Travel Now by Donna Wootton


Travel, during the pandemic, is on hold, especially for those of us in the high-risk category. In recent years I have traveled extensively. The last two blogs I posted were on travel. I had a shorter version of the first travel blog published in WRITE, the writers’ union’s magazine. It came out in the winter, on Family Day, the day I returned from Guatemala, where some of us took a side trip to Tikal. I wrote about that adventure in my second travel blog.

As soon as I landed, I came back to Port Hope to an offer on my house. All very dramatic, but the irony is I got published thinking I can swing it into more published pieces, only to have travel stopped.

Reluctantly I cancelled my trip to Britain scheduled for August 1. My original plan was to fly to Gatwick, on a Dreamliner no less. If you haven’t flown on one you may never get the opportunity now which is a pity because the interiors of these well-designed planes have better air quality and less atmospheric pressure, so flyers don’t experience jet lag as badly as on regular planes. From Gatwick airport I was planning to go to Chichester to attend a special dance workshop. Cancelled. Then I was to take the train to Bristol to pick up my granddaughter and return via train to enjoy a week -long trip on the Isle of Wight. Cancelled.

I started scheming. What if I came as planned, went into quarantine for two weeks (maybe at my friend’s house in Kintbury outside Cambridge), and then traveled to Bristol to see my family.

“Consider,” my son replied. What I had to consider was the impossibility of said scheme. My daughter-in-law is a frontline worker, a head nurse redeployed to ICU. I would be at risk. I am not the only grandparent in the world missing distant grandchildren.  I am bitter and resentful. How long will this separation last?

And yet, I was allowed to move during the COVID 19 pandemic. (That’s another story.) I am in a spacious condo with a view of the lake from a large balcony that faces north west. I see spectacular sunsets. I have wonderful neighbours. We make and share meals. I am able to get out for social distancing walks.

I knew the previous owners of this condo and recognized it as a special place. They were long time supporters of Horizons, the NGO I travelled with to Panama, Costa Rica, and then Guatemala. After more than a dozen years volunteering with them fundraising for their partners in Central America, I finally got to enjoy meaningful travel to some of the places I had helped support.

Now my fear is I will not be able to travel in the future. Even if I’m healthy and willing and able, will the world open up again?

Donna in Guatemala

One Comment Add yours

  1. Thanks for this post, Donna. Congrats on selling your house and moving to such a lovely place. COVID has robbed us of certain adventures, and if you loved travel, this is a big loss. That sense of loss comes through clearly in your beautifully-written post. Just yesterday our family talked about the places we always hoped to visit – and not knowing if we ever will. I find it helps to focus on my gains, of which there are many.


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