Travel

Pandemic Postponement: Putting Travel Life On Hold

Forget the threats and predictions of a global pandemic … now it’s a reality. And no matter where you are in the world, it’s probably safe to say that there’s no part of your daily life that hasn’t been impacted by the coronavirus epidemic.

Travelers are one of the key ingredients in this perfect storm of disease spread; the prime movers, so to speak. Health experts and governments alike have advised everyone to cancel travel and stay home – which unfortunately, is exactly what we’ve done.

For the past few months we’ve been planning a month-long trip to South Africa with a swing through Brazil on the way. But a few days ago we decided that it wasn’t feasible, or advisable, to carry on with the trip now. We aren’t nervous travelers, and we’ve had experience traveling under less-than-ideal circumstances, but there are times to reconsider. This is one of those times … and we’re not alone.

We know that the coronavirus has also impacted the travel lives of many of you out there.

  • Sue and Dave made the hard decision to cancel their trip to Hawaii based on the Canadian Government travel advisory not to travel outside of the country.  
  • Janet delayed the trip of a lifetime to Israel and Jordan, with the added treat of seeing her son in Germany. 
  • Juliann should have been in Brussels right now for a training program, but instead, she’s going to focus on local travel and social distancing. 
  • Bea, based in Italy, writes about what it’s like to experience life in Rome during the coronavirus lockdown.    
  • Peta and Ben share their experiences in Vietnam during the pandemic – and a health scare! 
  • Meanwhile, Gilda and Brian are traveling throughout Thailand and Vietnam, telling tales of having their temperatures taken. 
  • After consideration, Alison has decided to get on the plane to Oklahoma to go see her Mom.  
  • Rusha and Bert have some great suggestions for how to hunker down and weather this storm. 

There are all sorts of emergencies that can cause trip cancellation, but this worldwide contagion taught us a few unique lessons to take forward. We learned we had to:

1. Face the harsh realities of airline cancellation fees. Delta, American, and a few other airlines have been magnanimous in waiving cancellation fees, but not all companies have been so forgiving. Our flight through Brazil and onward to South Africa is on Chile-based LATAM Airlines, and the fees to change and reschedule our flights are a painful and exorbitant $1,000. Double Ouch!! If you’re listening LATAM, we are not happy!

2. Read the fine print in our travel insurance policy. Normal travel and trip interruption insurance provides good peace of mind under many circumstances, but it doesn’t cover cancellations due to concern over the coronavirus. The AIG Insurance website says:

“Trip cancellation for concern or fear of travel associated with sickness, epidemic or pandemic, including Coronavirus, is not covered.” 

Fortunately we were within our cancellation window for our policy. Whew! For future reference, we learned that we need “Cancel For Any Reason” coverage which costs 40-50% more than regular coverage – not cheap, but something to consider. However, before purchasing, read the fine print to make sure, and run the numbers to decide.

3. Accept that pre-paid lodging reservations can be a double-edged sword. It’s almost impossible to plan travel without hotel or apartment reservations, which often require up-front money commitments. And when we find that “perfect place” it’s tempting to go ahead and put down a deposit. However, after a few costly experiences, our approach has been to avoid non-refundable reservations as much as possible, and cancelling this trip was a good reminder. Fortunately, we were only penalized our first night of lodging.

4. Know when to pull the plug. All travelers have different risk tolerances, and it’s important to know your personal level. For us, we had less concern about actually catching the virus than being caught unexpectedly in a lengthy quarantine. We waited as long as possible to cancel, but when the European travel ban was put in place the risk of being detained went through the roof, and we cancelled.

“Pandemic” is a frightening word that most of us have only experienced in the fertile minds of writers of dystopian novels. Since we’re all dealing with it first hand, it will become part of our lives for the foreseeable future.

The situation is changing rapidly, so it’s paramount to stay informed with the facts … and don’t panic. (And stop stockpiling toilet paper … you know who you are!) The crisis will pass, and the medical community will establish procedures to best deal with COVID-19. But hopefully, once the storm has passed we’ll all take some time to think about lessons learned and make our travel lives better going forward.

