We love seeing different locations around the world and their images are definitely framed in our minds. However, as we were growing up, we used to see images of famous locations and not all of them were taken in color. Does seeing a landmark like the Eiffel Tower in black and white take away from the beauty or sense of awe? We have shared some of our favorite landmark photographs previously, but here we take the same images and are sharing them in both color as well as black and white. When you look through the images, does your opinion change of the landmark based on whether it is in color or not?
The past year has been one of frustration in terms of our ability to get out and see the world. As vaccinations continue to rapidly increase across the world, the variants and additional waves continue to keep the future of travel in a state of flux. In general, we are optimistic people and we continue to be hopeful that things will change for the better in the near future, but our optimism seems to get dashed lately. Sure, we can travel domestically and there is nothing wrong with that, however what we really want is to get out and see something new. We had plans to go to Turkey last April and we postponed it to November last year instead of our original destination of Africa and then had to cancel the trip entirely. In its place, we planned a trip for this April to visit Portugal only to be notified that the country remains on lockdown and so that trip was canceled. Ever the optimists, we heard that travel to portions of Africa were open to international travel and since we originally wanted to go there last year so we were looking at going there in June, but now things seem to be closing again there as well.
We aren’t giving up, though. We will travel someplace this June, we’re just not sure where. There are places in Central and South America that are open, but things could change with a minute’s notice. If we can’t get out of the country, we will go someplace in the continental United States. We will be fully vaccinated within a couple of weeks, which seems to be the new requirement for traveling. We’re not sure if everyone is going through the severe sense of “travel withdrawal” that we are, but if we don’t go somewhere soon we might just go stir crazy. Any recommendations of places that are open to travel for us to consider would be greatly appreciated.
We would normally start off the new year with a recap of our travels from the previous year, but since our travels were so limited we decided not to do that this year. There wasn’t anything magical about the first of January that will suddenly make everything that was wrong with 2020 come to an end as we are all too painfully aware and the start of 2021 feels pretty much like a continuation of 2020. Travel restrictions continue around the world and despite the hope that a vaccine brings, it is going to take a while before it provides the impact that everyone is hoping it will have. That assumes, of course, that the new mutations don’t impact the efficiency of the vaccines. We cancelled all of our major trips that we had planned in 2020, including trips to Turkey and Western Africa. Although we don’t have enough confidence to start planning anything new quite yet, we have tentatively planned to visit Portugal at the end of April.
The new year does come with a sense of optimism that perhaps we will all return to some sort of normalcy in the coming months. Like many people, we are itching to get back to exploring the world and perhaps the lack of travel will inspire us to go to places that we hadn’t previously considered. We still hope to do a safari in Africa before the end of the year and have several other ideas of places we’d like to visit. It is truly hard to believe that it will have been at least a full year since our last trip out of the country and close to a year and half since our last significant trip, which was to Vietnam in November of 2019. When all of this started in March of last year, we really didn’t expect it to last for more than a few months and now it feels like it is never going to end, but we are trying to be hopeful.
With that said, we are not just putting 2020 in our rear view mirror, but doing our best to erase it from our minds. Until we can get to someplace new, we will continue to revisit some of our past trips to help us find inspiration for the future. We are doing lots of research on places that we’d like to see in 2021 and probably reading more about them than we would have previously done. We are also paying attention to the changing requirements for travel, such as proof of a negative test and potentially proof that you have been vaccinated, which we hope isn’t the case going forward. We know that some people found a way to continue traveling even in 2020, while others probably won’t travel until things have completely returned to normal. Whatever your plans are, we hope everyone has a safe and wonderful new year.