Sebastian Modak, journalist, New York Times, Washington Post, Condé Nast Traveler
Updated: Feb 14
Trips You Took in 2020: Florida and New Orleans by car.
Outlook for 2021: Exploring the US by car, bike, and foot.
If you squint hard enough you can see the silver lining, even during the most intense storms. And—sorry for mixing metaphors here—while 2020 was a garbage fire inside a burning building inside a dying star, I was able to see the tiniest whisper of a positive: That it forced me to seek out adventure, satiate my curiosity, and interact with the world around me in a new way. I may have taken 88 flights in 2019, but in 2020 I rode 2,800 miles on my bicycle. I crisscrossed New York City many times over and went on multi day adventures into the Catskills, with everything I needed strapped to my bike. It's a form of exploration I would likely never have gotten into if I hadn't been so desperate to explore beyond my city block in a safe way.
My partner was turned into a digital nomad like so many people, so we decided to drive south for the winter with our cat. I met my new nephew (after quarantining and having my brain scraped numerous times) in Florida. I write this from New Orleans, where we've rented a drafty, but adorable, shotgun house for two months. I'm spending my days on long walks (and bike rides) through this beautiful city perfect for social distancing (not too cold; to-go cocktails...). I don't know when I'll be able to leave the country again or see my family overseas, and while that hurts to consider, I'm also excited to see more of this country in 2021.