Happy Trails and Be Safe,
James & Terri

 

76 thoughts on “Pandemic Postponement: Putting Travel Life On Hold

  1. Sorry to hear you’ve had to give up your trip. I have a friend trapped in Poland and another friend who had a stressful time getting out of Spain, as well as a couple of others who’ve had to cancel holidays. I’m worried that my trip home later in the year will also be affected. Hopefully your rescheduled trip will run without a hitch when it comes.

    • Thanks for checking in Fi. At this point it’s impossible to know what will happen, but we’re hoping to re-schedule in Sept-Oct. This series of comments is a good indicator of the global reach of the virus, and the level of effect that it’s had on essentially everyone. I hope things go well for you in NZ and things get sorted for your trip home. Stay safe. ~James

  2. James and Terri, I am so sorry your trip had to be cancelled. I am glad you have managed to recover most of your costs, shame on Latan for not refunding your money. Will definitely avoid flying with them in the future. We had to leave Vietnam earlier than planned, since our Halong Bay Cruise was cancelled. Also all Hanoi attractions have closed down and we have been refused a meal at a local restaurant. So we bailed out and we are currently in Thailand, awaiting for our flight home on Saturday. We are living through some very unique set of circumstances, adapting and changing plans are the new reality. Thank you for the mention and very best wishes to you both, keep well!!

    • Gilda, I’m sorry that things blew up on your trip, but am glad to hear that you’ve adjusted and have plans to go home. We’ve been caught in a few of these types of situations in the past, and while it’s a hassle at the time, things usually work out for the best. When it comes to being stuck somewhere, I’d rather be at home than anywhere on the road. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you guys and send good vibes for your trip back to the UK. Stay safe. ~James

  3. Wise decision, both of you! As hard as it is, to indefinitely postpone. I know the feeling well. But now you’ll have loads of time to plan ahead, make a list of “no-fly-airlines” and update your insurance policy 😉 Speaking of which, it sounds like AIG updated their website very recently; surely those restrictions weren’t the same when you purchased your policy? In other words, can AIG retroactively impose these new/additional exemptions AFTER the fact? As for me, after having to kibosh my group walking retreat through Tuscany in May, I’m now staying put… but also uber-grateful to have the beach and sea nearby! Take care, dear friends.

    • Amit, I’m not sure what AIG did but, as always, there are unscrupulous characters that try to take advantage of any unfortunate situation. I’d like to think that Karma or the “Grand Equalizer” will take care of these folks in the future, but who knows. In the meantime, we’re happy to have a comfortable place to “hunker down,” and are glad that you do as well.

      The numbers of infected people here in Lexington, KY are low, and our state government, and the governor in particular, are doing an excellent job of keeping everyone well informed and calm. This is the best that we can expect at this time so we’re good. Stay safe and all the best. ~James

      • AIG = AIG Insurance website, which you referred to 😉
        Yes, there’s always karma.
        Glad to hear you’re well and hunkered down!
        Hugs from over yonder… Amit

  4. It’s really something isn’t it. Can’t quite believe what’s happening. It’s not only not travelling, it’s finding a place to stay and be safe – difficult when you have no home. I think we all need to think of everyone, not just ourselves and do what we can for the good of everyone. Luckily adaption is a star quality of most nomads!

    • Tracey, that’s a good point about the flexibility of nomads. It takes a bit of adjustment to make a “home on the road,” but as you know, it can be done. And sometimes it takes the kindness of strangers to make this happen. I’m a believer in the inherent goodness of most people, and as this crisis goes along and some of the panic wears off, we’ll see and hear more and more about acts of kindness. Take care and stay safe. ~James

  5. This is a difficult time for many. Staying put is the best. We are OK here in Spain for now and not doing anything but walking our dog and keeping positive. This too will pass. Stay healthy.

