Being Brave

My sister is travelling. Like, really travelling.

Not just the ‘we’re-going-on-a-road-trip’ kind of travelling. The ‘pack-your-passport-we’re-heading-to-the-airport’ kind of travelling! I think she’s being brave.

I’ve always considered the two of us to have a healthy dose of wanderlust, implanted early on by our father. I’ve spoken before of my own love of travelling but my sister takes it to the next level. She has, over the course of her lifetime, been to well over 100 countries in this big, beautiful world of ours.

How has she accomplished this, you may ask? My sister is a retired teacher and has never had children. She and I are perfect illustrations of how the choice to become a parent impacts a person’s lifestyle. It’s neither good nor bad; just different. So today my sister is heading to the airport to fly off to the Algarve in Portugal.

Before everything stopped

I visited Portugal a few years ago with a dear friend of mine, in the fall before everything just stopped. It was a short but wonderful trip where we spent most of our time in Lisbon but took a jaunt down to the Algarve on the southern coast of Portugal. It is a ruggedly beautiful area with amazing food, lovely people and stunning beaches. And because of its southern longitude, not far above the northern tip of Morocco, the weather is divine (especially if you’re a Canadian gal like me).

It was just over a year ago that I wrote about missing travelling. Here we are, another trip around the sun older and although I do still miss it, I’m not sure I’m ready to pack my bags. It seems as if my feelings towards travelling abroad have shifted from a craving to a more wistful longing. There’s just so much more to consider now than ever before. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve never been in the ‘jet-set, let’s just pack our bags and go’ crowd. That’s not my pay grade. But I did travel pretty regularly and when not travelling I was usually planning the next adventure.

What happened to being brave?

When all that stopped back in March 2020 it seemed, to me at least, this disruption of our daily norms was going to last a few months at most. Here we are almost two years later and it feels this pandemic has left a scar on my heart that makes me just a bit fearful of the one thing I used to love most.

Now we’re talking about opening things up and lifting restrictions. As of last night, the UK announced a plan to remove all Covid restrictions by March and there is talk of the provincial governments here doing the same in the not-too-distant future. Whatever our ‘new normal’ will be, it seems we’re right on the doorstep of living it.

And I’m not sure how I feel about that. It upsets me that this pandemic seems to have put a dark veil over the things I once did without worry or concern. I’m hopeful that my reticence will lift as time goes by and that before I know it, I’ll be back to planning, packing and travelling again. But I’m not there now. I’m thrilled for my sister, previously the bigger worrier of the two of us, and that she has given a big FU to effects of this pandemic.

I’m working on doing the same. Until then, I’ll look at my travel pics and dream. I figure dreaming is a good first step.

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