It’s been a good 12 months since my last post of any sort on here, but what better time to come out of hibernation than at 2AM during lockdown 6.0 asking the question of ‘what does travelling feel like?’ because it’s been so long I wouldn’t have any idea! This year alone I’ve cancelled 7 trips/holidays.
For those of you thinking ‘what the hell is lockdown 6.0’ well let me enlighten you. The state (Victoria) where I live in Australia entered its sixth lockdown on the night of August 5. Since this pandemic came to light last year, Victorians have endured multiple lockdowns, of multiple lengths. Granted, because I live in regional VIC I haven’t had to go through as long, or as strict a lockdowns as Metro Melbourne. Nonetheless I’ve been present for all 6:
- Lockdown 1.0 started on March 24, 2020 and ended on June 1, 2020,
- Lockdown 2.0 for regional Victoria came into effect on August 5, 2020 until 13 September, 2020 (for Metro Melb this lasted until 27 October, 2020)
- Lockdown 3.0 was our shortest to date being a five day snap lockdown between 12 and 17 February, 2021
- Lockdown 4.0 for regional VIC saw us locked down from May 27 until June 3, 2021
- Lockdown 5.0 hit on 16 July, 2021 and while it was due to only be 5 days, it in fact lasted until 28 July, 2021
- Lockdown 6.0 which brings us to present day and lockdown number six. It’s due to only be a snap seven days but given our history of extended stage four restrictions who knows?
Lockdown 1.0 was actually a little bit of a God send for me, as selfish as that sounds. My parents, who live in Vienna (Austria), and sister, who lives in Nairobi (Kenya), had come back to Australia after we found out my Grandpa wasn’t doing so well and ultimately passed away mid-March just before our first statewide lockdown came into play. Long story short, my Grandma also wasn’t very well and my family made the decision to stay a little while longer to be here with her and well, then borders shut and they ended up being stuck in Australia for much longer than originally planned. This however meant that what was only intended to be a few weeks spent with them turned into months – and with lockdown happening it was a very close few months together, and for that I am grateful. So as annoying as being confined to your homes and having strict rules to follow, lockdown 1.0 was ok for me.
Lockdown 2.0 was a totally different story. Dad had managed to leave Australia in July but my mum and sister (who was here with my then 3-year-old nephew and 1-year-old niece) weren’t able to get out of the country until August. Lucky enough for them they managed to leave the day before lockdown 2.0 hit. While lockdown number 1 was spent surrounded with family, lockdown number 2 was the complete opposite. I’d recently gone through a break up and moved into a brand new house all on my own. I didn’t even have work to keep me occupied as I was still with F45 at the time and gyms were closed; I was able to teach a few online workout classes twice a week but other than that it was a pretty lonely few weeks with limited interaction with people due to the harsh restrictions in place.
I suppose you could say one good thing came out of lockdown 2.0 and that was meeting Chris – good old #swiperight on Tinder hey!
As I sit here typing away I’m not really reflecting on the lockdowns themselves though, but the outcomes of them.
For anyone that knows me personally, knows that travel makes up 99% of who I am. Whether it’s going overseas to visit my family, taking an interstate trip with my travel buddy Lauren or ticking off a new country all together. For as long as I can remember I have gone overseas at least once a year with a handful of interstate/domestic trips dotted throughout the year too. Well, that hasn’t really happened in the last year and half as you can image! My last overseas trip was in July 2019 when I went back to Kenya for 2 months to help my sister when my niece was born. And while I’ve been fortunate enough to take a sprinkling of trips (and I literally mean a sprinkling since I could count them on one hand) mostly around Victoria – although I did manage to escape to Tassie earlier this year for a few days – I think I’ve had more trips cancelled than I’ve actually been on.
In February Chris and I planned a seaside escape in Sorrento as we’ve both never been before. Of course, that got cancelled thanks to lockdown.
We were then meant to go to the Whitsundays – again a place neither of us had been – which we’d booked back in December for Chris’ birthday. Well even though Victoria weren’t in lockdown when we were due to go, Queensland closed their borders to us, so two days before we were due to fly out the trip was cancelled.
April 2021 was meant to see me finally tick off Byron Bay (after my trip from June 2020 to go was cancelled) and head to Bluesfest 2021… Well less than 24 hours out from my flight, that trip was cancelled due to an outbreak in the area and the festival itself being cancelled. Chris and I thought we’d try our luck at rebooking our weekend away in Sorrento but that too was called off.
Knowing how down I’d been feeling about multiple cancelled trips and just wanting some time off, Chris organised a girls night in Melbourne for me and a few friends in May. Jokes on me for thinking I’d actually get to have a staycation because we went into lockdown 4.0 two days before it.
After all that, we learnt the lesson to maybe book things a little further away in the hope that the world would be a little more normal. So we rescheduled our Whitsundays trip for July. Well, of course that was wishful thinking because hello lockdown 5.0 and border closures!
F*** it. Northern Territory have their borders open we’ll go there instead was our next logical thought. Monday 2 August we locked it in, we were going to Darwin on the weekend. Flights were booked. Accomodation was booked. A rough itinerary was planned. We just had to get to Sunday! Tuesday, everything was fine. Wednesday, everything was fine. Oh how naive I was going to work on Thursday thinking ‘second last day and then it’s holiday time!’ 4:15PM Thursday. Cue another lockdown. So here we are, entering our sixth lockdown and having our what feels like 100th trip cancelled.
Majority of the trips we had planned were meant to be, not only some well deserved time off but our babymoon. With me now being 32 weeks and 4 days (I’ll be 33 weeks and 4 days if lockdown ends on time), it’s most likely that we won’t get to have an interstate babymoon given the risks of flying so late in the game. I’m not sure how well I’d go if we were in the middle of Kakadu National Park and I went into an early labour!
Maybe things happen for a reason. Maybe the constant in and out of lockdowns resulting in cancelled last minute trips is the universe telling me that I’m just not meant to travel while pregnant for some reason. Well, that’s the outlook I’m going with at least otherwise I think I’ll never stop crying. Plus, the amount of money I have in travel vouchers to redeem when the time is favourable means less saving to be done then, right?