While on Pause…
While on Pause,,,
As the world pauses, everyday I hear from one or more of my family of travellers. I so appreciate you keeping in touch.
Many of you have emailed me your favourite travel pictures. Those shots have brought back awesome memories so “thank you”.
I’ve heard some of you are missing my blog posts so I’ll gladly continue to write at times during this “no travel” period.
I was joking with a good friend by telling her that due to COVID-19, I feel like I’ve been forced into early retirement but she quickly corrected me and said I’m on sabbatical!
The last tour group I hosted returned to Toronto from Dubai on March 9th. That was an AWESOME journey but I was relieved when we returned back to Canada because the world was just starting to shut down.
Part way during the journey my passengers and I toured the spectacular city of Abu Dhabi and we noticed nothing unusual. I even nabbed a, “Tim Hortons” grand opening invite for all of us which was great fun.
The next day was a free one. I hired a private driver so I could inspect some ultra-deluxe hotels and attractions. Surprisingly overnight Abu Dhabi had literally turned into a ghost town. I asked my driver what was going on and he explained that Covid-19 news was starting to make the front page headlines and even though it wasn’t mandated, the scary reports frazzled the locals so much they were staying at home. The highways were almost void of cars. In order to detect body temperature, thermal imagining devices suddenly appeared in the posh hotels and attraction entrances. It was eerie walking through the massive Marina Shopping Mall because there was next to no shoppers. I literally had the place to myself.
When my group arrived back in Dubai I once again met with some hotel sales people and they were concerned as travel groups and convention attendees were cancelling their travels last minute. Hotel occupancies which should have been near 100 percent were all of a sudden looking grim. The yearly Dubai “Pepsi” convention which draws worldwide delegates was abruptly called off that day which was the day before it was to start.
Our Emirates flight from Dubai to Toronto was scheduled to take-off just after 3am so we departed by motor coach for the airport around midnight. After we arrived at the airport I learned that the Dubai cruise port had just been shut down. We were getting out of the UAE in the nick of time. We were mysteriously moved from one check-in line to another. I could tell the airport workers were starting to get anxious about the unsettling Covid-19 news. Extra check-in security measures for foreigners were now in place. I didn’t relax until our plane was in the air. I then knew I was going to get my passengers back to Canada!
Soon after we arrived on Canada soil, Prime Minister Trudeau told travelling Canadians it was time to get home. Some took that request seriously while others ignored him. That was almost 7 weeks ago. When we returned to Canada, it wasn’t mandatory to self-isolate for 14 days but I along with my passengers decided to protect others by staying home.
Like almost everyone I’m not thrilled with the current situation but I’ve accepted that home is the safest place to be right now. I have no problem keeping busy so the weeks fly by.
I continue to “fine tune” my cooking skills! I make a point to eat very healthy. Everyday I enjoy a homemade bowl of soup. I can’t get over how much olive oil I’ve gone through! I typically purchase olive oil from small farm producers when I travel to Greece, Portugal and Italy but my stock-pile of that high quality product, is already running pretty low. Every once in a while for a treat, I devour a bowl of Indiana Amish grown popcorn which I top with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and black pepper – be sure to try that combo but in order to avoid a mess this concoction needs to be eaten with a spoon.
The entire Walters Family has taken the “stay at home” mandate very seriously. None of us are even entering a grocery store, We order on-line only what we really need and then take advantage of curb-side pickup.
None of us could have possibly predicted that life could change so drastically in a matter of a few weeks but we must do whatever it takes to keep everyone healthy and get through this.
My entertainment and travel careers have obviously been hit with a double whammy. It’s very stressful but I realize there is value in every one of life’s situations. I can always find the positive if I look hard enough so I’m not letting this valuable time go to waste. I continue to make great plans for the future.
Everyday while working from home I create memorable travel experiences for the ”Travel With Bradley” family but I won’t be releasing any of these new, exciting itineraries until it’s once again safe to travel.
How are you?
I miss the “Travel With Bradley” family very much.
You may have heard that folks are using ZOOM so they can chat as a “group” on-line. I thought it would be fun for some of us to try this out. I’ll share a few stories plus you can chat with your fellow travelers. In the future I could possibly arrange for special guests to join us. Email me a message if you’d like an invite – email@example.com and I’ll announce a date and time.
Over the years many of you have suggested that I should write a book but there never seems to be the time. I can’t use that excuse now so I’ve started writing it.
Most importantly I want you and your family to be well so take care of yourself and don’t venture out unless absolutely necessary.
Cheers from my home to yours!