For those of you feeling too anxious or afraid to book travel outside your state right now, may I present you my Covid Test for Travel!
So yep – we flew north from Melbourne to Brisbane, Stanthorpe and Byron Bay for The Bluesfest over Easter.
Yep. You got it.
Brisbane went into Lockdown three days after we landed.
But at least we’d seen our beautiful family, had some solid kids’ play dates and much yearned for hugs.
We were fortunate to have access to a car and the money for a rather retro, but ocean viewed apartment at Cabarita, so we legged it across the border before 5pm on Lockdown day.
Our third border run in four months!
We had to abide by the Brisbane Lockdown rules in Cabarita, but that was fine.
Dawn runs and swims and making meals at home – it was the restaurant with the best view in town!
Sadly, The Bluesfest was cancelled less than 24 hours before it was set to open – some early bird punters had already set up their camps. The numbers coming out from Bluesfest organisers now are staggeringly sad: 2,500 workers, 140+ trucks and flatbeds, 80+ semi-trailers, 72 lighting towers, 42 generators…all with no return on investment.
500 lanterns & 10km of wiring… all strung by hand.
They were stringing the very last lantern when told Bluesfest had been closed down.
But our intention all along had been to show up and show our support.
We’d paid for our tickets two years ago.
And said goodbye to that money when we repurchased 2020’s refunded tickets during Melbourne’s Stage 4 Lockdown, August 2020. Who knew what would happen at that point?
All we knew was we wanted The Bluesfest to endure and for Australian music to know we cared.
We were okay. We just felt totally gutted for them.
And our holiday could go on. Did go on.
Once the festival was cancelled and things were heating up Covid-wise around Byron, we saw another border run in our future. The year that was 2020 will show Ms Palaszczuk, the Queensland Premier, has a very itchy trigger finger when it comes to border closures. We didn’t want to get locked out of Queensland and stuck in NSW in torrential rain with no festival to go to. Come to think of it – going to a festival in torrential rain doesn’t sound that special either does it? But we are used to that particular joy. Boy have we embraced some mud at Blues over the years!
So we contacted our next accommodation provider, the second of two we had chosen at the very last minute. And because we had done our due diligence and had their cancellation terms and conditions confirmed in writing at the time of booking, we were Jake. We did have to wear the Airbnb fee, which is annoying but better than losing the full tariff.
God LOVE the yoga-teaching, organic farming host!
She kept her word and let us go without hesitation, stating she hopes other hosts would do the same for her if she were in our position.
And indeed I hope they do.
So then it was time to find alternate accommodation in a ‘safe’ zone for that same amount of time and money.
And we did. It was great!
Stanthorpe was absolutely brilliant, washed sparkling clean and pumped neon green with all that rain. We enjoyed some yummy Granite Belt wines which have come a long way if you haven’t tried them in a while!
My top picks are:
- Robert Channon
- 4382 Terroir at St Judes
- Bent Road
- Symphony Hill
- Golden Grove
ocean swims, dolphin sightings, games of 123HOME with squealing nieces and nephews, family meals, big hugs, long baths with a view, wine tasting, country air…sounds like a pretty dang good holiday right?
And it was!
Now to my Covid test for travel!
As per my pre-holiday article, (read here) travel is now, more than ever, an investment.
And just like any investment, there are risks.
Risks that need mitigating with current information and flexibility.
Fun is still most definitely to be had, but now its prerequisite is full and whole hearted commitment to the cause.
Or do not travel.
It’s just not fun if it falls apart and you haven’t totally owned the choice you made to put yourself there.
But let me say it again – there is still plenty of fun to be had.
So get on out there!
My Covid test for travel is to ask yourself this:
Will it be okay if things don’t work out exactly as I plan them?
If the answer is yes then good on you!
You little adventurer you!
Here’s some other helpful tips to make it all as wonderful as it can be:
- Do your homework
Thoroughly read the T&Cs of your accommodation providers and ask the question straight up:
Will you give me a full refund if I need to cancel due to Covid related issues?
- Keep up to date with the current climate and any Covid updates.
We use the ABC LIVE blog.
- If the fit is starting to look like hitting the shan, start having conversations with your travelling companions early, work out what you’ll do if scenario A, B or C eventuates.
This helps with reaction time if you find yourself in any of those short-on-time scenarios, like border running!
- Keep cool
Your heart will be pumping if you have to get out of town unexpectedly, quick smart and two days before you thought you would be leaving.
But that’s okay. You can do it.
It is kinda fun!
And at least you aren’t fleeing a dictator or persecution and you aren’t carrying all you own, crossing mountains or oceans in the dark, having to show your passport to armed military.
- Most importantly, keep on the team!
With Covid, our travelling companions have been elevated to something between a superhero and a bandit.
So be kind. Work together. You’ll get it done.
You’re prepared. Remember?
Actually, scratch that. The most important thing is to have fun!
Enjoy feeling alive!
Sense the thrill of immediate and drastic change that is not life threatening, not threatening at all.
Pat yourself on the back for being the kind of traveller who rolls with the punches, who adapts.
Those who LOVE travelling to other countries and cultures know this ability is a lifeblood on such adventures.
Just ask Superman about waiting two days in the airport for a Yeti Air flight out of Lukla, Nepal!
So practice peace and detachment like the Tibetan Buddhist we all are on the inside and just go.
Have fun. Roll with the punches. And enjoy coming out on top!
Let me know about your trips!
I am most happy travelling vicariously.
Your Life Changing Coach
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