Travel is complicated right now, and working in it puts me in the crossroads of trying to find the most ethical and moral means to travel right now. I have to travel for my job and mental health. Others need similar things, and many are trying to find some refuge from the pain of the last 20 months.
I don’t have all the answers, but I do know there are ways to make better decisions for risk reduction to myself and others in the world. Feel free to let me know your thoughts, and how you are planning your next time abroad.
2020 was supposed to be the year I was going to hike the Inca Trail. Because in 2019 I had to have surgeries and fuck ton of physical therapy in order to do this goal that I had set for myself by 30.
But right on schedule, the world decided to have its 100-year pandemic, and the world pretty much shut down. It also meant that I became sick with the disease and that my lungs no longer work as well as they did two years ago.
That’s not to say I’m not healing or getting better it just means that I’ve had to greatly rethink what I’m doing the next few years. So in light of the chaos of the world and in dire need of a break from sitting in my home in Northern Colorado, I decided I was going to take an international trip I was going to do it in the safest way possible for Covid.
I decided on my location based on several criteria. One was making sure that the location would have a higher vaccination ready by the time I arrived. Two was making sure I didn’t have to rely on public transportation to get to and from my destinations. Three was making sure that I could be by myself and away from crowds. And four was selecting a location that had been on my bucket list for some time. Slowly through writing out my dreams, and looking into vaccination rates, I narrowed it down to the ideal spot.
Now I didn’t think much of this island even 7 years ago. But in the weird way that fate or coincidence seems to drag you to places series of events happened that made me more interested in this far-off land.
In 2010 I was in Europe for my first trip overseas, my first trip without family, my first trip I was paying for myself and that I had worked for. A whole week into a trip that took me 4 years to save for, this giant volcano blew up throwing a wrench in everything that I had planned. At the time, the whole region was more or less on my shit list because of the mess that it made to my trip.
However, as aging does, one realizes that life is nothing but the chaos that you attempt to work with in order to survive. So my frustrations dissipated over time.
In 2015 I began a master’s degree in Scotland and one of my classmates was from the same little country. And over beers and discussions in late night pubs and working on a degree together I had additional interest in this far off location. And definitely decided to add it to the list is that maybe one day I’ll visit
In 2017 I decided to break away from all of my formal education and attempt to have a career in travel. And who is one of the first people I befriended at this crazy new job and this crazy new career, a woman that was from the same far off country.
Over four years of being friends with this wonderful human I learned a ton about this country. I learned about the culture and I learned about the food and I learned about all the unique and beautiful places that one could visit. I also was working as a travel advisor in one of the biggest booms is it in Travel the industry has ever seen. And this location was extremely popular. So while I plan trips for others I’m secretly how old a little log of all the places I in fact would want to see.
Fast forward to 2021 and a phone call with my doctor that I was not allowed to go hiking at 15,000 feet on a trip I decided to scrap Peru and head for Iceland.
It helped that flights were cheap it helped that it looks like I would be able to be vaccinated it helped that I could stay in a camper van it’s helped that I could be by myself the majority of the time and I traveled. You see the country has the same population as the county that I live in in Colorado and so I knew there would be plenty of space for me to hide an exist without the risk of the pandemic.
So a month ago I found myself landing in one of the most beautiful locations I have ever witnessed…..more to come!