Traveling in Troubling Times

We know all too well that we’re living through some troubling times. This post is for those of you who’ve been asking how COVID and other world events are impacting our trip. It might surprise you, but, as vaccinated travellers, we haven’t had to take a single covid test on our entire journey.

For context it may help to know that we had hoped to begin this trip in February of 2021 rather than February of 2022. Back then vaccines were just starting to roll out and it was pretty much impossible to even think about traveling abroad. The next window of opportunity would have been in September but our boys were entering grade ten at a new school and they wanted to get settled in. So we earmarked February 2022 as the next window, and probably the last chance we’d have to pull it off. Omicron almost ruined it but fortunately the window of opportunity did open up. International travel restrictions started to fall like dominoes and we decided to go ahead. It wasn’t an easy decision. We weighed the pros and cons and decided to go for it.

We were thankful to all get our booster shots in advance of departing, and although we take COVID seriously, the omicron variant has proved less virilent than previous strains and so we didn’t really see the trip as too much of a health risk. We did expect travel difficulties however and so far they have been basically non-existent. We also expected public health measures and restrictions to put a damper on or limit the scope of activites, but thankfully that too has been much ado about nothing, thus far. We have been impacted by a few unexpected closures, but that’s about it.

Crossing the Atlantic

So far where ever we have traveled the locals have seemed very compliant with strict masking measures. In Central America most people wore masks even outside. In Europe most people go maskless outside while using masks indoors – similar to Canada. This isn’t a recommendation to go traveling, necessarily. Clearly it depends on your risk factors as well as the timing and location of your travel plans. We had originally planned to go to Asia, Australia & New Zealand and then Europe. But when it got down to planning, the omicron wave was still on the rise in Asia and Australia and New Zealand were yet to open to tourism. That’s why we shifted gears and began planning a month in Central America, including Costa Rica, a place we’ve been to a couple times before. Central America was clearly open for business. We also believed that travel would be easier once we got to Europe simply because of its lack of border controls. Those were the key factors in the setting of our itinerary.

As I mentioned, no one in our family has had to get even a single COVID test to this point, almost two months into the trip. And now that we are in Europe I expect we will not have to at all. That said we are hearing that cases are on the rise here, so we’ll just have to see how it goes. So far we have all enjoyed good health.

As for the war in Ukraine, well it hasn’t been a factor either. Europe is a big continent, and we have no plans to come within a thousand miles of the troubles in Ukraine. We have been following the events on the news and we see the odd sign of solodarity with the people of Ukraine on display, but really its not affecting our plans.

Here’s to hoping for a peaceful, healthy remainder to our big trip, and for better days for the entire world for many years to come. 🥂

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