COVID, Travel

COVID-19, please stop ruining my travel plans

*I need to preface this post by saying that I realize that what I’m about to talk about is really not very important in the grand scheme of things occurring in the world. I know that this pandemic has caused immense physical and emotional difficulties, pain, stress and economic hardship for so many people in the world, and I don’t wish to trivialize it in any way. I feel extremely grateful that its impact on ME personally has been mostly an inconvenience.

That being said, even in the best of cases, COVID has still managed to really turn our lives upside down in pretty much every way imaginable.

A big one, for my family, has been the impact on our travel and vacation plans.

Many people reading will remember that we had a very exciting spring break trip planned to see my sister in Ireland, followed by time in Paris and Amsterdam back in March. The coronavirus pandemic basically exploded in the couple of weeks right before we were supposed to leave, causing an extremely stressful couple of weeks while we scrambled to figure out what to do. We ended up having to cancel the trip literally the night before we were supposed to get on the plane. After months and MONTHS of planning and excitement, it was heartbreaking.

Photo by Pierre Blaché from Pexels
But the silver lining was- we rescheduled!! We were able to rebook our lodging in Paris, the hotel in Amsterdam, our flights, everything- basically the exact same trip, just 5 months later in August. I mean, there was no way this pesky coronavirus would still be around FIVE MONTHS later, right? Right?????? RIGHT????????

You can probably guess where this is going. Here we sit, on June 16, just 2 months shy of our “new” flight to Dublin on August 13. And though restrictions are lifting, it’s looking very unlikely that a) Europe will even be allowing international travelers at that point b) Ivan’s job will allow him to travel out of the country (currently has a 14 day unpaid quarantine requirement for anyone returning from abroad) c) our flights would go as planned and d) that the trip would even resemble the amazing vacation we were dreaming of.

Yes, the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower are probably opening soon. But what will that even look like? Reduced capacity (VERY likely)? Could we even get in? What about trains? Will they run on schedule? What about restaurants? And shops? And museums? And everything else we want to do? Plus, do we really want our long-awaited family photos in front of the Arc de Triomphe to include us posing with MASKS on and holding bottles of hand sanitizer??

The answer is, sadly, probably not. Not to even mention, the whole first part of our trip was supposed to be to see my sister and family in Ireland, which the kids especially were SO SO SO excited about. They have been dying to see their little cousins and finally see where they live in beautiful rural Ireland. The whole thing just really stinks.

It was bad enough to cancel once; having to cancel againis just terrible. Plus, we are now facing lots of logistical issues (again), with the Air bNb policy not currently allowing cancellations for bookings after August 1st and the airline only allowing us to change our flights, not give us a refund. At this point, we don’t even really know when we could move this trip to, with so many other unknowns regarding school, the pandemic, possible resurgences, etc.

Again, I realize this is a “first world problem” and I’m blessed to even have the opportunity to travel at all in my life. But the truth is, we love to travel. It’s really important to us and we prioritize it above some other things in order to make it happen. 

I am resentful of this virus because in a way I feel like it is stripping us of a year (at least?) of being able to travel with our kids in the way we wanted- and these years with them home already feel so fleeting.
Travel Tuesday
Finally, on a related note, I am going to share the first picture in a little series I’m starting on the blog called “Travel Tuesdays”. I’ve had a couple friends mention that they hope I will share some about my travels on this blog, since people who know me in real life know we love to travel. 
I do think that if I could have any job in the world, no strings attached, it might be to be either a travel blogger, travel writer or maybe even just a travel agent!! I’m going to start sharing a picture on Tuesdays of either a place I’ve been that I’ve loved, a favorite story or a place I want to visit that is on my list. Feel free to share in the comments a place you’ve loved visiting or a place on YOUR bucket list!
Today’s pick is: Florence, Italy

Photo credit: me and my iPhone!

Ivan and I went to Florence on our 10th Anniversary trip to Italy and Spain in 2017. Before we left home, Florence was not actually at the top of my list of places to visit on that trip, but it seemed like a place we shouldn’t miss, so of course I included it in the itinerary. I just didn’t really know as much about it ahead of time as say, Venice or Barcelona. But it was just stunningly beautiful! This photo is one of my favorites, from our sunset hike up to the lookout at Pizzale Michelangelo. If you have any thoughts to ever go to Florence, write this down right now and make sure you don’t miss this spot. 

Daily Gratitude:
I am grateful that I have had the opportunities I have had to travel. I have barely scratched the surface of exploring this amazing world, but I’m grateful for the places I have been able to visit and the experiences and memories made with my family. 

5 thoughts on “COVID-19, please stop ruining my travel plans

  1. i totally share your frustration. I had a long list of places to visit, already had to cancel two (beach destinations) and summer break is nowhere to be seen. I still have flight to Amsterdam to participate the berlin marathon which is likely to be cancelled. not sure what we will do about it yet. And our epic trip to Argentina… that's gone too.
    i know it's first world problem, hehhe…. but I fully share your pain. I took over 20 trips last year between work and leisure, so I feel being grounded and can't wait to travel again.

    Florence!!! so beautiful. I think I went there in early 2000, one of the most beautiful boutique city I've been.

  2. I totally understand your frustration and disappointment. I would be so bummed as that is an epic trip that you put a lot of time and thought into planning. I'm a huge Fracophile and have been to Paris 3 times. I would have been devastated if I wasn't able to take one of those planned trips. I know it's a smaller sacrifice to make than others who are losing family members, worried about long-term impacts of COVID, and without jobs, but for your family – it is devastating. 🙁 I'm so sorry. I hope you are able to get somewhat of a refund for your airbnb? ugh, this just all sucks.

  3. I need to hear about this epic trip to Argentina! That sounds amazing. Will you be able to reschedule? And WOW, 20 trips?!? We like to travel but are nowhere near that level! That's amazing!!

  4. Thanks for the kind words! It does suck. Grrr. I just keep trying to remind myself that eventually we will be able to go, and hopefully in 10 years this will barely be a memory. Hopefully by that point we will have taken our trip, and just be able to focus on the good memories from the trip- and not all of this frustration leading up to it!

  5. By the way- I'll have to run my Paris itinerary by you sometime then!! I have been there once, for a few days only during college. I did a LOT of research but there's just so much. Maybe you can tell me if what I planned sounds good/realistic or not!

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