For the last 6/8 months I, like the rest have us have had to stay at home to “stay safe, protect the NHS and save lives” which at the start I was more than happy to do. There was a new deadly virus that we didn’t understand, no one had ever seen before and we didn’t know the long-term effects that it would have on people’s health, the world and the economy and it is now 8 months later and we still don’t know much more, but I won’t get into this today…I will save this for another rant down the line!
I agree that the virus, is a virus and that unfortunately it does have really severe complications for some people and my heart really goes out to all of the people that have become ill, suffered long term effects of the virus and may have lost loved ones during the course of the pandemic…whether it be from Covid or lack of treatment due to reduced options available due to Covid (which in my personal opinion is the REAL PANDEMIC).
During the course of the last 6/8 months, let’s be fair and honest, the entire world has been an absolute shit show. Now that furlough is coming to an end in the UK there will no doubt be many thousands more out of work, made redundant and some even homeless which is heart-breaking. For those of you that aren’t from the UK, furlough, which is a word I had never heard of until this year and is now part of my daily lingo, is a government backed scheme to pay 80% of peoples wages whilst they are unable to work due to this stupid bloody virus…again this is also a mess as so many people who are self employed etc haven’t been able to benefit from this and as a result have lost their jobs, financial freedom and more importantly their livelihoods, which is truly devastating.
This virus really has put so many lives at risk, and not just health and mental health wise for so many reasons. People are now rebelling against governments all over the world, and I really cant say I blame them, I myself want to rebel and want this whole big, fat, horrible mess to be over and get back to “normal life” and if I hear the phrase “The new normal” again, I swear it will tip me over the edge!
Everyone has their own view on the virus and the pandemic. Is it man made? Are they making the numbers up? Is it all a control issue from the elite, big pharma and worldwide governments who are trying to control us? Is it all a conspiracy theory?? WHO KNOWS, but I am swinging towards the idea that the “conspiracy theorists” are talking more sense than they are on the news and media in general!
Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and I would never personally judge someone on theirs, but whatever the truth is, all I know is that the effect this virus has had on the world and its people is utterly devastating in so many ways.
As I am a travel blogger (well attempting to be) I know that this rant may be a little bit of a curve ball….but I promise I am going somewhere with it!
In September we travelled to Greece for a much needed break from the UK and everything that is going on in the world around us. We started our trip in Santorini and from there travelled to Paros and then to Mykonos, before flying home after 11 nights of pure bliss, gyros and copious amounts of Greek wine.
Now, we have been to Santorini three times now in the last 3 years, it’s safe to say we absolutely love it there! Everything about the island is just perfection, from the views, the people, the food and of course the weather, if you haven’t been you really are missing out!
But this year, it was different. A few days before we were due to fly out, the British Government removed some of the Greek Islands from the travel corridor list, which meant that upon returning home, by law, you must self isolate for 14 days. No leaving the house AT ALL, not even to walk the dogs (which they were NOT happy about!) the only thing you can leave the house for is for medical emergencies. Now luckily my husband is self employed and I was still on furlough at the time so it didn’t really bother us too much about having to quarantine when we arrived back into the UK (but by day 14, I was saying different 😂) so we decided that we still wanted to go ahead with the much needed break and off we went!
The flight was probably 1/2 full, which I kind of expected as many people didn’t have the flexibility that we did and have the option to self isolate for 14 days but nothing could prepare me for how quiet the island was. We based ourselves in Kamari for 3 nights which is a bustling, village with a black sandy beach and a great promenade filled with bars, restaurants, shops and cafes and then 1 night in Oia (WOW). Last year the beach was packed, the restaurants were heaving and the bars were buzzing, this year it was like a ghost town. Places that we had eaten the year before were closed, along with many hotels which I guess had given up hope for this year or had sadly closed due to the effects that Coronovirus has had on tourism, which the island relies heavily upon, along with so many other places in Greece, and in fact the world.
We got chatting to some of the locals who didn’t know how they were going to survive the winter as what used to be a season that ran from May to October was now June to August and they were barely covering their running costs with how quiet it was. This really broke my heart, not just for the people that we met, but for everyone in the world and their families that rely on travel and tourism to live and to keep their head above water.
I know this is even having huge effects in the UK, with seaside and popular tourist towns struggling after a poor summer season with “lockdowns” and now with a second surge in cases, who knows what their winter season will look like or if their businesses will make it through this absolute shit show until we make it through the other side.
I work in travel and so many of my close friends have lost their jobs, literally 3/4 have been made redundant from jobs that they loved and thought that they would be doing for the rest of their lives, which again is heart-breaking to see and to experience and enough is enough now.
Why are countries being taken off the travel corridor list?? Santorini had less cases than the UK had at the time (per 1000 people) and I felt much safer there than I do in UK?? The chances of catching Covid on a flight is 1 in 7,700….your more likely to catch it down the middle isle of Aldi or whilst enjoying your eat out to help out breakfast in Wetherspoons, every Monday to Wednesday for the last few months…but we all did that!
I completely understand that there is a risk involved, but that risk is extremely small in comparison to so many other things that we do in our day to day life. I also get that people are afraid to travel at the moment, my own parents are petrified and I understand that (they are old 🤣 and I am only writing this because I know how pissed off my mom will be when she reads it!!)
What I guess I am trying to say is…get on a bloody plane, train or hop in the car and get out there! Where you can, when you can and as often as you can! I really believe that travel brings so much joy to our lives, our physical health and most importantly, our mental health. I know that after spending 3 months basically locked inside 4 walls, that 11 nights in Greece did wonders for Rory and me and how we were feeling on a daily basis, a much needed respite before coming back to have to face normality again (although, nothing about this year has been normal!).
People rely on to travel and tourism to live, and I live to travel. So, get out there and don’t be scared. Take the precautions, wear a mask when needed (no-one likes wearing them but it has to be done at the moment!) wash your hands (which I hope you are doing anyway 🤦♂️) and go and explore!
If anyone is worried or scared, which again I completely understand and it is hard not to be when all we see on the news is doom and gloom, has any questions about what is was like travelling during the pandemic or anything at all then please message me and I will be open and honest about every experience, which again was so much better and more organised than anything I have seen in the UK over the last few months.
If there is anything that I have learnt over the last two years is that life really is too short, so in the words of Peter Kay “book it, pack it and f**k off” and ENJOY!