    • Darlene, I didn’t realize that Spain’s infection numbers were so high, but from everything that I read, a countrywide lockdown is the best way to slow the spread. And if there’s any silver lining to all the panic, everyone should know the risks, and hopefully, this will mean that the high-risk folks take extra precautions. Take care and stay safe. ~James

  6. We are at my dad’s in FL, but still plan on heading to NH in a few weeks. The campground we are supposed to work at this summer hasn’t given any indication things aren’t on schedule, we’ll see. I understand the use of caution, I don’t understand the panic (or the TP hoarding).

    Wishing you health and Karma for LATAM!

    • Laura, it’s hard to know what each organization will do about closure, but in my opinion, campgrounds must certainly be one of the best places for “social distancing.” In fact, when the weather warms a bit, we may try to sneak in a few days of camping somewhere close to home. And hopefully, by summer some of the panic will have calmed and a few things will be back to normal. At least that’s my hope. All the best to you and Steve. Stay safe. ~James

    • Thanks for the link to the coronavirus stats website. It’s an excellent source of information that I wasn’t aware of. Sorry about the cancellation of your Italy trip, but these statistics certainly prove that it’s one of the last places you want to be. I’m still not too sure exactly how and why the virus go so out of control in China, Italy, and Iran, but I’m sure that medical scientists will study it for years to figure it out. All the best to you there in Finland, and stay safe. ~James

  7. I’m in Ireland now and left the US on March 1st. Things are calmer here than in the US and seemingly more rational as far as the response- so far. Things are getting tighter and most tourist attractions are closed. But, I feel safer here than in those crazy airport mob scenes of panicking Americans all trying to get home at once. We will go back in a week and have enjoyed our stay. We have not seen all that we would like but I’ll come back.

    • I’m glad to hear that things are relatively calm in Ireland. I’ve only seen news photos of the crowds at the US airports, and while I’m not happy about having to cancel our travel, I’m very happy to not be a part of that mob scene. It’s interesting to watch the response from country to country and see how government is responding. It seems that we are just ramping up to the panic here in the US, so enjoy any calmness you can in Ireland, because unfortunately, I think you’ll return home to some wacky times. All the best and be healthy. ~James

  8. Thanks for your honest assessment of our current state of affairs. I do worry about those who are traveling now and wondering just how much others can be compensated in the face of cancellations. Thanks, too, for the link to our blog. We’re finding plenty that needs to be done in our home, but we still miss looking through catalogs and searching the internet for our next trip. We’re merely on hold.

    • Rusha, I know there’s going to be lots of financial pain as a result of the CV, and I don’t mind sharing my part. But I would hope that everyone remembers to share the pain and not heap it on one side or the other. As for being caught on the road, this has happened to us a couple of times and it was definitely not fun. As I said to someone else, I’m not happy about having to cancel our trip, but if I’m going to be stuck somewhere, home is the best place.

      And BTW, I love your lemons-to-lemonade attitude about the crisis. Some great suggestions there. Stay safe and healthy. ~James

    • Natalie, sorry about the cancellation, but good news about the full refunds. Lucky you. Spain is one of my favorite European destinations, and I’m sure you’ll be able to re-schedule in the next few months. Stay safe and healthy. ~James

  9. Great suggestions. Although I’m disappointed that we had to cancel our travel plans, I feel fortunate that we are practicing “extreme social distancing” in the comfort of our home.

    • Shelley, we’ve been caught on the road a couple of times (In India on our way to Nepal for instance), and it can be very stressful. The uncertainty of being stuck in India was no fun, but being in Kathmandu would have been much worse. So, like you, we’re happy to be in our own home and are taking the downtime to catch up on a few things … like working on the blog. Stay safe and healthy. ~James

  10. We are scheduled to leave Oaxaca the 19th and head for Alaska April 1, spending a few days in Colima with friends and then the beach at Barra de Navidad. We’ll carry on with the first part and see what has happened by then. We will have our son bring us some groceries when he picks us up at the airport so we can stay home for a couple of weeks. I certainly don’t want to be the one who brings it to our town!
    I don’t understand the tp thing either – my priority would be wine, cheese, and eggs!
    We saw a guy on tv who had made a 2 meter disc to surround him, and a lady here put on a lot of lipstick and kissed the outside of her mask before putting it on, making a big lip imprint on the outside! A sense of humor is always a good thing!

