When your work revolves around travel, you establish some personal preferences, on-the-road routines, and strong opinions. In our Travel Showdown series, travel advisors, industry leaders, and Virtuoso staff face off over some of travel’s most divisive topics – from packing methods to room service. This month, two Virtuoso globetrotters on where to go next.
After weeks of sheltering in place, where do you want to go first?
Sun, Sand, and Sea, Please
As someone who has spent plenty of time in the mountains, I can confidently say I’d much rather go to the beach. When my children were younger, we went skiing for every spring break. Driving from Texas to Colorado in a Suburban packed with kids, ski equipment, and enough snacks to survive the entire winter is no easy feat. Every day began at dawn; by the time the kids had breakfast, found their missing gloves and goggles, defrosted the ski boots they accidentally left outside, and finished their synchronized meltdowns spurred by piling on layer after layer of pants, I wanted to crawl back into bed.
A few years ago, I finally convinced everyone to head to the beach for a change, and it was a life-altering experience. At The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, the weather was perfect and the mornings were unrushed. The kids played by the water and I dove chapters-deep into a grip-lit novel. And even though the kids are older now, and we’ve unexpectedly been together for the past few months, I still think we’d all enjoy a beach vacation together this summer. Maybe it’s because I was born on a tropical island – or because I’m a Pisces – but I love being by the sea. I don’t even mind the humidity – that’s easily resolved with a cold Dark ‘n’ Stormy in hand. – Melanie Fowler, design director
The Mountains Are Calling
I grew up in Florida, where the highest natural point is a whopping 345 feet above sea level, and beach outings are as frequent as trips Publix. When I moved to Seattle a few years ago, I spent the first few months pointing to the skyline on clear days and shouting, “mountains!” That summer (and every one since) was full of hiking and river-floating in North Cascades National Park and on the Olympic Peninsula. (Lesson learned after that first nine-mile trek: Buy hiking boots.) By no means am I abandoning my Sunshine State roots: I love the ocean. But after 72 days in quarantine, I want pine-scented breezes, sky-high summit views, and more great outdoors than what my backyard has to offer.
As the world collectively starts to think about traveling again, heading to the mountains seems like the best kind of social distancing. My family and I will stay close to home to start – road trips will likely rebound first in the coming weeks and months, according to Virtuoso travel advisors – but there are many other peak locales on my list. I want to escape to Amangiri for a restorative weekend, drive Going-to-the-Sun Road in Montana’s Glacier National Park, and, as soon as I’m able, spend some time in the Swiss Alps. Cheese fondue in a mountain hut? Sign me up. – Amy Cassell, manager, digital content
Top Photo: Getty Images Plus