avoid it at all, I would even recommend limiting any traveling you might be planning for the near future, and that’s coming from a travel-based column writer.

However, I realize that sometimes there’s an urge to head out for the open road that just can’t be ignored. My only advice would be to be smart about what you do on your trip, especially with the recent surge in positive COVID-19 cases heading into the holiday season.

Plan any trips – even day trips – wisely. If it is at all possible, travel by car to avoid any unnecessary exposure to the virus. Should you have to fly, make sure to follow any instructions or guidelines set forth by the airport or airline.

To keep from getting a bad case of cabin fever over the holiday break, go out and take a hike or camp for a few days, if you’re able to. Go explore one of the state parks or recreation areas near where you’re at and escape into nature — even if it’s only for a little while.

It’s a little too chilly to be on the water kayaking now, but here soon it’ll be the perfect time and temperature to go ice skating or ice fishing, if you’re so inclined.

I have never tried fishing for ice myself, but I suppose anything is worth trying at this point. Water is too warm around here anyways, even in the winter.

If you do venture out, use some sense and don’t go licking flagpoles, even if someone triple dog dares you. No point in risking getting the coronavirus and getting your tongue stuck too. Talk about embarrassing.

Wear your mask, wash your hands, keep your distance and try to be kind to anyone you happen to meet if you go out. Times are strange right now, but they will get better.

Keep your spirits up and may a leprechaun dance in your eggnog (bonus points if you get that reference).

Kelly Alley is a graduate student studying journalism and electronic media. She can be reached at kalley2@vols.utk.edu

Columns and letters of The Daily Beacon are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Beacon or the Beacon's editorial staff.

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