Kassidy Brown: Travel reaches some normalcy

Jan. 21—Over the past couple years as COVID has slowly winded down, traveling has become less of a risk and returned some normalcy to it.

That is not to say that COVID isn't still around, and it will likely be with us forever.

I have traveled a bit all the way through the pandemic, including times that I had to for away volleyball games because I was a college athlete, and I've noticed a few changes since then.

In the beginning it was necessary to keep a mask on hand.

For example, I went to watch Harry Styles in concert in October of 2021, and a vaccination card or proof of a negative COVID test was needed to get into the venue.

It was the same for another concert I went to in February 2022.

It was not until later in 2022 that masks and vaccine cards were needed less and less in public spaces.

More places are also allowing more people in without limiting capacity or social distancing.

I have not traveled by plane anywhere, so I'm not sure what the rules on those are like still right now; however, I'm sure they are relaxing just like the rest of the country.

I think it's really crazy to see how much changed during the time that COVID was extremely prevalent to now.

I'm not sure if COVID has relaxed or people just stopped caring about it, but I have enjoyed the freedom of getting to go places without having to make sure I have my vaccination card on me or a mask.

I have stayed in hotels and Air B&B's and I've only noticed COVID protocols for the latter, but that's not to say hotels don't have them anymore.

The limited amount of travel that was allowed during COVID, along with the travel I did during it, made me really appreciate the ability to travel without having to worry.

I know there were a lot of people who did not let the pandemic hinder their travel plans, but for me, I have grandparents that I saw pretty regularly, so I worked really hard to make sure I followed protocols and took precautions when traveling.

I think this experience with the pandemic was a good thing in a way because it made a lot of people including me appreciate the ability to not only travel without worries but also see family members, go to work, and do normal day-to-day tasks.

It also showed a piece of history to us that I'm sure many of us never thought we would experience.

Though in a less extreme way, it showed how people had to live during other major pandemics through history such as the Spanish Influenza pandemic of the 1920 and the Black Plague.

I think it was a good lesson on something that we have been told several times which is history repeats itself.

This was not the first pandemic, and it will almost certainly not be the last.

I know I am definitely happy that we are starting to be able to be able to travel like we used to with less worries.

I am young, so I really want to travel a bit before I get too old to do much.

I feel that traveling is an important part of learning about the world and even our own country because there are so many different cultures just within the U.S., so now that there are less risks doing it, I hope more young people try it.

Many people in my generation missed out on a lot of milestones and experiences in the later years of high school and early college years, so I hope they can make up time in our new-found freedom to go outside.

— Kassidy Brown is the Daily Telegraph's Features Editor. Contact her at kbrown@bdtonline.com.