    • Marilyn, it sounds like your one-step-at-a-time approach is a good one. I guess if there’s any silver lining to this whole kerfuffle it’s that everyone traveling now knows that everything is thoroughly screwed up so travelers can at least plan for the delays.

      The lips on the mask is hilarious, and I agree that humor is the best medicine. As the crisis continues, I suspect that more and more people will let the funny out. I came up with a line to put in the post, but couldn’t work it in easily:

      “If we run out of TP, the term “Social Distancing” will take on a whole new meaning.” Watch this space, you may see it in a future post. 🙂 Stay safe and good luck in your upcoming travels. ~James

  11. Excellent information and advice. As you explained, it can be very expensive to cancel existing reservations, but unfortunately it makes sense at this time… I have a trip to the USA – to visit my daughter and to attend a writing course in Madison – booked for June, but though I’d hate to have to do it, I’m keeping an open mind about possibly cancelling.

    • Bea, I don’t have a crystal ball, but I suspect that things may have calmed a bit by June. I know that this is a serious and complicated problem with a global reach, but given time, I think that the governments involved and the medical community will develop a strategy for best dealing with the crisis. In fact, that’s precisely their jobs, and I have faith that they will deliver. Stay safe and healthy. ~James

  12. Sorry you had to cancel,but glad your being safe. I’m sure you will have another opportunity in a few weeks and you will be off again. Be safe for now and hope you have enough tp.

    • Joyce, we were about to be gone for a month, so we were eating down “the larder,” so this whole crisis caught us a bit unprepared for both food and TP. Not to worry though, we went shopping today and really “laid in the groceries” including a supply of TP. I think that most folks in Lex are just now starting to take things seriously, and it’s going to get wackier every day. I’m glad we’re home and have no place we have to be. How are things in BG? Are all your chicks where they need to be? You and Dascal be extra careful. Love, JH

      • Our chicks are making sure we have enough groceries but tp. is hard to come by, I did score some at the Dollar Store I don’t know what the big deal is with TP,but I don’t want to run out either, they quit making the Sears catalog..

  13. Great post! More of us in the travel world really should be promoting this. Our spring break is next week and thankfully Delta is allowing us to change the flight and even our small hotel in Costa Rica is allowing us to postpone it. I feel bad for these countries who truly rely on tourism but I read that an American woman is the one who brought CV to Costa Rica. We also canceled a long-planned family cruise this June out of Italy. While it is very disappointing I just look at how insanely grateful we are that we have the means to travel and that unlike so many Americans, this will be hard but there are so many that economically this will be insane for. Scary scary times when we really need to have compassion and work together. Thanks for the post! 🙂

    • Hey Nicole. A cruise out of Italy … that’s two strikes right there! And even though it’s a disappointment, cancellation is the right thing to do. You make a valid point about being grateful and having the means to travel. As this crisis drags on, the hardworking families that run on a tight budget are going to have real problems, and it won’t just be in the travel industry. We live in Kentucky and our governor (who has been doing an excellent job during the crisis BTW) just closed all bars and restaurants except for takeaway orders. Can you imagine how many employees that will impact? Scary times indeed. All the best and be safe and healthy. ~James

      • Yes, I feel very fortunate. I even think of all the families in our community that don’t have the means to stock up and the homeless. What a time. Take care and stay well. I’m glad our governor has been doing a terrifc job too.

