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Travel is Back! Covid and our Big Pause

By T. Rutter

How are you doing?

No really, how is everyone holding up?

What an incredible 14 months we’ve had. Since the first news of a “mysterious” virus took hold of the airways back in February 2020 to this vibrant spring day here in Southern California, what a long, strange and heartbreaking trip it’s been.

So. Much. Loss.

To be honest it’s a bit much for me to process on some level. Friends and loved ones, including one of Arte for Elephant's most vibrant mentors, taken by a dreadful, fast moving disease. Small businesses struggling, our own trips cancelled, tribal people we are privileged to consider friends and colleagues in Kenya and Thailand struggling to keep afloat. A year and a half in and I don’t know a single person who hasn’t experienced some type of loss.

But, just like this gorgeous spring day, the eternals remain: sunshine, birdsong, butterflies, roses, the lovely tree in our new apartment complex swaying in a light breeze and the scent of jasmine flowers, always the scent of jasmine.

And people!

Turns out, at the end of the day, despite the sloppy, noisy, complicated nature of so many of our friendships and relations, we really do love one another and despite the glories of technology no way on earth does a Zoom meeting replace your grandmother’s precious kiss, or the heartfelt hug of a friend. We crave that connection, mess and all.

Too bad it took a catastrophic pandemic to illustrate in the most immediate way possible that we really are all connected. Being on lock down sucked in NYC just the same as in Milan, or Nairobi.

Nurses, teachers and grocery store workers are heroes from Boise to Berlin and all points in between.

Don’t get me wrong, we aren’t entirely out of the woods yet. Even as vaccinations roll out and travel creaks back to life in the developed world, places like India and Brazil are still struggling through dark days that wound the soul.

But up ahead, in the glimmering future the first strings of our post-COVID symphony are starting to thrum. Bringing with them a breath of hope to our partners in Kenya that the engine that drives their entire economy (tourism) is ready to start again.

For us here in the US and our friends in the EU, 14 months of pent-up longing and the fear of a horrific illness have given some of us wings! As one recently booked safari guest put it,

“I realized during the pandemic, that if I had things on my bucket list that I wanted to see, I had to get around to doing it because I don’t know when I’ll get the chance again.”

That longing, for adventure, wonder, experience and connection is a common thread that unites all of us and sustains us through times of loss and darkness.

Hope really does spring eternal.


Arte for Elephants 9D/8N All-inclusive Safari Retreats

Only $2,899 Per Person*

Authentic Experiences for Incredible Humans!

*Does not include air. Based upon double occupancy.

STAY TUNED: Arte for Elephants will be auctioning a Big Elephant Magic Safari retreat to benefit the Masai Food Assistance program! Details will be announced Shortly!

T Rutter is Artist and Founder of Arte for Elephants a philanthropic art and travel business. To date Arte for Elephants has donated over $59,000 to ethical sanctuaries and communities. Find out more


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