To Be Or Not To Be?

I bet Shakespeare had no idea he had penned a quote for us to use during this pandemic. But it sure comes in handy when you are planning anything these days. Just ask restaurant owners. “Will you be opening up to full indoor capacity any time soon?” Ask the school kids. “Will your school be closing any time soon?” And ask the travel agents around the world. “Will it be safe to travel any time soon?”

Peter and I are avid travelers. We have climbed Mount Fiji, walked along the Great Wall of China, sailed down the Amazon, visited every continent except Antarctica. Our last trip was to the Galapagos Islands back in November 2019. You can imagine that we, like so many others, have itchy feet these days.

When things appeared to be looking up last November, we booked a trip to Portugal. It was with a hiking company, the same small business owners who took us to the Galapagos. (I wrote about that trip in a post on November 26, 2019). We had originally booked the Portugal trip before the pandemic and we were scheduled to go on March 14, 2020. Well guess what happened the day before – March 13, 2020? Lockdown!

This past November things seemed to be looking good so we signed up for Portugal again – for March 2022. There were lots of considerations, mostly having to do with insurance. But we started to get excited about having a break from snow, and a chance to explore a new (for us) country. Portugal is a winter destination for many Canadians because of the warm weather and the relatively inexpensive lifestyle. We thought it might be an alternative to Florida in the coming years, especially if You Know Who gets elected again.

Then Omicron hit the scene. We watched in shock as the infection numbers started going up and businesses started closing down. Portugal became one of the hot spots in Europe. Our final payment deadline for the trip approached – January 10. What to do?

Then the hiking company sent a timely message – our final payment deadline had been moved to – TODAY! February 8. Relief…. except…we still had the same questions, only delayed a few weeks. Would the flight be cancelled before the trip, due to staff shortages? If it went, how would we manage to breathe for 7-plus hours in our N95 masks? If we got sick in Portugal, (not a simple question at our age), would there be room in the hospitals for us?

Although our trip would focus on an outdoor activity, hiking, what about restaurants? Would we have to do take-out in our hotel rooms? On our days off, would tourist attractions be open or would we just have to wander around by ourselves? And, most important, would there be Shopping??? We spent a lot of time pacing and worrying. To be in Portugal or not to be, that was the question.

A few days ago we opened our email and there it was – a message from the hiking company: IMPORTANT UPDATE! We held our breath: The Portugal trip had been cancelled. A huge wave of relief swept over us. We weren’t going, and somebody else had decided for us. The perfect ending.

Except… Now we are trip-less! If you know of any safe Canadian place to go without too much risk, please send a comment. Quick.


PS Sorry there are no images of Portugal to share with you.

6 thoughts on “To Be Or Not To Be?

  1. We’re going skiing in Silver Star, BC on February 27th. The snow there is fantastic as is the grooming. I don’t know if you’re skiers but if not don’t go as there’s nothing else to do. Several friends have gone south to Mexico, Bahamas, Florida and California but Gary’s not too keen about travelling yet. Portugal is also on our bucket list-maybe next year.


  2. What a shame Sue but I think you were lucky the trip was cancelled. Still a bit soon to be with so many people, on planes, and in an original hotspot. It would be awful to end up in hospital there and then have to face the long trip home. We’ve come to the conclusion it is just not worth it at our age or the hassle of tests, airports etc etc. Therefore, we are sitting tight at home for a while longer trying to keep safe. Looks like to the cottage will be our big adventure for another season. Still booked for Allysson’s but we’ll see? Last night we were very brave, or stupid?, and dined at the Keg to celebrate our 55th anniversary. It was delightful and so lovely to be served dinner by a young waiter we have known for at least 10 years. He is now a Dad of a 6 month old and so proud. We knew him in his wild days when he worked at Scarabouch and Jack Asters when he would serve us with a ‘hangover’ and even having lost a tooth the night before in a brawl. He was quite the character. I admired his wife who sorted him out. It was fun to catch up. Sorry about the long story!! Otherwise not much going on. We do see one other couple who are very careful as well. I’m sure you must be missing your curling this season. Fingers crossed this will end soon and we can return to sensible living. Stay safe. Luv M.

    Sent from my iPhone



  3. Hi Sue, we flew to Germany last August. For our destination we have to change 3 planes and wait quite a bit in the airports, thus it is always a long trip. All with masks on. It is manageable; we had the N95 mask on. I realized that the food service has decreased a lot on the plane. We flew business to make sure there is a bit more space between us and the other passengers. Even on business there was limited food. I believe they want to make sure that the masks stay on as much as possible. I’m totally fine with that. We bought extra travel (health) insurance just to be on the safe side, should Covid hit us regardless. All restaurants in Germany asked for vaccination certificate, or to show them a negative test result. Even the library asked for it.

    I’m glad that your travel/hiking agency did the decision for you.


  4. I have felt safe in Princeville Kauai since Dec. 82 yr old friends visited for 2 wks and left yesterday. Lot of stuff to go thru to travel but for some of us it can be worth it. This of course is only my opinion😀😀


  5. Glad someone made the decision for you. Why not British Columbia. Spring in BC is so much earlier than ours.
    The island would be beautiful. Happy planning.


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