WE DID IT. After months of planning and different anxieties, it’s all over. We travelled during Covid.
When Australia opened the borders we immediately booked an overseas trip. Some people thought we were a bit crazy, but we were legit going stir-crazy being stuck at home (having had previously organised international, interstate, and regional travel cancelled in the last 2 years). So we did it for our own well being and mental health.
I thought I might do a quick brain dump of thoughts about it all.
1. Being Risk Adverse
The reality is we booked a trip we thought had the biggest likelihood of actually happening and not being too compromised. We also booked a trip that we felt would have a fairly low risk attached to it health wise. Sure the US has had its problems, but by booking a road trip in the off-season of the areas we were visiting, we felt it could be as good as it gets.
In hindsight I was REALLY happy with this decision. Once we got out of LA we saw hardly any people. Only Zion was busy of all the National Parks and being outdoors we could steer clear of crowds. Disneyland is the obvious exception, but we knew that going in, and that was where we were over the top in terms of masking, sanitising, etc.
So international travel can be done safely, and with a feeling that you are staying safe, doing something like this.
2. Experiencing Something Different
Here I am actually referring to the fact that next to NO ONE is travelling! What did that mean?
- No one in airports means you clear customs in literal minutes! We were out of LAX in 15 minutes. Unheard of!
- Hotels are largely empty
- Eating out was quite easy and not too daunting
- EVERYONE is happy you are there
So for some extra paperwork and testing, you actually get a fair benefit.
3. COVID Rigmarole
It wasn’t too hard actually. You just have to keep up with the current status of things. For example, the required paperwork and testing for Australia changed 3 times from booking in late November, to coming home at the end of Feb. Check in took a few minutes longer, but it was fine. Just have all your paperwork done and printed.
The testing is the biggest thing. Organising it not too hard if you go with the airport testing, but it adds a layer of anxiety on… you may only find out hours before your flight that you are not going anywhere! But thankfully that never happened to us.
And with testing, the US is MUCh more expensive than Australia.
So while it may all SEEM hard, it isn’t really. Just accept that there is a bit more mucking around, and to be fair some levels of anxiety, but not much all things considered.
4. Mental Health
This was the best thing I did for my mental health in the last 2 years. Yeah, I took the odd break in the past 2 years, but nothing that really disconnected me from not only work, but also Australia. I was surprised how good it felt to just not be thinking about Australia for a few weeks.
Being in the outdoors really did it for me. I think I will always look back on my hike up Angels Landing at Zion as a really important thing, as I think it is THE time in the past 2 years where I was really disconnected from Covid and I was just carefree. Well, there was a very slight fear of plummeting to my premature end I guess, but you know what I mean 🙂
I might add some more to this as I think of it. But anyone who is reading this, do consider travelling during this time, especially if it is something you really value. I can’t express enough how important this was for me.