Wanderlust affects each of us at one time or another, maybe today more than ever before. Travel changes you, and after not having seen the inside of an airplane for 18+ months, most of us have started to realize how much travel helps you grow as a human being. For example, crossing the equator for the first time is a big deal. Do you remember on which trip you had your first crossing? I hope it was a memorable experience no matter where you were going. My crossing was uneventful onboard my flight to Argentina, but regardless a good memory to me.
Flying has changed since. On my many, many flights, I’ve seen my share of issues, but I’ve never seen flight crews feeling the need to restrain a passenger. With the increase in “unruly” passengers, any long-haul flight seems even less inviting. Some airlines have banned alcohol during flights following the spike in unruly passengers. The only thing worse than an unruly passenger is a drunk unruly passenger. With no in-flight wine it may be a bit longer before I can fly again. On top of the covid19 restrictions, we really needed one more potential issue added to the list?
Be A Better Behaved Traveller
Several articles appeared in my newsfeed lately trying to rationally “explain” this behaviour, but none have highlighted the fact that as a customer you are nothing but a guest of that business and should respect their rules. The business owner builds the business and sets the rules, which often directly determines the success of the venture but is of only indirect concern to the customer. If you don’t like the food at a particular restaurant: go elsewhere. If you don’t like their mask policy the same applies: go elsewhere.
Social media is polarizing the conversation about a lot of Covid related topics like vaccinations and masks, and while everyone is entitled to their opinion, everyone is entitled to their opinion. The second any opinion is perceived to be superior over another, we lose the ability to have an open conversation and that other popular theme of creating an inclusive environment becomes more challenged once again. Have your opinion, but be nice and civilized to anyone you encounter.
The city of Amsterdam, Dutch capital and my university hometown, has recently adopted new policies to encourage rowdy tourists to stay away. The city has become quieter, and more pleasant for locals during the pandemic. “Don’t come to Amsterdam”, they say now. It sounds like globally we’ve finally had enough of bad behaving tourists and travellers. “Be A Better Behaved Traveller” sounds like a great idea to be implemented worldwide. With any luck, travel will never be the same again after the pandemic.
Lifting Travel Restrictions?
Canada allegedly was “lifting restrictions” for fully vaccinated travellers in early July. While many Western countries have dropped the testing and quarantine requirements for travellers from “safe” countries, the unpleasant testing requirement upon return to Canada still stays in place. The idea of a “randomized” test based on the border officers’ discretion doesn’t sound appealing to me at all. Especially in my case, I’m always “randomly” selected for extra screening. It’s not random when it happens all the time.
Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau has even opened the border with the US for fully vaccinated American travellers. It’s a one-way street though, as the US has not reciprocated the same for Canadian travellers. In terms of cross-border travel from Canada, my 4 requirements for travel are still not met. Despite more passengers being fully vaccinated, there’s not much incentive to travel internationally at all, at least not yet. But things are heading in the right direction.
Stay Close To Home
Travelling within Canada seems to be mostly fine right now, even though Covid19 regulations vary from province to province. Luckily, Canada has a lot to offer as well, without the need to leave the country. Not a bad way to spend your summer vacation and supporting local restaurants and businesses who rely on tourism.
Starting in Calgary, the Rocky Mountain playground is less than 90 minutes away by car (or motorcycle). One of the most beloved travel destinations in Canada are the small towns of Banff and Lake Louise – however get ready for crowds as even during the pandemic these places have been very busy. If you don’t mind busy, a trip to metropolitan-in-the-rough Vancouver is always a treat. If the city is too much for you, take the ferry and go a little further west and visit Victoria on Vancouver Island. For a slower and more intimate pace, head east and discover Nova Scotia’s capital of Halifax. Some day this revamped harbour town has become Canada’s Hollywood, with a large number of movies and shows being filmed along the charming streets.
Just a few ideas to get your wanderlust flowing again… because we will travel again. For now, remember to be a better behaved traveller close to home as well.