    • Thanks for the comment and for dropping by the blog. This is a good thought, and hopefully, as more and more countries get their own internal problems sorted out, they can start looking to help others. All the best to you. Stay safe and be well. ~James

  14. We had to cancel our trip to the UK as well. We were going over to see our new granddaughter. Fortunately for us Icelandair offered a rebooking option with no penalties attached. We’ve rebooked for mid October and only paid $200. more for both of us. Our Airbnb accommodations were cancelled without a glitch and they hope we’ll rebook for October. The only problem I’ve had so far is with the hotel in Iceland. Hotels.com says the reservation is non-refundable. We’re hoping they will change their minds in the next few days. I do have travel insurance so I might be able to get some of my money back.

    • Carol, that’s good news on the flight rebooking, but not so good with Airbnb. I understand their normal non-refundable policy, but these are exceptional times and hopefully they will re-examine their policy. And even if they won’t, you should give them some grief and maybe yours will be one of the voices that forces them to reconsider. I can tell you that I gave LATAM an earful about the $1000 change fee we will have to pay. As I said to someone else, I don’t mind sharing my part of the financial loss, but I would hope that everyone remembers to share the pain and not heap it all on one side or the other. Good luck with your travel plans and stay safe and healthy. ~James

      • Thanks Terri but the Airbnb was great; it was the hotel in Iceland that is giving us grief. If Hotels.com can’t help us I will be giving them an earful in the coming days.

  15. So many friends have had to cancel their trips; many that were planned for over a long, long period of time. I’m sorry you have had to cancel yours too. I guess this is the one time my bad habit of procrastination has been of benefit to me and my husband. Although some trips were in the semi-planning stage, no reservations had been made.

    • Janis, we had procrastinated on this trip for years because we used to live in Sudan and knew that a return trip to Africa would take serious commitment. So we decided the time was right to take the plunge. Hmmmm. So much for timing. 🙂 I’m glad that your procrastination has paid off. So glad that you stopped by, Janis. All the best, Terri

  16. I’m so sorry for everyone who had to cancel a big trip they were really looking forward to, especially those who can’t get a refund. This virus has caused a lot of heartache (I know lots of young people who had to cancel their weddings, which at my age doesn’t seem like such a big deal, but I know it’s a huge deal to them), but we don’t really have a choice. This will all be over eventually, and I’m just hoping that most things can be rescheduled then!

    • You make a good point Ann. As this crisis continues, it’s going to get its tentacles into most aspects of our lives, day-to-day as well as special events. Very few of us have any experience with this sort of thing and it will be a test of resilience, and hopefully, a learning process. I suspect that after a few weeks of whinging, we’ll all adjust and move on as best we can. All the best to you and be well. ~James

  17. We cancelled our trip through the Panama Canal before it was cancelled. And we will likely miss or trip on the Rhine this summer. Fortunately we have a million acres of national forest out our back door. Makes social distancing easy. 🙂 And there are those photos of past journeys… Take care James and Terri. –Curt

    • Curt, we’re all going to be making adjustments in the coming weeks and months, and you have the right attitude. We joke about Social Distancing, but hiking and camping are great alternatives, especially when there aren’t other entertainment options. Since we aren’t going to S. Africa, I know we’ll be looking at getting out into the woods soon. All the best to you and Peggy and be well. ~James

      • Peggy and I love wandering the world, James. But as we have learned over and over, there is great beauty to be found in the wild lands of North America. Thanks. –Curt

  18. “For us, we had less concern about actually catching the virus than being caught unexpectedly in a lengthy quarantine.”

    Exactly! We had been talking about cancelling for several days, watching the news closely. When the virus presented in Spain (one of our planned destinations) and 1,000 guests were locked down in a hotel because one guest tested positive, we pulled the plug. We had non-refundable tickets on United, but they gave us a full refund. We were within the cancel time frame on our Airbnb, we just had to pay the fees, which was not a big deal. All of our other accommodations were booked with Booking.com, no prepayment and no cancellation fees. So, for cancelling 30 days of travel, we only paid the fees. Whew… We’ll rebook the trip hopefully, in the fall, but I think this crisis will last much longer than any of us realize.

