At the start of 2020 we like many others laid out grand plans for our family travels.
Well, they probably aren’t the grandest of plans in the grand scheme of things, but they were grand plans for us.
Dad Muddling Through has a milestone birthday this August and despite his best efforts to play it down, we both agreed it was the perfect reason to do a lovely family holiday, just us, and to find a destination that fitted what we were looking for from a destination.
And so, having fallen in love with so many images of Jersey (mainly courtesy of www.islandliving365.com) we booked to take the girls and Kevin the Qashquai over the seas to explore what the island had to offer.
We found the perfect hotel and a cabin for an overnight sail home – and we were so, so looking forward to it.
But, around a month ago our ferry crossing was cancelled, and we made the difficult decision to cancel the hotel and try to get our money back for the travel booking.
It was a gamble – we weren’t sure what was going to happen come August, but we figured that despite us wanting a lovely holiday, the people of Jersey may not have been welcoming in tourists from the mainland. It just didn’t feel right.
Jersey will have to wait until another time.
So we decided to instead book a week on the Kent coast, an hour up the road, and a place we know well, can travel to with ease, and if necessary, travel home from too. A decision which at times also felt a gamble too. After all, what’s a beach staycation when you are scared to be on the heaving beach? Or if the beaches are closed?
But it wasn’t just Jersey. I had saved hard and booked a surprise trip of a lifetime to Iceland for DMT which until this weekend, was hanging in the balance. I had lined up childcare, annual leave with his boss and all the excursions from Whale watching to the Golden circle and of course the Northern Lights.
If you had asked me last week if we were still going I would have replied that I really hoped so.
I broke the surprise prematurely in order to share the decision making process – all in all, it wasn’t the big reveal it should have been and the writing was already on the wall.
But as each week passes by, we have to face a decision. Like many others, trying to gauge two, three months into the future at a time we have learnt hard that things can change very quickly.
Can we really get on a plane? Do we definitely want to settle the balance? Is September too soon? Too far away? How will the autumn pan out? Will there be a second wave? Will our excursions be running to the same standards as pre covid? If at all?
Should we try and move the date? And to when?
There will be people who are braver than us, less risk adverse who will grab the opportunity with both hands and make it happen. Maybe trips will be fine, incredible even, but are we those people?
Would we be the ones left stranded in a different country from our children? Tested positive and quarantined? Or even get sick on foreign soil?
Are we being too pessimistic? Or too brave? Giving up to soon or being pragmatic?
And are all of these worries just first world problems when a global crisis is being faced world over.
I guess for now, travelling plans for us remain on hold. Postponed at best, off the table for a while at worst. Yes it was bad timing, this year of all years, but there will be more times ahead, and fun times on home turf.
For now, we’ll stay home. Here in our safe and secure green pastures. Grateful to be well and moving forwards, hoping better days are coming.
But underneath the positivity and gratitude, a little bit gutted too for what 2020 should have been.
How have your travel plans been affected in 2020? Will you go away if you can?…