No matter where you’re from, most of us at this point have been affected by the pandemic, directly or indirectly. While some countries are planning to re-open for tourism in the near future, there is still uncertainty what the near-future of travel will look like. Personally, I plan on waiting a little longer for it to be safer before embarking on international travel. Here are some of the trips I can’t wait to take (some sooner than others) once the pandemic ends.
Learning to Scuba Dive
This has been on my bucket list for a long time, but it wasn’t until my trip to Tanzania last year that I have been seriously considering becoming PADI certified. During my safari in Tanzania, I met a mother and daughter duo who were both diver fanatics and were planning a diving adventure at Mafia Island in search of whale sharks. After hearing their stories, I realized there is another world underwater that I have been missing during my travels. I will most likely try a “discover scuba” course before committing to becoming certified. But after talking with a few people who are certified, some of the places I’d be interested in trying out scuba diving include the island of Roatán in Honduras, Curaçao, Belize, or the Red Sea in Egypt.
Visiting An “Off the Beaten Path” Country
Since I started traveling, I’ve had a few people give me (unnecessary grief) over my travel destinations. “You’re going there?!” “Why don’t you travel to more developed countries like Europe?” Don’t get me wrong, Europe has a lot to offer in regards to tourism and I have enjoyed my couple of trips to European destinations. But EVERYONE goes to Europe. France, Spain, and Italy are some of the most popular European destinations, which means crowds, burden of over-tourism, and pollution. Why not branch off to somewhere less known and “off the beaten path”? There are plenty of lesser known destinations that can really benefit from tourism. I’m really hoping to explore more African countries (when it is safe to do so), as well as other “exotic” countries, including Oman, Qatar, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kiribati, Saudi Arabia, St. Vincent and Grenadines, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu (to name a few!). There’s something special about learning another culture, trying new cuisine, and connect with and supporting locals and their businesses.
This type of travel will most likely be the first one myself and most of us will all be taking for now. It’s one of the best ways to travel while socially distancing while exploring somewhere new! My husband and I are hoping to take our road trip up to Acadia National Park in the fall (originally was for May, however the national park remained closed due to the pandemic) just in time for some fall foliage. I’m also considering a road trip adventure for my birthday in September (originally the plan was for Japan but that is most likely postponed until next year). Even though I’ve lived in New England my entire life, there are still plenty of places I have not explored, as well as close by New York.
Pack Up and Go Mystery Long Weekend
This company takes spontaneity to a new level! Pack Up + Go is a travel agency that plans a 3 day weekend somewhere in the United States for you that is a complete surprise until the day you leave! The company arranges transportation and accommodations while keeping it a surprise. You can select your budget and an estimate of how far you would like your mystery destination to be from home (ex: road trip 1-4 hours away from home or take a flight to your destination). Right now they are also offering weekend “staycation” deals, where they provide a reservation at a surprise luxury accommodation, dinner reservations, and a guaranteed ticket to a surprise event or attraction. While the staycation location is known or selected, your entire weekend will still be a surprise! I’m considering starting out with a “staycation” adventure, then moving to a complete mystery destination once it is safer to fly again.
I already had to put this adventure “on hold” (originally planning for November 2020) and will most likely have to put my second attempt to reserve a spot for the beginning of 2021 on hold again. But darn it, I will travel to Antarctica in my lifetime, money and pandemic be damned! Antarctica is naturally a very expensive excursion, but there are trips under $5,000 USD, including cruising to the frozen continent, then taking an airplane back. You can also apply for a job down in Antarctica and live there for 5 months during the “summer” season. I recently listened to a podcast episode from Zero to Travel, where a young couple applied for and lived in Antarctica, working in the kitchen (you don’t have to be a scientist to work there!). This is also something I might consider as a “career sabbatical” someday.
Are you planning to travel in the near future? Where are you most excited to go/do/try once the pandemic ends?!