Well, I wasn’t going to say anything for a couple of reasons. One—we would surely get judged for our decision and two, we weren’t even sure what we were going to do ourselves. It’s been a wait-and-see game without a doubt. For some of you also, I’m guessing.
See, we happen to LOVE travelling, specifically warm, island travel as in Hawaii. Many of you already know this, if you’ve been following me for awhile. With COVID-19 hanging around, it’s been a super long staycation for ALL of us; granted, for good reason in trying to keep everyone as safe as possible. Nonetheless, with our twice re-booked holiday nearing, we kept our fingers crossed that this summer, we might actually be able to venture across the Pacific waters to our favourite (and much-needed) vacation spot. With case counts way down, vaccination percentages continually going up and the re-opening of activities and such here in Canada, it looked hopeful even though international travel was still being discouraged. For my husband and I, just the possibility of it all was a welcome thought. Something to look forward to, if you will, after a couple of difficult years.
Since Hawaii has been managing the pandemic very carefully and slowly welcoming vacationers back for awhile now, we figured an island stay was as safe a bet as any. Truthfully, the airplane ride was more of a concern to me than anything else after carefully thinking it through. After all, once we are there, it’s us, our rental car and our condo, and the same following of protocols that we would here. Except that with each passing day, neither my husband or I could unequivocally say “yes, we’re going” when asked by the handful of family and friends that we’d told of our plans. One day, it would be, “Heck yes!” and the next, it would be, “Hmm… I don’t know, what do you think?”. Our hesitation was our first clue, but we still didn’t rule it out or should I say, we didn’t want to rule it out. Instead, it was, “Let’s see what July brings.”. It helped knowing that with COVID cancellation policies, we could cancel up to 24 hours beforehand—both our plane tickets and our condo reservation.
Approaching mid-month, our travel decision wasn’t sitting well with either one of us. As my husband continued his diligent research of the situation, he discovered a few unsettling things: Maui case counts have started to go up; the mayor has asked airlines to cool it on the number of flights citing tourist numbers have jumped from 1000+ to 100 000+ in recent weeks; that restaurant reservations were booking into September hence none for our August trip; car rentals (which we’d already had booked last fall) were up to $1000 a day due to car shortages and finally, that locals were complaining of the ridiculous traffic line-ups/jams. Not really an ideal scenario for what is supposed to be considered a vacation, is it? Still, in our heart of hearts, neither one of us was willing to cancel our trip. Yet, that night before bed, we looked at each other and we knew. We knew it wasn’t going to happen and disappointment already began to settle in.
I personally had waited 2+ years for this trip—it was *the* carrot that I dangled before myself during my recovery from ankle surgery and my return to work pandemic-style this past year. It was one of the main reasons why I was able to keep going, to keep fighting through it all. I’d told myself repeatedly that if I just buckled down and powered through the muckiness of it all, we’d be able to get back to Hawaii to redeem our previous trip wherein my ankle went right south and I found myself begging to return home from my dream destination (never in my wildest of nightmares!). Needless to say, the idea of cancelling our revered holiday was a little more than heart-breaking. So, I did the only other thing that I could think of and I politely asked the Universe for some clarity. “Please help make this decision easier for me,” I silently pleaded.
The next morning on my walk, I began thinking about other domestic possibilities for a vacation knowing deep down that Hawaii was out. Ironically, a destination came to mind that my husband also mentioned out of the clear blue sky that same night after supper. That in and of itself brought goosebumps when it came up in discussion, but what was really serendipitous was that during the workday, my husband received an email from our airline stating that the first leg of our flight was flat-out cancelled, as in nada, no-go from one place to the other. And that, my friends, was that! I asked a specific question, and in less than 24 hours, I received a very pointed answer—the exact response I needed to tell my husband to go and ahead and change our reservation for the third time. No palm trees and sea salt breezes… for this year, anyway. It just wasn’t meant to be.
The fact that we were simply changing the timeline of our trip helped soften the blow along with the idea that a new prospect for closer travel was on the horizon. It made our mutual decision a bit easier to take knowing specifically that we could still have some coveted time away from it all this summer. By staying in-house in a manner of speaking, there would be no COVID-19 testing required, no international hoops to jump through, no worry of testing positive or having our own border reject our return home. (Not that being stuck in Hawaii would have been a bad thing—just an expensive one, as would the possibility of me being late for my return-to-work date.). Relief alas for both of us, all the way around and the very best win-win that we could hope for in such tumultuous times. Not lost on us is the fact that living in a first-world country during a pandemic has even afforded us the luxury of exploring a trip away to begin with. Oh, and thanks again to the Universe for having my back—this blonde gal from Canada (someday later returning to Hawaii) really appreciates it! 🙂