Recent Travel

In 2021 I’m answering a list of weekly journal questions. Read about it here.

Talk about a recent travel experience.
Travel in Australia has been very difficult for the last year thanks to covid. Our government’s response has been to go hard and go early, which has meant tight lockdowns.

We have not been allowed to travel overseas since March 2020 (you can apply for an exemption, however they are not easy to obtain), and even within Australia travel has been very difficult. Our state borders also close as part of covid lockdowns, meaning interstate travel is often not possible. All returning Aussies and other Internationals from overseas go straight into hotel quarantine for 14 days (can’t leave their hotel rooms) when they arrive in the country – this has been the case since March 2020.

I live in Canberra, Australia’s capital, which is in the unique position of being in the Australian Capital Territory, or ACT (see map), which is:

Stage 4 – Supporting speakers of Aboriginal English
  • the only landlocked state/territory in Australia
  • the smallest state/territory
  • contains 1 city – Canberra
  • we’re smack dab in the middle of another state (New South Wales)

The problem with closed borders has meant we haven’t been able to leave our territory (translation, city) for much of the last year either. This is in contrast to other states/territories who (apart from times when they have an outbreak) have been able to travel within their state/territory. And over summer, we don’t have a beach and ocean available to us (we’re an ocean loving country, tough when you are landlocked).

What it has meant for me, is that I have spent more time cancelling travel plans than actually travelling. As I write this I should be holidaying in New Zealand with the family. I’ve cancelled a flight to Perth, Western Australia, a flight to Melbourne, Victoria and 3 flights to Brisbane, Queensland in the last year.

There’s a heatwave over the next four days (40’C / 104’F), so with some lockdown restrictions lifting allowing us to travel to the coast, we’re going to bolt down and cool off in the Pacific Ocean. Let’s hope nothing changes and we get there.

From: Wikimedia

While travel has been very tricky, I have no complaints, because Australia’s approach seems to have worked. As I write this Australia has been 6 days since its last locally acquired case – quite a few cases in hotel quarantine for international returns, but they are *touchwood* contained. The reason I write “touchwood” is because the last 2 outbreaks have occurred because of covid escaping from international returns in hotel quarantine.

With the vaccine rolling out this year (our program starts in a month, but we have the luxury of taking our time and having a very well prepared plan for roll out), domestic travel should open up more. Our government has told us that there will be no international travel in 2021, and maybe not in 2022. And that’s okay, we want to be safe.

Have you been able to travel recently?

16 comments on “Recent Travel

  1. Oh my gosh can you PLEASE set this up in Canada? Our boarder to the USA has been closed since March, only essential workers and trucks allowed to cross. But flights have continued in and out. Politicians have lost jobs because they went to hot sunny beaches over Christmas. I had students miss our first few days back at school because they were off in a tropical place for the holidays. Its ridiculous! And now the government is saying “don’t travel cos things might change” it should have been locked down MONTHS ago. Insanity. Stupidity. Ugh. Every day flights arrive where someone had covid on it. “All rows affected” like duh. People who are traveling for pleasure right now should have their passports taken away for at least the next 5 years. How completely irresponsible! *please excuse me while I go have an emotional meltdown cos I’m so over this stupid lockdown*

  2. Aw, (((hugs))), GF. We are very fortunate our government took this approach from the get go. We’ve got the Australian Open (international tennis grand slam) here soon and heaps of the tennis stars have been complaining because they have to lockdown in hotel quarantine. Now some have tested positive to covid… if we hadn’t made them lock down and ignored their complaints that would be in our community now. Sensible, sane approach *thanking my luck stars again I am Aussie*

  3. Yea you are so lucky!! And New Zealand too! We have the NHL playing now and while it is easier to keep grown adults quarantined in the little hubs and groups they have put together, the virus is getting in still. Like the men have families of their own and its going to be impossible to keep it under wraps. It was nice to watch the hockey game on tv last weekend, a first for me in about 2 years but at what cost? The teams can’t take a season off to be safe and healthy? Is our entertainment more important than their health? Im just feeling frustrated and annoyed at the world today lol and it wasn’t even a bad day! It was good! But it just gets to ya sometimes haha

    • Yeah, they’ve been doing hubs so our sport can go ahead as well. Weird how sport seems to have to be able to be played, lol.

  4. Judging from the map, you’re not that far from the coast, and I’m so glad you are allowed to go! I’m sorry you’re having to cancel your other plans, though.

    We took a road trip at Christmas. We had rented a house in Arizona months prior and really went back and forth about whether we should go. We drove straight there (14 hours), stayed alone in the house, and drove straight home. We didn’t go anywhere but quick trips to the grocery store and to get take out food, and wore our masks always. The weather was lovely, and we were able to be outside. All in all, we tried to be as safe as possible while taking our mental health into consideration, hah!

    Fingers crossed that the vaccine helps us get back to normal. As you may know, the rollout here in the states is a mess, so I don’t think I’ll be able to get one anytime soon.

    • Yeah, we debated about going as well. But we are taking all our food, not going anywhere where there are other people etc. But looking forward to the beach today! It’s only a 2 hour drive, so just down the road.

  5. Nothing recent. At the start of the pandemic I was in Budapest on business. The road to Budapest is never easy and connecting flights usually take 38 or so hours from my home airport.

    Getting back took me 77 hours, all of which were in airports or planes. I don’t want to go through that again, so I’ll wait till the new normal gets here, if there is no new normal I’ll make them come to me.

    • Ugh, 77 hours!! Were you worried you wouldn’t get there at all? There are so many Aussies stranded overseas who weren’t able to get flights back to Australia and have been stuck.

      • Eventually I started to wonder. It was before we peons had heard of the Virus. I had hopped from Budapest to Geneva and was presenting my ticket to Paris when the arriving flight lights started to go from “on time” to “cancelled”. It started slowly and became an avalanche.

        The ticket stampers just kind of muttered dunno in varied languages and tried to make something work before a riot happened. No other information was available. In Paris there was talk of terrorism. After be pissed, I started to think it was something that would pass. It didn’t, but by then I was really short on two day’s sleep and almost incoherent.

        Never quite got to the real oh shit part of it, might have if I hadn’t been planning on catching up with my sleep when i started the process.

  6. Giggling Fattie

    January 24, 2021 at 8:34 am

    Haha right?!?

  7. I am desperate to go see my sister, across the country from me here in California but my state is 50/50 in how they’re rolling out the vaccinations. They are so inept at managing change/disasters, they actually renewed my license for 5 years without any questions, any issues. I loved that but it sure surprised me.

    Fingers crossed you can do a bit of traveling soon!

    • It does sound like there is a lot of knee jerk reactions happening rather than a planned approach unfortunately. hope you get to see your sister soon!

  8. No, I haven’t been anyplace. Travel hasn’t been as locked down as it should here. I hope you have a great trip to the coast.

Comments are closed.