Letter From Our Founder: COVID & 2021
A reflection on 2020 and looking forward to 2021
Can you believe we made it to December of 2020? In a year that has been a wild ride of growth and awakening, uncertainty and tragedy, loss and hope. that in itself is something to celebrate.
For those of you who have lost loved ones due to the pandemic or been affected by the pandemic in any way, our hearts go out to you. We personally have lost loves ones and know the pain of this loss.
As I am writing this there is the hope of a vaccine, but our country is experiencing the highest COVID numbers to date with the numbers still climbing and yet I am planning for 2021 AdventurUs Women experiences. Unfortunately, I have no choice. Planning these unforgettable experiences takes time and if we are in a place next year where it is OK to gather the planning has to be happening now.
I am conflicted about the fact I am working on AdventurUs Women’s 2021 Escapes while sheltered at home in Southern CA where COVID is so bad that non-household gatherings are prohibited for the next 3 weeks.
I am optimistic that we will be able to gather next year. Not in a business as usual – pre COVID way, but in a modified – eyes wide open – we see you COVID way. I am hopeful that there will be a vaccine, testing will be even easier and more reliable than it is now, and most importantly that collectively as individuals we will have put in the work and effort to stop the spread of this invisible beast.
I take COVID very seriously as someone who has personally lost loved ones to it and as someone who is at higher risk living with Asthma. As such I have limited and restricted many of the activities that used to be a part of my everyday life. In many ways living with and planning for COVID is much like planning a backcountry adventure. There are known things you can take into consideration before moving forward with plans and you also need to be prepared for the unknowns.
So I have been approaching AdventurUs Women planning in a time of COVID as I do outdoor adventures, courses, and experiences with safety and risk management at the forefront.
- What can we do to minimize risk?
- What are the known hazards and how can we try to avoid them?
- What are the potential hazards and how can we try to avoid them?
- What can we do to ensure plans are flexible and provide options?
- What can we do to support the emotional and physical well-being of others?
Are we prepared to plan for the best and be ready when things don’t go as planned?
Yes. Just as we were ready for an amazing 2020, we will be ready for an amazing 2021.
Canceling and postponing our 2020 Escapes was heartbreaking and gut wrenching but the right decision. And in some ways, it was an easy decision to make in the face of this pandemic. The hard part was knowing how amazing the Escapes are and that the women who signed up would not get to experience the community and joy found when we come together. This decision was even harder as we found ourselves more and more isolated and longing for connection. While not easy, this is a decision we will be prepared to make again next year to ensure the safety of our community.
We know that everyone’s position is personal when it comes to COVID and recreating responsibly. Know that we respect and support you in this. We also hope that we are all making decisions and taking actions that help in keeping ourselves, our loved ones, and our community safe. By being flexible and making smart decisions I am confident there is a path forward.
I have had to dig deep this year to find the resilience to stay positive and continue to build a business and community whose foundation is based on gathering together in community to experience outdoor activities and learn outdoor skills at beautiful destinations. I never envisioned us as a virtual community, but our virtual experiences have enabled our community to gather from across the country and support each other in ways not possible when only holding in-person events. I am so grateful for this.
This year has been one of deep reflection and continuous learning. I am taking what I have learned and applying it to 2021.
- We have updated our cancellation policy to be flexible and understanding of the times.
- We have COVID plans and guidelines for in-person experiences on our FAQ page.
- We are limiting the size of our in-person events based on COVID guidelines.
- We are adding new locations to decrease the travel needed to join us.
- We are going to continue to offer virtual experiences to bring our community together from afar.
- We are continuing to be guided by our mission, along with our culture and values to ensure we provide inclusive experiences.
- We are committed to providing additional opportunities for BIPOC women to participate in outdoor experiences.
As you begin to look towards 2021 and set your goals and sights on hope, moving forward, adventure, learning, and finding connection that you see AdventurUs Women as a part of your future whether you join us virtually or in-person.