Tag Archive | Travel

How To Travel During a Pandemic

traveling during covid

We all miss traveling and hope that by the summer, with active vaccination, we’ll be able to take at least some shorter trips to select destinations. But even today, some people need to take flights for work or drive to visit relatives they care for. Whether you’re planning your vacation, or just want to feel safer on a business trip, there are a few precautions you can take in these difficult times.

Here’s how to travel during a pandemic.

The Basic Rules

When traveling, make sure you learn the destination’s safety requirements, but even if the place, e.g., doesn’t call for wearing a mask at all times, you might want to use common sense and put one on when in busy spots.

Maintaining social distance will remain a good idea for some time even with the pandemic situation getting better, so keep 6 feet apart when possible.

The same goes for avoiding sick people, washing and sanitizing hands, not touching your face, and covering your mouth when coughing and sneezing.

Lodging

When choosing a hotel or other accommodation, make sure you check their website or call ahead to learn about their safety protocols.

Things to look for are wearing masks and using gloves for staff, advanced cleaning procedures, social distancing, set protocols if someone gets sick, contactless check-in and payment, and hand sanitizer available at all places. It’s also essential to have enough time between guests in the room to get it cleaned and aired properly.

It will not hurt if you disinfect the doorknobs, countertops, faucets, and other high-touch surfaces when you arrive yourself. Make sure you pack alcohol sanitizers, disinfectant wipes, gloves, and masks.

Also, pack enough changes of clothes to avoid bringing in germs from outside. High-quality v-neck shirts, like the ones from Fresh Clean Tees, will be perfect for any trip as they come in multiple colors and go with everything.

Flying

Flying can feel a little scary. Even if summer sees things getting much better, it’s smart to take extra precautions. Choose the airlines that are clear about their safety protocols and implement them throughout the entire process from check-in, boarding to the flight itself.

Wear a mask at all times and have a few of them to switch if your flight is longer. Minimize the interaction with other passengers, use hand sanitizers and bring your own food on the plane.

Car Travel

If you’re traveling by car, you might feel safer, and it’s highly recommended if there’s an option to do so. Depending on your location, you might need to be more or less vigilant about minimizing your stops and activities. However, pack all the proper supplies and some food for the road, so you don’t have to stop to eat too often.

If you choose to eat on the road, opt for restaurants that offer a drive-thru, curbside service, or have outdoor seating. We also recommend stocking up on water if you’re driving to remote locations and suggests investing in good quality water cans instead of plastic bottles.

Plan, Plan, Plan

You probably have your usual routines during holidays, but currently, you might need to reconsider some of them. Skip the indoor theme parks, big crowded squares, shops, bars, and clubs. Focus on outdoor activities, nature parks, drive-in movie theaters, outdoor dining, picnicking, and entertainment venues you know have taken all the needed safety measures.

There might be an app available in your destination that updates on the COVID-19 situation, so you can check which areas are safe and which to avoid.

Be Flexible

We all want to return to making plans and enjoying our lives, but we still need to be flexible and cancel certain activities if needed. If you don’t feel comfortable, or you learn about health risks in certain destinations, cancel those plans and opt for another activity. Even in cases where you already paid for, e.g., a tour, you should still cancel if you don’t feel safe.

Lastly, if you or your family member feels unwell, just stay home. Don’t forget to check the recommendations of the U.S. CDC before traveling.

Nature Photos From My Beautiful Quarantine Berkshires Vacation!

japanese red maple photo by gail worley
Japanese Red Maple (All Photos By Gail)

The original vacation plan for Summer 2020 called for me to fly from New York City to Barcelona on June 4th. There, I would meet up with my Los Angeles-based sister, and we’d spend two days site-seeing and recovering from jet lag before departing on an adventure-packed, seven-day cruise through the western Mediterranean. Sigh, I fucking love to cruise.

