Virtual Opportunities Impress But Can’t Stifle Desire To Be There

Spoiler Alert: If y’all invite me to anything in 2021 – I mean ANYTHING – my RSVP is going to be, “Yes.”

The excitement and anticipation of the world returning to some semblance of normal are almost palpable. And for me, being able to hug friends, gather for holidays and celebrations, and SEE each other again, means my number one New Year’s Resolution is a consistent RSVP of YES. ABSOLUTELY. I’ll BE THERE.  

I’m going to treat 2020 like middle school – had to go through it, would not want to do it again, learned some valuable lessons, and much of it was a total drag. That seems like an appropriate comparison.

But, as they say, struggle and discomfort mean we are growing and learning. By my calculations, at this point, we should all be grown up and learned up. I’d love the opportunity to show you, in person, just how much 2020 taught me. I’m RSVPing YES to our 2020 in-person debrief.

One of the good things that came out of 2020 is the use of technology to help us stay connected. FaceTime and Zoom and all the rest allowed us to see each other’s faces. And in some cases, how disheveled our homes are, but I digress. And I’m not judging.

I recently learned about an extraordinary use of technology brought to use by the fine folks at Airbnb. The opportunities for “Airbnb experiences” have been around for a while, but 2020 brought them front and center. From learning to do calligraphy to mastering magic tricks and taking walking tours of quaint Irish villages, technology allows us to try new things and see new places.  

And while our first choice is always to have similar experiences in person, sometimes a technological substitute is not bad.

At the beginning of this whole crazy ride, as a travel writer, I searched high and low for virtual travel opportunities for my readers to enjoy online.

I discovered Broadway shows, ballets, and concerts.

Museums began to add to their web sites images of artworks and even 3D tours of their galleries. I spent many hours virtually walking through the Louvre, the MET, and the Victoria & Albert Museums. Kind of cool.

I have friends who participated in virtual cooking classes and wine tastings.

And while none of those virtual activities is a substitute for the real thing, I admire humankind’s ingenuity and resourcefulness. In the face of total separation and isolation, we figured out how to be together. Sort of.

Which brings me back to my initial statement. My RSVP is YES.  Count me IN.

And not on my computer. I’ve missed y’all.

Here’s to experiencing the BEST year yet!

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Mary The Curious Cowgirl Meier-Evans

Mary Meier-Evans, of University Park, has a Texas-sized curiosity which keeps her longing to see new sites both near and far – though road trips, rather than international flights, make the most sense to her in 2020. Check out her blog and podcast at

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