With summer now passed, I find myself reflecting on the rollercoaster of events that have impacted the world since the start of the year. Everything ranging from devastating bushfires in Australia, global protests for racial justice, as well as world leaders and society as a whole attempting to navigate through a global pandemic, to name a few. Individually, we continually evaluate what we are presented with and decide, do we speak up or keep silent? Do we wear a mask to be called sheep; or potentially infect others by not wearing a mask. Do we stay indoors and socially distance; or risk being travel shamed for venturing outside our city/province. There has been controversy on both sides despite what decision we take, so what is the best approach? Throughout these last few months, I’ve repeatedly asked myself this question, and I decided to take the road that I believed was right for me while being conscientious of others.
When COVID put the world on hold, it significantly impacted the travel industry. As a travel advisor, that directly affects me, my colleagues and valued supplier partners as well. How do I answer my clients’ questions when they want to know what it will be like to travel moving forward and the specific measures to take when they are ready to travel again. I wanted to know and experience firsthand the trials and turbulences of what to anticipate when travelling through Canada during a pandemic. With that in mind, along with the strong desire to support Canadian tourism and, as we heard at Virtuoso Travel Week, make a “conscious comeback” and move forward with purpose. Therefore, armed with the mandated precautions, I choose to travel responsibly and plan our trip.
When planning a trip through a pandemic, it’s essential to mention you have to be okay with knowing things will potentially not go as planned. Before leaving, we had our flights rescheduled twice, along with multiple notifications from our hotels that certain outlets would be closed or inaccessible. I anticipated this as businesses continue to navigate through these new measures and work on ensuring their employees and future guests remain safe.
Gone are the days of family and friends saying their goodbyes to you in the terminal at the security gate; only travellers can now enter the airport. When we arrived at the Toronto Pearson Airport domestic terminal, we were required to show proof of travel, sanitize our hands, wear a face mask and get temperature checked immediately at the point of entry. Not the greeting we’re used to experiencing.