Obviously, those plans changed. In May, our sailing was predictably canceled by the cruise line due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While I was relieved to receive a full-refund on my paid fare — and overjoyed with the bonus of nearly $1,000 in onboard credit for a 2021 rebooking — I was also super bummed to know that I would likely not be getting out of Manhattan this summer. First world problems: they are a  thing.

g and t in the berks photo by gail
This Glass Holds The Remains of a Very Stiff Gin and Tonic

It cannot be overstated then that my summer was miraculously saved by friends who own a home the Berkshires, where they’d been quarantining since March. They generously offered to host me for a week of doing basically what I do in Manhattan — eating and going for walks — but with way better food and immeasurably more awe-inspiring scenery, not to mention (but you can see I am about to) air that smells like honey, and the absence of blaring sirens. It was the best week I’ve had in three months. Please enjoy a selection of photos from my many nature walks taken during the vacation that restored my sanity.

white pines view photo by gail worley
The Berkshires: Stunning Even When It’s Overcast

My friends live in a private community accessed from a narrow road set about a mile off of a rural thoroughfare. On summer evenings (during any normal year), you can sometimes hear faint music drifting over from Tanglewood, where I saw a fantastic concert by Squeeze with these same friends last August. Sadly, Tanglewood’s 2020 season has been canceled.

reeds against the sky photo by gail worley

Instead, the soundtrack includes choruses of bullfrogs hiding among the marsh reeds, and a rush of wind through the endless trees that can make you look over your shoulder to confirm that no cars are coming.

marsh pond photo by gail worley

This marsh and pond are just across the road from a private beach. There, you can take colorful kayaks out onto a lake, which is called the Stockbridge Bowl.

lake view through the trees photo by gail

I could gaze at at this view for hours.

Continue Enjoying the Scenery, After the Jump!

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Pink Thing of The Day: The Men of Vacaya

Vacaya Gang By Gail Worley
Photo By Gail

This past January, I made my first trip to the New York Times Travel Show at the Javits Center, because I am always game for new experiences to bring you on this rad blog. The show was amazing, and it inspired me to consider traveling to all sorts of exotic lands that I had previously never even considered visiting. But for reasons that should not need explaining, I had the most fun visiting the L.G.B.T.Q. Travel Pavilion. It was there that I met the men of Vacaya, which is the only large-scale travel company on earth serving the entire LGBTQIAPK community (IAPK = Intersex, Asexual, Polygamous / Polyamorous, Kink). Vacaya was giving away a Gay Cruise, and since I have the single best story ever about a Gay Cruise (which was told to me a decade ago by my friends Ross and Scott), I had to share the story with them. They all agreed that is was excellent.

Also known as The Vacayans, these handsome guys were so friendly and adorable that I was compelled to snap this fantastic photo of them, smiling and looking awesome in their Pink T Shirts, to capture the moment. I joked that I was going to make them my Pink Thing of the Day, but then I thought ‘why the fuck not, just do it!’  If you were gay, wouldn’t you want  them to help you plan your next vacation? I sure would!

I realize that people may not be booking a lot of travel just at the moment, but, for all of my LGBTQ etc readers, when you are ready to venture out into the world again and want to plan your next adventure, please visit MyVacaya.com, and tell them the Worley Gig sent you.

Sigmar Polke, Eine Winterreise at David Zwirner

Palme auf Autostoff (Palm Tree on Fabric)
Palme auf Autostoff (Palm Tree on Fabric) By Sigmar Polke (All Photos By Gail)

David Zwirner is currently hosting Eine Winterreise (A Winter’s Journey) the gallery’s first exhibition dedicated to the work of German artist Sigmar Polke since having announced its representation of the artist’s estate. Curated by Vicente Todolí, the exhibition presents a selection of works by the artist that address an expanded notion of travel.

Lungta
Lungta

Sigmar Polke (1941-2010) is widely recognized for his multidisciplinary output of paintings, photographs, drawings, prints, objects, installations, and films. Characterized by a relentlessly experimental and inquisitive attitude, the artist’s work employs unusual materials and techniques, and playfully defies social, political, and aesthetic conventions. Throughout his prolific career, Polke’s unorthodox approach to materials, subject matter, and artistic processes was always concerned with the testing of limits and boundaries, and this exhibition will demonstrate the breadth and lasting influence of his radical and innovative practice.

Ohne Titel (Untitled)
Ohne Titel (Untitled)

The works in the exhibition will range from playful takes on mass-produced tourist scenery from the 1960s to compositionally layered paintings from the 1980s that offer complex reinterpretations of travel-related themes, Romantic notions of the sublime, and hallucinatory imagery — thereby addressing both outward, physical travel and inner/mental, intellectual journeys. In particular, the exhibition centers on the artist’s around-the-world journey from 1980 to 1981 that took him to Indonesia (Bali, Java, Sumatra), Papua New Guinea, Australia, Tasmania, Malaysia, and Thailand, among other locales.

