Sometimes, the best thing we can do for ourselves is to take a detour. Stop and embrace the moment wherever it may be. Our most recent detour found us walking in a field of sunflowers. But first…

A Sentiment that Resonates

Friends of ours who write at BBQ Boy and Spanky recently published a post titled, “Why Bother Blogging (aka the World of Travel Blogging in 2020”. I had to laugh when I read the post because I had pretty much the same content in a post sitting in my draft queue; this post you’re reading now. The question of why am I even blogging in 2020 is a sentiment that resonates with me, deeply. And, it’s not just me. Every travel writer/blogger friend in my cyber circle is asking the same question.

A field of sunflowers
A field of sunflowers. A field of sunshine.
How Bad Can it Be?

You may remember right before the pandemic broke globally, we were just days out from leaving for Europe. We were scheduled and booked to travel by train for three weeks through Portugal, Spain, and France. It was awful to cancel the entire trip, especially because at that point we didn’t know what was to come. People were still asking how bad can it be? That was in early March and we’ve been housebound ever since. As we all now know it turned out to be a global nightmare.

A Full Stop

We’re fortunate in that we do not financially rely on One Road at a Time to support us, but it is a business and as such a source of income. Cancelling our European trip was a blow for our brand.

When the pandemic hit, the travel industry came to a full stop and travel writing swirled quickly down the drain. Of course, if we’re not traveling, I’m not writing and that translates to loss of income. So, when I read the post, “Why Bother Blogging?” I could absolutely relate to the sentiment.

A field of Sunflowers
The faces of sunflowers.

It actually seems unfeeling and insignificant to talk of things such as travel writing and site traffic when in the United States alone nearly 50 million people have filed for unemployment. There are over four million cases of Covid-19 and over 150,000 deaths with no light at the end of the tunnel. It’s heartbreaking to say the least. And yet, something as simple as wearing a mask has become politicized beyond reason under an administration that has dropped the ball in every conceivable way.

A Harsh Reality

I came across this graph, and it paints a sadly grim picture of the world moving on without those who hold US passports. If I tap in to my inner Pollyanna I can convince myself a global vaccine will become available, life will move on and the world of travel will reinvent itself. When that will happen I have no idea. It’s a harsh reality when Europe and most of the rest of the world is gaining ground and returning to somewhat normal life. The United Divided States is not invited to the party and rightfully so.

A Field of Sunflowers

So, it was with all of this in mind, the other day on our way home, we took a detour and found ourselves standing in a field of sunflowers. It was a first for us, to stand in a field of sunflowers, and it was glorious. Somehow spending time in that field rejuvenated our spirit and we were able to relax and put our worries aside.

A field of Sunflowers
No one wants to wear a mask when it’s 95 degrees, but it’s a no-brainer.
One Road at a Time

Having launched our site in 2012, we’re nearly eight years in. Just before the pandemic hit our site’s traffic was at an all-time high and then the bottom fell out. But it fell out for everyone. We’re not alone in this, not by a long shot. So, we’re back to the origins of our brand name, taking it One Road at a Time.

While we can’t travel far and wide, we’re focusing on exploring the back roads of Maryland and Virginia. Washington, DC doesn’t exactly have back roads per-se, but there are lots of places off the beaten path to find. The purpose of exploring the back roads is two-fold. One, we’re day traveling and learning about the region we now call home and two, we’re bulking up content for our site, which in turn, can be shared with travelers. When life hands you lemons, and all that…

It was bigger than his head!
McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management

Sometimes, the best thing we can do for ourselves is to take a detour. Stop and embrace the moment wherever it may be. Our most recent detour found us walking in a field of sunflowers.

The McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management area runs parallel to the Potomac River, in Maryland, and actually has four fields of sunflowers. We stopped at two of them. The first was already past it’s peak bloom. The second field, well, you can see for yourself just how beautiful it was. It was almost magical, as each flower stood tall and strong, and embraced the sun.

The sunflowers are planted, annually, for the purpose of providing seeds for the wildlife. The bees happily pollinate the flowers and in turn glean an ample supply of nectar and pollen. Ya gotta love Mother Nature.

A Better Place

So, here we are, halfway through the year from hell. We’re moving forward as best we can as we redefine our travel (and life) path and update our site to move right along with us. It’s all any of us can do, don’t you think? Life as we knew it will never again be the same, but with determination (and a blue election in the US) just maybe we’ll all come out of this in a better place. In the meantime, let’s dream about places we’d like to go. Got any ideas?

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If You Go
  • McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management
  • Easy day trip from Washington, DC
  • Map & coordinates on website
  • Field locations may change each year
  • Do not pick/cut the flowers
  • Designated parking areas are available
  • No bathroom facilities
  • No picnic areas or benches
  • Mosquito repellent advisable
  • Dogs allowed if on leash
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