world wanderers grounded by pandemic

Photo of Vancouver sunset

Recent sunset in Vancouver.

Like many world wanderers, we had to cancel our Spring travel plans due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We had booked our flights, reserved a rental car, and lined up some of the accommodation we would need. But just as we were about to organize further, travel restrictions started to be put into place, the nature of the outbreak became clearer, events were being cancelled or postponed, and finally, the Canadian government urged people to avoid all non-essential travel, and to come home if they were already out of the country. Sadly, we cancelled everything.

Our plan was to head back to the warmth and slow pace of the Caribbean. We have made several trips to colder parts of the world, last year to the UK in the spring and to Eastern Europe in the fall. We were overdue to follow the sun and lay on the beach for three weeks.

We’ve regularly enjoyed the sandy beaches of Cuba, Cancun and Belize, but of all our Caribbean destinations, Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica remains a favourite. Although, readers may recall that we have reported it has changed dramatically over the years. Once a laid-back backpackers paradise, it has become a crowded weekend getaway for SUV-driving families from the capital.

This time around, the beaches, tropical birds, and cultures of Trinidad and Tobago, and Barbados, were calling. The Airbnb we lined up in Trinidad was a spacious cabin in the woods on a coastal mountainside, a 15-minute walk from a sandy Caribbean beach. We were looking forward to seclusion except for the birds, sandy beaches, and warmth.

We would then take a fast ferry to Tobago and be there for the Easter weekend. In addition to the usual festivities associated with Easter, the locals hold goat races that are apparently hilarious to witness. It’s from a time when plantation workers and others who could not afford to participate in horse racing culture, came up with an affordable option.

Then it would be time to island hop once again and head up to Barbados. It is promoted as the “most English” of the Caribbean islands once occupied by a variety of colonial powers – many are still overseas territories of European countries.

We were looking forward to seeing more beaches and birds, and enjoying more cultural experiences. But it was not to be. We still have our planning notes, so we’ll get there some day.

In the meantime, a big shout out to the health care professionals on the front-lines of fighting this pandemic, the corporations shifting production to manufacture much-needed medical supplies and equipment, scientists looking for a vaccine and better treatment options, and ordinary people keeping things going with a whole range of essential services and supplies.

Together, we’ll get through this!

Photo of sign supporting healthcare workers

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