The déjà vu is real. I am writing this in the same coffee shop I was sitting at in early March 2020 and the scene is eerily the same. Crowds are thin and the slightest cough draws suspicious eyes. As we teeter on the prospect of new lockdowns and another year of travel plans in ruin, let’s look back at the good and bad of 2021 along with what 2022 has in store for This Life in Trips.
2021 Travel – The Good and The Bad
Although things may look bleak, the world is in a much better place. 2021 brought vaccinations and some travel restrictions were eased. Hospitalization is largely down to the unvaccinated however there are still those that are immunocompromised along with the elderly to keep in mind. That said, responsible travel briefly returned in 2021.
Although I saw many travel bloggers return to international travel, I kept things domestic. I had a successful trip across Canada in an electric vehicle in 2020 that saw me tick off a bucket-list trip around the Gaspe Penisula and an incredible visit to Quebec City that helped me forget there was a pandemic for a brief moment. The reality came back to me as my brain was tickled at a testing site just outside of the old city walls. Still, this trip had me eager to see more of Canada and more of it in my EV.
Speaking of Vancouver Island, I also took an overnight bike trip before between Vancouver and Victoria. Despite some discomfort from a nagging car accident injury, it was a lot of fun and I hope to peddle more in 2022.
My more aggressive 2021 Canada road trip was centred around visiting family and friends. This included stops in Calgary, Edmonton, and all over Ontario. Highlights included a week in the Muskokas and exploring the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Content is slowly trickling out from that tour with posts on my time going to a Saskatchewan Roughriders game and discovering what Regina Style Pizza is all about. Much more to come.
Trips Taken Away
Now for the negative. My ridiculous 2020 trip that had me travelling through five continents around the world in Business Class was replaced with an African adventure. I decided others were probably going to need a trip after the pandemic and, for the first time, I organized a large This Life in Trips group booking. The trip took a lot of work to sort out but well worth it in the end, whenever that end may be. The trip will include a ride on Rovos Rail, the most luxurious train in the world, a visit to Victoria Falls, and a return to the Masia Mara for a safari. After all of that, a much-anticipated return to Cape Town, one of my absolute favourite places.
This trip was planned for 2021 before being pushed back to 2022. Now with the Omnicom variant, this trip has been pushed back to 2023. Third times a charm?
With the Africa trip once again pushed back a year, I am itching to replace it with something. I had once again booked an epic trip in Business Class using Aeroplan points and would like to keep some of the routings rather than completely cancelling. Hopefully, by the time March rolls around the world will be in a better place and allow my currently booked business class flight to Istanbul to go ahead. From there I will reroute my Africa trip and stick within Europe and Eurasia. I would also like to replace portions of my cancelled 2020 trip and am 100% getting ambitious here, but this is what I’m looking at so far:
- Vancouver to Istanbul –> New (to me) service in Trukish Airlines 787-900 and a return to the amazing IST Business Class Lounge.
- Baku, Azerbjstan –> Quick visit to the capital of Azerbjstan, country #74 for me.
- Tiboli, Georgia –> A week or so in this digital nomad hub before a stopover return to Istanbul.
- Panama Canal –> My 2020 trip was to have me bounce around Central and South American. This would add a small portion of that back.
- Cancun –> A friend and former band mate who lives outside of Cancun is conviently getting married end of March.
Now I am not holding my breath this will go through and will shift plans accordingly. Still, it’s fun to plan and daydream a little as it helps me move forward. At a minimum, I’m hoping to get to Mexico for my friend’s wedding and perhaps a return to Isla Mujeres for some sun.
Website Update – Getting Stagnent
With trips running light, so is my content. The downtime did allow me to catch up on content from past trips to Chicago, Sudbury, and Las Vegas. I’ve also started sharing a bit more local content from my hometown of Vancouver and plan to do the same in 2023.
That said, with that latest news, motivation for this site is at an all-time low. My once frequent newsletter, for example, is now an annual update. It’s double frustrating as the downtime from travel should provide the time needed for tackling the backend and backlog plans for this website. The motivation just isn’t there. This is what I mean about having trips to look forward to. It drives me to work on this site. No trips and I flounder.
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I am working on fixing some backend things and once again moving hosting providers although it has not been a smooth process and consumed most of my Christmas break. This move will allow me to work on the refresh of the site I planned in 2019/2020. This will include a new layout and a focus on part-time travel.
As for content, I have plenty on the books from my cross-Canada trip. This includes another great visit to Thunder Bay, a review of a fondue/swinger bar in the Canadian Rockies, and my time driving the Columbia Icefield highway. Stay tuned.
Conclusion – It Can Only Get Better, Right?!
Like it or not, 2022 is seemingly looking like a 2020 part Deux. Again, time will tell how this all plays out.
One big takeaway from 2021 is, going forward, I intend to travel when it’s deemed OK to travel. I had stuck to nonessential travel and domestic travel and when I was ready to travel abroad, things got worse and restrictions came back. If this pattern continues, I suspect we will see a spike in travel during the valleys and in between waves. I plan to take advantage of those moments, full precautions and guideline adherence of course.
Lastly, I would like to say to those who continue to support this site and to those that enjoy the content I put out, I truly appreciate it! Drop me a line through an email, or better yet, comments on my posts. This goes a long way in supporting what I do.
I hope all is well on your end, wherever that may be! Here’s to a better year ahead!