as the Covid restrictions seem to ease in certain places in the world we’ve decided to be brave and begin travelling again. Travelling again means preparing for a change in venue, something we haven’t done in three years.
We’ve had all the vaccinations, all FOUR shots, plus the flu vaccination. We’re very careful about masking. We are confident that we can travel again. Thumbs up to traveling again!
SIR5R is traveling again!
Certain things do demand travel despite the Covid-19 Pandemic. For my partner, and I, it’s been limited, short-range travel for her work, where I have the excuse to be her driver.
COVID-19 and an Alberta winter is a tough combination. Lock down isolation enforced by a brutal winter isn’t a lot of fun.
Thank goodness for the Internet! No traveling needed
Being Gail’s driver is a role I enjoy. Most of the driving in the past two years has been back and forth to the market, dropping my lady to her venues, and ferrying grandchildren to dance classes and soccer games.
The winter’s severity did stop my daily walk. The role of designated driver did get me out and about, allowing me to do impromptu surveys of mask usage, and monitor the state of personal hygiene and hairstyles.
Change in fashion styles a la Covid-19 Lockdown
I noted a lot of women who let their grey take precedent in their coiffures, adding a controlled touch of elegance to their looks. For a while there the almost fanatical effort to hide the grey relaxed enough so that you often saw a middle aged woman with platinum grey locks.
I noticed that younger women who were required to wear masks for long periods of time at work started to take special care in how their eye makeup was applied. Some really fabulous ‘looks’ were developed, often with really long false eyelashes, flashes of exotic colours on their eyelids and carefully sculpted eyebrows. Even my Gail started wearing long lashes.
The most prevalent change I noticed is that women, young and old, took to wearing leggings almost exclusively. This is a very bold fashion move.
Why travel now?
The most pressing imperative for us to travel internationally at this time is the need to check in with my mother-in-law at her home in the United Kingdom. It has been three years since we last visited her. We do visit with her every Sunday via WhatsApp or Zoom, so it’s not like we’ve lost touch. We just want to be on the ground with her to verify her living situation and to validate her incredibly robust health in person.
And, of course, we need a change of scenery. Mountains and prairies are great but every once in a while you crave a countryside like an English countryside while our home fights it way out of winter. We can’t, or shouldn’t garden just yet, so Gail gets her gardening fix by helping her mother prep her lovely yard for spring. Time for change in venue.
Preparing to travel again
Getting ready for this trip is different than planning an overnight stay in one of the local communities where Gail has been presenting. This prep work is more than organizing an overnight bag, rounding up all the materials for her seminar, getting a full tank of gas, making sure my drone is fully charged and ensuring I’ve got reading material or something to keep me occupied while she’s presenting.
Prep for this trip is about getting out suitcases and gearing up to have the required argument about how many cases we’re taking, and how much weight goes into each case, which is based on ‘who’s gear is going into which case’.
And yes, I’ll admit to being a bit of a jerk about it all.
My suitcase always starts as the lighter of the pair, and then we shift things from her case to mine in an attempt to equalize the weight and get them below airline maximums.
Once we’re on our way I complain and whine about the weight and number of bags.
All the arguments about weight limits and allowances become irrelevant because, funnily enough, we often seem to be adding an extra bag when returning from her mother’s.
I do get a bit obsessive and exhibit telltale signs of OCD when traveling. I hate to be late generally so it ramps up to major stuff when flying. And I have to admit that navigating trains and buses while trying to manipulate all our luggage cranks up the anxiety and makes me cranky.
There’s always been a touch of this when I travel. Its been much more intense since my hemorrhagic stroke. I’m surprised I made it through Europe a couple of years ago, and in retrospect, the pre-pandemic trip to Mexico was surprisingly easy.
I try to plan. I make lists. I review travel arrangements, which usually turns up something that she forgot to mention, like the arrival airport, and the change in the itinerary that shaved time off the allowance to make connecting flights. I fret. I take a lot of deep breaths.
Making Lists for travelling again
- shopping list
- packing list
- Research list
- Instructions for the house-sitter
- Passwords and passports
What’s a pre-travel Shopping list look like;
Household items that need restocking for the house sitter before we leave;
Laundry detergent, dishwasher liquid, and detergent, and some personal hygiene items like toothpaste, soap, shampoo. Starting to sounds like we’re running a BnB, doesn’t it?
Cat food and treats to last miss kitty for the time we’re away. And kitty litter!! Our somewhat fussy cat eats IAMs pate which local stores run out of on a regular basis. I learned to get creative; I buy a case at a time from Amazon.ca .
I always check the printer ink supply before leaving as a courtesy to the housesitter.
Candies and ‘treats’ for the grandkids. The housesitter this time is a one-time nanny and we fully expect that she will host the children at least once.
Household maintenance items such as spare sink plugs, lightbulbs, toilet paper and paper toweling. And garbage bags.
Travel supplies needed; and just for the record I don’t get any compensation for any of these links. These are products I actually use or recommend.
Additional clothing and new footwear, or at least new insoles
. The goal here is not to take stuff that will be embarrassing threadbare. So, we go for new t-shirts, socks, knickers, and walking shoes.
Gifts for the family in the UK need to be acquired
Itineraries, lists of contact points, necessary passwords, and app logins because I just don’t trust my smartphone to remember them all.
Medications and ‘over the counter’ stuff like vitamins, pain relievers and something for GI distress, hygiene products including oral care such as new toothbrushes, razor, deodorant and the obligatory cologne ss approved by my spouse.
Shoes, jackets, hats. Also as approved by my spouse.
T-shirts, knickers, socks
Casual shirts, dress shirts. Jeans, khakis, shorts, pullovers/jumpers
Electronics and communications gear which includes phone, computer, earphones, and something new this time; a micro drone with all its batteries and accessories.
A list of what I need to learn about how to use all the functions on my phone and any of the new tech I may decide to travel with may be helpful. I draw down on the old maxim; RTFM which stands for Read The Full Manual. And yet somehow I never get to it until I’ m in transit.
Power adapters and spare batteries.
Our eldest daughter stepped up to volunteer to drive us to the airport
it was a comforting drive given all the anxiety I was suppressing regarding luggage, timing of airplane connections and the forward anticipation of getting around in England after landing at Gatwick.
AND WE’RE OFF!! SIR5R is traveling again!