Post written by Laura
International travel is still illegal from England…
Sounds pretty harsh when set out in simple terms and even a year after England’s first national lockdown I’m still getting my head round the dramatic change imposed by governments around the world as they try to contain coronavirus. It seems unreal to think back to the freedom we previously enjoyed and took for granted with our ability to explore our beautiful planet.
Hope is on the horizon with the rapid vaccine roll-out but its difficult to be too optimistic in these wavering times.
The current lockdown began, I think, at the beginning of January… I’ve lost track of when we had lockdowns, restrictive tiers and whatnot… keeping up with the rules is no mean feat!
This of course meant our tentative Cornwall week didn’t happen in February. With ongoing uncertainty we have just one trip planned for 2021, our long awaited and 3-times-moved Italy trip…
Italy ‘Road to Rome’ update
Our trip to Italy to walk the last 100 miles of the Via Francigena is still on the cards for September 2021. We were previously able to move our EasyJet flights free of charge, together with a couple of the 9 hotels booked and the luggage transfer company. I spent most of last Saturday booking all of the remaining hotels all on a free cancellation basis in anticipation of our trip.
It took a while seeking out accommodations which had 3 available rooms and were actually in the little towns along the path, whilst calculating the daily walking distance between each. There wasn’t too much availability as many of the hotels are either already full or just not being listed. But job done! And hopefully we will actually go to Italy and not have to continue the saga and move them again…
*St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican is the end point of the Via Francigena and the above photo was taken the last time Chris and I were in Rome in April 2010.
Anticipating future travel
For me, the ongoing weekends at home have provided the opportunity to think about future travel and I’ve gained plenty of inspiration from travel blogs, travel books and travel TV shows.
When we are permitted to travel again I assume this will come with increased checks and bureaucracy resulting in more paperwork, more queues, more tests and evidence to prove we don’t have coronavirus. There would have to be some limits, I guess. Even if we have the two vaccines and some kind of certificate to show this, how can the authorities be sure we are not in some way carrying the virus, or have subsequently picked up a new strain?
I’m hoping this is where appropriate risk management kicks in and sensible and realistic judgements are made. Otherwise we may as well give up now and live our remaining lives in a dull and meaningless existence.
Moving on from such a pessimistic and depressing thought…
Perhaps lockdown may have resulted in a mindset shift for many people? As they crave the open space, maybe there will be an increase in outdoor adventures and hiking? The masses might move from the tourist hotspots of Venice or the beaches of Thailand and venture further afield towards the mountains?
There could be a move towards more sustainable travel and eco-tourism as people increase their awareness of the environmental impact to the planet?
And, as many of us have had time to reflect and reassess our lives, people may be keen to get on with their travel aspirations and once-in-a-lifetime trips rather than putting them off until ‘one day’?
Will there be a recession as a result of millions of people who have sadly lost their jobs and businesses? Or will there be a surge of travel for the more fortunate souls who have continued working throughout and saved and stashed away thousands of pounds?
Travel wish list
Chris and I are both in our 50’s and hopefully this means we have at least 20 years of the more active of travel opportunities. We are both keen to explore more of Malaysia and next time to visit Borneo.
Closer to home I would like to do some Greek island hopping, travelling independently around Greece and getting ferries between the islands.
These are just a couple of the countless ideas I have in mind! But ho hum… in the meantime we continue to wait in patient anticipation…
Really tough times aren’t they? So difficult to plan anything at all as even though Boris has mentioned specific dates who knows what will actually happen. We have a few housesits booked through the summer but I’m not at all convinced they will come off as the hosts may not be able to travel. Real uncertainty all round.
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