    Take care and safe travels!

    • Thanks for the comment and for dropping by the blog. I’m pleased to hear that your cancellation worked out so well financially. There’s lots of financial pain to go around during the crisis, and it’s better to see it shared then heaped on one side or the other. Also, the hotel lockdown you discuss is new to me. I haven’t heard of this and would definitely NOT want to have this happen to me. We’re in the process of re-booking our S. Africa trip and are hoping to go in Sept/Oct, but who knows. All these travel hassles are a bummer, but I keep reminding myself that given everything else that’s going on, travel is a luxury that we’re going to have to sacrifice for a while. Best of luck rescheduling your trip and be well. ~James

  19. Great post, James and Terri. I know Lexie Klein was affected as well in the beginning stages of the virus as they cancelled their trip to SE Asia (and a visit to Ben and Peta).

    By now, most (potential) travelers have been impacted and canceled their trips, vacations, business trips (my brother from Belgium to Florida) and so on. Or had them canceled. I don’t even know whether I could go to Belgium right now if something were to happen to my family…

    You are right, basically everyone will feel impact of this pandemic – and I’m not even talking about the financial effect – except maybe people who live in the boonies and are self-sufficient and self-contained. Which we are in a way.

    Trouble is that we just wanted to do a normal stock-up – which we do every ten days or so – and couldn’t find some of the essentials, of which we barely need anything. Then, there’s the fact that we can’t store much in a 19ft camper anyway, so our shopping – other than the inconveniences – is going as normal as usual.

    The biggest change: all the campgrounds are closed or closing down. We’re used to boondocking (they have shut down some of those sites as well), but we wonder what all the snow birds will do?? Where are all the RVs in Florida going? Walmart parking lots? Last night, it was just us and another van, but who knows….

    • Liesbet, your news about campground closings was news to me, and a surprise, so I did a bit of research in our state. Kentucky SPs are open for business. They seem to have taken what I think is a reasonable approach. The restaurants are carryout only, group activities have been postponed or cancelled, but the campgrounds, trails, boat ramps, etc are open as normal. I’m not sure what’s the deal in your neck of the woods, but I guess it varies from state to state. KY doesn’t have a high number of cases and our governor has done an excellent job of keeping everyone informed … and most important … calm.

      As for international travel, I think it will be in a state of total chaos for the next 2-3 months, and maybe longer. We’re hoping to re-schedule our trip for Sept/Oct, but who knows.

      In the meantime, here in the US, it’s going to take a while for things to get even close to calm and organized. The way it’s being handled by our state government gives me hope that there are some rational people in control, and we’ll get through this. All the best and stay safe and healthy. ~James

  20. Pingback: Pandemic Postponement: Putting Travel Life On Hold — GALLIVANCE | Darling Talks

  21. Reblogged this on THE FLENSBURG FILES and commented:
    The Corona Virus has hit one aspect of life very hard- if not, the hardest- travel. Many of us love traveling, yet this virus has forced us to postpone or cancel trips indefinitely. Here are some things to be aware of when you are forced to make different plans …..

    • Thanks for the comment and for re-blogging our post. International travel will never be the same again, and travelers are going to have to re-evaluate how, and possibly where, we travel. All the best to you and be well. ~James

  22. It is such a shame that you guys had to cancel your wonderful plans to visit Africa and South America, and suffer financially for your wise decision. We returned from Chile on 19 March, after an expensive and disjointed set of “emergency flights”. With less than two days notice that Chile was closing its borders, we had to pull an all-nighter to book a next-day trip home that involved five connections and exorbitant fares. Now that we are home, we are trying to get refunds on the bookings made on the remaining two months of our planned trip. So far, Airbnb and other booking sites have been pretty understanding and accommodating. Take good care, Joe

    • Joe, I’m sorry you had to suffer through all the hassles, stress, and expense, but I’m sure you’re glad to be home. Your experience is exactly what we wanted to avoid, and while it was a bummer to cancel, we have no regrets. We’ve been caught in a couple of problem situations in the past, so we can relate to what you experienced. In these emergencies, individual rights and control go out the window, so it’s best to cut your losses. It truly is time to hunker down and hope the storm blows over, but we’re in uncharted territory, and unfortunately, it’s going to get worse before it gets better. I’m glad that you made it home and hope you can recover some bucks. All the best and be well. ~James

  23. Sorry you had to cancel your trip – that sounds like it would be amazing. But you made the right choice. We are all in this together. Take care!

