As ironic as it may seem in our current shelter-in-place situation, next week celebrates National Travel and Tourism Week. Even though we cannot celebrate this commemoration with festivities at each of our beautiful Stephenson County attractions, instead this year’s event honors the spirit of travel in recognition of the industry’s strength, selflessness and resiliency.

The Greater Freeport Partnership and other travel ambassadors throughout the area remain unified and supportive of each other from afar, rallying around the #SpiritofTravel. Whether it is biking the quiet trails, enjoying America’s past time at Little Cubs Field, or indulging in a cold beverage on the patio of one of our local breweries, the spirit of travel is what brings joy and memorable experiences to all who visit Stephenson County. We all yearn for these experiences to feel engaged with the people and places from here in our own region and in those we would like to visit. Please remember, when it is safe and you are ready, Stephenson County is waiting for you!

Since visitation to our remarkable sites is not currently possible, here are a few ways you can continue to support the spirit of travel:
1. Daydream – Where will you go? Who will you take with you?
2. Review your favorite spots – If you have visited attractions or locations in the past, hop on TripAdvisor, Google or Facebook and tell the world about your experience.
3. Tune in to Greater Freeport Partnership social media for highlights of attractions on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
4. Share the memories – During this week, you will see the Greater Freeport Partnership and other tourism agencies share fantastic photos and videos of unique places and spaces. Join in on the fun and post your best photos with #spiritoftravel. If those places are within Stephenson County, feel free to use the hashtag #allinstephensonco as well!
5. Browse the 2020 ALL IN Stephenson County Community guide online.
6. Represent your favorite spot digitally – Download and use one of our Zoom backgrounds for your video conferencing or happy hour meetings. You can find files at greaterfreeport.com/zoom.

Even more than making memories and basking in the blessings of our region, communities benefit from the spirit of travel, which permeates through small businesses, unique landmarks and all those who welcome residents and visitors alike with a smile and hospitality. The spirit of travel isn’t only found in far-off places. When residents embrace the spirit of travel by supporting local businesses and helping their neighbors, they are also playing a key role in rebuilding their community—and our country. When the time is right, the travel and tourism industry will be integral to our nation’s recovery—for the economy and American jobs. But it is the spirit of travel that will heal our country’s morale.