Hallucinogen
Hallucinogen

As noted by Polke, this trip inspired a close consideration of the material forms and cultural practices of color itself: “how, for example, Hinduism explains and uses color or how Australians use color.”1 The exploration of color as an aesthetic end in itself led Polke to the unconventional use of often dangerous or unstable chemical substances within his work. Describing this process, Polke stated simply: “I was looking for brilliance of color, and it happened to be toxic.”

Magnetische Landschaft
Magnetische Landschaft (Magnetic Lanscape)

The exhibition will include a number of large-scale paintings, including Magnetische Landschaft (Magnetic Landscape), an abstract mountainscape executed in acrylic and iron mica on store-bought, checked fabric from 1982. The materials, content, and support in this work each simultaneously present distinct facets of Polke’s multivalent investigation into German cultural and artistic history: medieval alchemical and (pseudo-)scientific experiments, Romanticism’s fraught invocation of the natural world, and postwar Germany’s bourgeois embrace of consumerism.

Lappländische Reise I (Lapland Journey I)
Lappländische Reise I (Lapland Journey I)

The link between material experimentation and physical exploration is further explored in Polke’s Lappländische Reise (Lapland Journey) series from 1984. As the series progresses, recognizable figures (a reindeer, a row of trees) are eliminated, as semi-transparent washes of lacquer dissolve into shifting, hallucinogenic forms.

Lappländische Reise III (Lapland Journey III)
Lappländische Reise III (Lapland Journey III)

Installation View

Polke’s attention to the properties and effects of transparency can be seen also in the selection of works from his series Laterna Magica. Painted in lacquer on both sides of transparent polyester fabric, they combine figuration and abstraction in complex, layered compositions. These works moreover evoke the medium of the magic lantern, an early slide projection device that predated the invention of the cinema.

Translucent Painting

Also on view will be a selection of experimental film works that document Polke’s own travels.

Sigmar Polke’s Eine Winterreise will be on Exhibit Through June 25th, 2016 at David Zwirner Gallery, Located at 537 West 20th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.

I Love Not Camping Cosmetics Bag!

I Love Not Camping Cosmetic Bag

There are many things I love when it comes to vacation time, but mostly, I Love Not Camping! If you, like me, prefer a fancy hotel to sleeping in a tent, combating bugs and not having a bathroom, then  maybe you want to own this cosmetics bag that expresses your feelings? Own it for just $16.95 at This Link!

I Love Not Camping Cosmetic Bag

Texas Is The Reason (For Bats)


Austin Gets Batty

Hey what’s up.  I hope you missed me as much as I missed all of you. I just got back from spending a wonderful week having non-stop rad fun in south Texas with my sister, Keven (or in Espanol: “Quevan,” as I am now calling her). We basically wore ourselves to nubs being shameless tourists, but it was worth it. One of my favorite things we did together while in Texas was cruising out onto Austin’s LadyBird Lake close to sunset and watching 800,000 small bats fly out from under the Congress Avenue Bridge. Seriously, that was just insane. Anyway, Texas (San Antonio in particular) is awesome. You should go there for a vacation, and tell them I sent you.

Peeps in Places Photo Contest


Pink Peep at the White House

In the style of the Roaming Gnome and the “Baby Jesus Statue Takes a Road Trip” story, National Geographics’ Intelligent Travel Blog presents the Peeps in Places Photo Contest. According to the site, “We want to know where you take your Peeps – in this case, the sugar-coated, marshmallowy kind! Put your Peeps in your suitcase and photograph them in an iconic travel destination or in your own neighborhood. Pick clever and recognizable settings and show us your Peeps!

Here’s how it works: take a photo of one or more Peeps (original chicks, pink bunnies, or others – we’re not biased) in any travel destination, add your photos to our Flickr pool, and then tag them “NGTpeeps.” Please limit your entries to three per person.” There’s a “Peeptastic” slideshow off all entries received so far at This Link. Deadline is Monday, April 13th, 2009!