    • Thanks Pam. It was a disappointment to have to cancel, but I’d rather be home complaining than to be stuck on the road wishing I could make it home. I’ll be curious how FL fares with all those senior citizens, and hope that there isn’t a nasty surprise in the coming weeks. Keeping the beaches open didn’t seem like the smartest thing to do, but we’ll see. Best of luck to you there and be well. ~James

      • Thanks James! The beaches are closed now (no parking), and people are taking it seriously. The vibe is calmer here than other places – we can still get what we need at the store (except for TP!).

  24. Strange times we live in. We were in Malaysia and had to cut short our time there. We got home by the skin of our teeth and are now in isolation for 14 days. Fortunately Air Canada did waive the change fees.
    So sorry about your cancelled trip to Brazil and South Africa 😦
    Stay safe and well.
    Alison

    • Sorry about the hassles Alison, but it’s great that you made it home. This pandemic is uncharted territory for everyone, but in the case of countrywide emergencies, individual rights go out the window. I understand, but it’s not something anyone wants to get caught in. As Dorothy said in the “Wizard of Oz,” there’s no place like home. All the best and stay well. ~James

  25. I live in Taiwan. I’m a teacher. I came home in late January to visit my family for Chinese New Year vacation. I was supposed to be home for two weeks, it has now been two months as I was told by my school that it’s best to return in August. I was devastated, but I’m doing my best to stay positive.

    • Thanks for the comment and for dropping by the blog. We’re so sorry to hear about your expected delay, and can’t imagine what a surprise and disappointment it must be. Sadly, there are stories like your all over the world, and unfortunately, there’s not much to be done. Your positive attitude will help. We wish you all the best in getting back to your normal job and schedule. ~James

  26. Hi James and Terri,

    Thank you for mentioning our blog in your post. Things have changed quite dramatically since we wrote this first response to Corona. Since then we have had to change our lives completely and our home base when borders back into Viet Nam closed to foreigners, while we were on a short trip to Sri Lanka (our prior home….)

    Interesting post with very good and helpful travel trips for the future. It baffles the mind to think about how the global airline industry, which is so critical to the transport of people and cargo, will get back up. There have been prior scares like SARS, that have affected some level of regional travel, but never has there ever been a near complete global shut down of the airline industry! When we get to the other side of Corona, which of course we will, there will be a graveyard of global airlines that were not able to weather the tempest.

    I hope your trip is merely postponed and not cancelled and that you will still get to my birth country of South Africa sometime soon. It is definitely worth the wait!!

    Be well and safe and healthy
    Peta & Ben

    • Wow! It sounds like you guys have really been hammered by changes and caught up in closures. The pandemic came on so quickly, which highlighted the lack of planning on everyone’s part, so governments (including the US) erred on the side of knee-jerks.

      I’ve had lots of mean microbes pass through my system in my years of travel, and over the years I developed an interest emergent diseases; so I’ve read expert predictions time and again that this type of global pandemic was inevitable. But even with this information, the speed with which the disease spread and the number of people infected is even more severe than I expected, and can hardly believe. But ultimately, I think that even the best prepared were surprised, and at this point all we can do is follow the guidelines and be happy that we’re in a safe place to ride out the storm. There’s no doubt that we’ll get through this, but there will be some pain, discomfort, and uncertainties until we do. Take care of yourselves, stay safe and healthy.

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