Homeward Bound VancouverNovember 7, 2021 in Canada ⋅ 🌧 5 °C
Where did the month go? Of course time flies when you're having fun. Somehow a month is that sweet spot for me where I'm in a good space to head home, but at the same time, feel I could keep carrying on. Alas, this time, it's home time. I know I'm lucky though to have had this time off since work is quite busy. Hoping we can all have a break like this next summer.
I'm proud that I've managed to keep up the blogging on this trip, I've learned that I cannot let more than 3 days go by without catching up, otherwise things begin to blur together.
So, travelling in the time of Covid...being fully vaccinated, I definitely did have a peace of mind even though I knew I'd be in contact with more strangers than I've crossed paths with in the past 18 months. Most of my time was spent outdoors so that helped, and the places I went to were doing well. Folks were masked going indoors, though there were moments like at the Lisbon airport where I saw a few people that we'd definitely wave a finger at to put their mask on properly.
In Spain, I saw folks outside with their masks on their arms when not in use and admittedly fell into that habit myself. It was a bit quicker to put the mask on and off while going in stores, but in honesty, may not have been the most sanitary even when the mask was folder in half. Italy was a bit more stringent, they actually checked green passes (vaccination status) and a few place limited how many of us could sit at a table, though this was supposedly lifted.
Having now taken public buses, trains and planes, I definitely feel more comfortable out and about (with the proper precautions of course). Admittedly I think I was more nervous about anti-Asian sentiments than covid itself. Sad, but true. Now that I'm home, I think I'm ready to take on some public transit.
I'm very glad that I was able to start this trip with a friend, it definitely helped the ease into it, especially exploring a new city overseas. I also thank her for steering me towards a local SIM card as I've really enjoyed and using data everywhere we went. From google maps to google searches, Instagram and Whatsapp, and Pokemon Go, this is a tool I want to have from now on. It's super helpful and keeps you in touch with everyone you're travelling with, so you can stay up to date and even make arrangements to meet up when there's no wifi.
I've loved being able to get out again and clocked 10/20/30k steps daily. It was rewarded to see the step count and just keep moving, something I don't get to do much at home and sometimes when I do, I don't know where to go or feel like going somewhere. I've lost a couple of pounds despite all the pasta, but I knew I would. Hoping I can keep this up at home somehow and keep losing a few more, stay in shape for the next adventure.
The weather had a couple of hiccups, but that's life, and maybe I just have to go back in the future. Never say never. Not a lot of shopping on this trip, perhaps I could've done more, but again, maybe a return trip (Ale hop in Spain, cough cough).
The Covid tests - an experience. In Spain and Palermo, it was one poke as high as the eye ball. In Trapani, it was the back of your mouth and then quick swirl in both nostrils. Spain was a 35 euro antigen test (note I did not end up needing it to go to Italy). Palermo was a free PCR test at the airport after landing. Based on honor system really, and results in 10 minutes. 10 minutes??? It takes much longer elsewhere. Trapani PCR was 50 euro. The prices are all over the board, and I have no idea why. It is what it is.
Back to work PCR tomorrow, and another on Wednesday. 3 tests in a week, as some of my friends were discussing, I'm very safe and healthy with all the testing. There was thought I might get a 4th test if they randomly picked me out when I landed in Toronto, but thankfully not. Instead I had an interesting conversation with the Customs Officer who had also travelled with G Adventures.
Anyhows, enough rambling! Til next time! As of Nov 17, I've booked Mongolia & the Five Stans for next summer, let's see what happens =)Read more