Greetings from Thailand!
I'm pleased to report that I made it all the way from Toronto back to Thailand in one piece and with a negative PCR test to boot. I took the 'long way around' this time, going through Frankfurt rather than over the Pacific.
The journey was actually pretty smooth, and by and large there were a lot of people travelling, particularly in Frankfurt and Toronto. No SunWing part events on any planes I was on, however - people were respectful, all rules were abided by, and I felt quite safe and confident in spite of the impending doom the television would have us all believe these days.
There's no question deciding to travel now carries a lot of personal responsibility and some risk at the moment. And I also massively empathize with the emotional rollercoaster of wanting to travel and trying to figure out how to navigate all the added complexity, to say nothing of the body blows that seem to keep coming just as we think we've turned a corner.
I've received a number of emails and communications from travellers upset and angry with the situation and let-down after let-down, and all I can say is I truly feel your pain. I wish I could offer more than just encouraging words in this newsletter, but for the time being that's all I've got.
I can't speak for everyone of course but it seems to me that although we are in the midst of the worst spike of cases yet globally-speaking, people's willingness to let their lives be derailed by the pandemic is nearly over. Most of us have done all that has been asked of us, are double-vaccinated, and are looking at a risk equation that increasingly similar whether you stay at home or go somewhere else.
All this really means is something I've emphasized several times already - if you're thinking about travel now, you need to feel comfortable about your decision to travel. You can most certainly look to others for advice and guidance, but at the end of the day it will come down to your comfort level. There's no point giving yourself tons of stress and anxiety, and there's no shame in feeling not ready while others around you choose otherwise.
I totally get that it's one of those feelings that seems unfair, for lack of a better word, but blanket bans and decisions for everyone seem to be going out the window, and the next phase looks like it's one where you'll be able to do more things according to your risk tolerance and willingness to travel.
As for our end of things, we are not here to take your money - we are here to deliver you a great travel experience, and for now our trips that are a go, remain a go. It's extraordinarily difficult to set things up in the current climate and manage all the contractual obligations that go into trips, to say nothing of carrying a commitment for quality and keeping people safe, but we are doing our best and will continue to do so.
Anything can happen of course and for all of our trips we will continue to monitor all the information before we make any decisions; you will most certainly be notified should anything important need to be communicated.
Thanks for your patience, your understanding, your indulgence, and your feedback. My wellspring of optimism continues to flow abundantly, and I am not even close to giving up the vision that inspired me to start this community in the first place. Stay positive and hold on to the light regardless of what the situation appears to be - we won't be held back forever.