We’ve done it! Since we are now both fully vaccinated, we are ready to get back to something resembling our life before this contemptable mess of a pandemic began. That means we can finally hit the road again (I can almost hear Willie Nelson singing now).
We aren’t quite ready to jump right back to where we were over a year ago, but we did start by seeing our grand daughter for the first time ever. Just in time for her first birthday. Oh, and also our kids.
For those who didn’t know yet, our first grandchild was born last May in Paris, yes, that Paris. The one in France. So needless to say, we have not been able to fly over to see her, but now her parents have managed to bring her to come see us!
Even though it wasn’t really a trip for us, it sure felt like one. We rented a big house nearby so all of our kids and their spouses could come, and we all hung out for a glorious few weeks walking on the beach, eating good food, and basking in the magnificent normalcy of being able to visit face to face.
We even managed to fly everyone to Kanas for a few days to see both great grandfathers.
It all felt so great, but pulling off the trip was not without some hoops to jump through since everything has not quite fully returned to normal. Flights were crazy full because people are flying again, but the airlines have not yet resumed many of the flights they cancelled at the height of the pandemic. Here’s hoping that changes soon.
Also, tests were still required for our overseas visitors before they could both leave and return to France. This certainly made for some tense moments waiting for the results. A positive test would have cancelled the whole thing, or meant that they could not return home.
The good news is that didn’t happen and we had perhaps our best visit ever. Everyone felt the joy of being able to be together again. So now that experience has us happily planning for more travel in the future.
Our initial ideas are also involving visiting family and friends since it has been so long since we could, but we are also starting to think about some other journeys later this year.
That got us thinking about our favorite active travel company, Backroads. We have biked and hiked across France and Cuba with them in the past, and now they are opening up some great new adventures all around the world.
Or, if we aren’t quite ready for that level of globe-trotting yet, they also have some amazing itineraries closer to home, right here in North America.
Backroads’ founder and President, Tom Hale, put it this way: “The second half of 2021 is shaping up to be a very good time to travel. Demand for our Dolce Tempo trips, national park trips and anything in North America is so high that we’ve scheduled departures into late fall to keep up with the interest. I love traveling in shoulder season because there are often fewer crowds, which gives us even more space to explore actively.”
These Dolce Tempo trips include hiking, biking, and kayaking in Alaska, Maine, California, the American Southwest, and Canada. Of course, there are more far-flung destinations as well, and it is all done at an easy-going pace that allows for getting to know each region.
Hale describes it like this: “I simply can’t imagine a better way to immerse yourself in the life of a region, to explore hidden corners and appreciate nuances while enjoying the benefits and enormous satisfaction of traveling under your own power. These are experiences you cannot have behind the wheel of a car, or on a train or a tour bus. Active travel is, at its heart, a way of connecting more authentically with the world. Sure, Backroads provides amazing leaders, superb accommodations and meals, and opportunities you could never arrange on your own. But all of our comprehensive planning and support is aimed at something far simpler: bringing you the immediate, highly personal satisfaction of discovering a new world on your own terms.”
So as the world struggles to return to normalcy, we are happily studying the possibilities of new adventures… and loving every minute of it!
David & Veronica, GypsyNester.com