We’re starting to plan for next year, which is kind of a joke during COVID because it’s pretty hard to predict what life is going to be like. I mean, did anybody think we’d still be under stay-at-home orders this summer? But we’re trying to plan anyway, because when you want to travel the world with kids you really have to plan ahead.
Mr. December and I had already chosen a few countries we wanted the kids to see. The next step, which we did today, was to get the kids’ input on things like trip duration, destination, and accommodations. I created a Google Form, each kid submitted their answers, and Mr. December and I tabulated the results. I was getting excited.
Then—for some reason—Mr. December looked up the COVID restrictions in each country… and our hopes were dashed. New Zealand is closed. Israel is open only to tourists who are fully vaccinated, which children can’t be. Thailand too. And on and on, until we stopped googling, sat back in our chairs, and said, “Well, this sucks!”
We googled “where can I travel from Canada right now?” and found this neat interactive map that shows which countries are open, which are closed, and which have some restrictions. The map for travel from Canada looks like this:
Green means open, yellow means restrictions (which usually involves tourists being fully vaccinated, which makes it impossible with kids,) and red is right out. It’s not looking too good for Canadians right now—and to think, we used to be so beloved abroad that Americans would sew Canadian flags on their backpacks so they’d be better received in every country.
At least Mexico and Costa Rica are fully open. So are the Dominican Republic, North Macedonia, and Albania, but those don’t quite make the cut (although I’m sure they’re very nice.)
I guess now we have to—and I do heartily apologize for using the most overused word of the past four hundred and twenty-nine days—pivot. I’m already starting to shift my expectations from Israel, Thailand, and New Zealand to Costa Rica. Now we have to help the kids shift their expectations, because E has her heart set on Thailand (to see the elephants,) and everyone wanted to see New Zealand. Israel was kind of a given, but the kids know we’ll get there eventually.
So tomorrow I’ll start with a fresh Google Form and solicit the kids’ opinions on some different destinations. Then it’s time for my favourite part of the process: scouring Air BnB for a cool place to stay.
I’ve heard it said that the planning and anticipation is the best part of a trip. If that’s true, I’m super lucky to get a double dose of planning; but if COVID makes me pivot again and plan a third trip, I will be most put out.