Summer is here, the first true post-Covid summer that brings with it relative ease of travel, with no official pre- or post-arrival PCR testing required, but the anxiety from the last few years remains, a siren’s muted warning beneath the calm. I still wore my mask in crowded indoor spaces: the metro, trains, museums, and even the loo, but all went well. Smoothly even. I love traveling, like most people, but when the obstacles outweigh the benefits, it’s easier for my mental health to remain at home, listening to music, writing, reading, and dreaming about a future travel plan with little work involved to get there.

Traveling last week to visit friends in southern France was a dream. The lines weren’t too long, people were patient, and there was an air of tolerance thrumming beneath each of us, holiday-goers and -makers alike. The world seems to be getting back on track, but with a better mindset, open and welcoming. It was so nice to experience what felt like a new normal. Best wishes to everyone braving summertime travel, may your journey be filled with ease and your destination be full of happy moments to last a lifetime.

I came across this old book of poems on my father’s bookshelf today. It was one of his college texts, and I’d often leaf through it when I was a girl, paying close attention to the poems he marked up in pencil. My favorite back then was Trees by Joyce Kilmer (‘I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree…’), but tonight this one stood out instead. Especially the final lines: ‘I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.’

For 2018, may we all become our own masters and captains.