Travel: The Antidote We All Need

As the old adage goes, travel is the best medicine. But can it cure all our ails from the previous two years? These globetrotters certainly seem to think so.



Travel: The Antidote We All Need

As the old adage goes, travel is the best medicine. But can it cure all our ails from the previous two years? These globetrotters certainly seem to think so.


A beach in Guatemala can be a great antidote.

Security is a state of mind. If anything has reflected this over the past two years, it's travel.

For as many people who have chosen not to cross borders and catch flights in recent times, there are those who are still pursuing the desire to get away, even if only through baby steps. If 2020 felt like venturing out into the great unknown, 2021 saw attitudes change. Whether exploring destinations closer to home, or traveling internationally, travelers are now (mostly) vaccinated, accepting the protocols, and have chosen travel as the best medicine.

Travel helps us reconnect

Saloni Sharma, a New Yorker, recently returned from two weeks in Rajasthan, India. She observes that the level of unpredictability is a lot lower now than when she traveled to England and Zambia last year.

“Countries, airlines, hotels, and everybody in between have adjusted to this new reality, whereas my trips in 2021 were marked by closed off travel corridors and canceled flights, “she says.

Sharma’s family lives across Asia and Africa and reconnecting with them was a high priority as soon as borders opened.

With time on her side in 2o21, Sharma was able to connect on a deeper level with a geographically diverse family.

Finding herself with an unexpected surfeit of time at home afforded Sharma the chance to connect on a deeper level with this geographically diverse family, and to visit ancient shrines and tour the Kingdom of Mewar. “I was able to appreciate the things I never would have if I was constantly on the go, including the sound of birds in the early morning.”

A lot has changed over the last two years. Vaccination cards and COVID-19 test results have earned a place on our packing lists, right next to the passport reminder. While some may view these new paperwork requirements as a bridge too far, others feel it’s a small price to pay.


The colours of Rajasthan, India.

Keep calm and stay positive

“I think it’s well worth it. It’s a minor inconvenience given the importance of travel,” says Australian Rodger Powell. “It gives you peace of mind and it allows you to get out and see a country.”

Powell operates a hotel and tourism advisory consultancy business in Sydney and has taken 82 flights (a mix of business and personal) since the pandemic began, experiencing his fair share of lockdowns along the way.

Rodger Powell, seen here closer to home at the 12 Apostles along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia,

This pandemic has taught us that it is truly the journey and experience that are important.

“Keep calm, have a great attitude, be nice to everyone … Hotel concierges are especially helpful,” he notes, recommending booking flexible flights and favorable cancellation policies on hotel and car bookings.

“Looking forward, I don’t expect snap lockdowns to be on the travel landscape.” As a baby boomer, Powell has a dance card full of travel plans this year in the Asia Pacific and the U.S. and thinks this pandemic has taught us that it is truly the journey and experience that are important.


Nicaragua's idyllic beaches, and the chance to perfect his Spanish, made it the perfect destination for the remote-working Evan Byrd.

Traveling and work: A future intertwined

A career as a Solutions Engineer and the opportunity to work 100 per cent virtual gives Evan Byrd the enviable flexibility to try out different destinations around the world. Originally from Pennsylvania, Byrd now calls Nicaragua home, a place he chose as much for his love of Central America and culture, as for the opportunity to practice his Spanish.

Taking it easy; Evan by the pool.

“For me,” Byrd says, “travel will always be a great educator in my life, which I hope folks will invite into their lives.” Having flown a dozen times over the past two years, he has enough confidence in aircraft HEPA filtration systems (filters designed to reduce airborne contaminants, like viruses), coupled with the destination research he performs beforehand.

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The S.S. Catherine, seen here meandering down the Rhône River in Provence, France, was the base for Mary Hunter's summer in 2021.


River cruise popularity is booming

Baby boomer, artist and army brat, Mary Hunter wishes she had Byrd’s luck in being able to work anywhere on the planet. Having inherited the travel bug from her parents, it's something she has no desire to cure, but she did get her COVID-19 vaccinations promptly. Hunter is happy to present as many test results as needed so she can get where she wants to go.

Hunter flew home to Texas from Morocco in March 2020 when the pandemic hit. She spent the remainder of that year exploring America’s national parks through group tours. Last summer she enjoyed a river cruise through Burgundy and Provence with Uniworld.

“Before the pandemic, I’d never done a river cruise. It’s the only way I’ll cruise now” says Hunter. She also finds travel more comfortable and safer with extra screening in place, not just among the airlines but in the destinations she visits and hotel properties she selects.

In October she spent time in Senegal, visiting peaceful Ngor Island, and Gorée Island’s House of Slaves Museum and memorial. In early January she took a Nile River cruise, this month it’s a solo trip to Mauritania for a guided tour of the Sahara Desert, then on to Marbella in Southern Spain in March. Autumn holds a river cruise to Vietnam or Croatia – she hasn’t yet made up her mind.

Mary Hunter in Egypt.

The expression “you can’t keep a good woman down” comes to mind with an avid traveler like Hunter, who wants to experience as many places as possible. “It’s too bad I can’t start over. I don't believe in the afterlife but if there is one, I hope I can come back and travel.”


Sondra Sullivan says she felt entirely safe throughout a three-month stay in Mexico.

Our lives are not a rehearsal

Last month Sondra Sullivan, a Canadian, excitedly anticipated a three-month stay in Puerto Vallarta - its coastal location serving as a perfect base for exploring surrounding destinations - only to test positive for COVID-19 two days before her flight. The 77-year-old had some prior experience in Mexico, having been traveling there when the world went into lockdown in 2020.

“I love Mexico, I love the people, and I love getting to know the local shopkeepers and market vendors,” she says. “I never felt unsafe and everywhere I went everyone took precautions.”

Yet Sullivan, who was fully vaccinated and was able to recover and eventually fly to Mexico, also understands the initial hesitancy someone of her generation (or older) might feel about traveling during a pandemic.

“I had a heart attack in 2014 and that experience made me realize that I have so much to be grateful for, and one of those things is the opportunity to travel,” she says.

“There may be a greater risk because of age, but if we’ve been shown anything over the past two years, it’s that life is short.” “It’s a wonderful world we live in, so try not to be frightened, and see as much of it as you can.”

Sullivan has recovered from a heart attack, and says the chance to travel is something she is grateful for.



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