Of some things, we can not be sure. In a blog at the beginning of the Covid-19 Pandemic, I wrote that travel may be delayed for the short-term, perhaps 8 weeks! Looking back, that was clearly optimistic and naive. But I did wisely recommend that folks could still enjoy non-social travel such as hiking, driving tours, virtual tours online, and reading.
This week, we were to embark on an expedition to the Arctic. However, Norway and Greenland closed their countries to travel, so we had to cancel. Last year, we had to cancel a trip along the Northeast Passage above Siberia because Russia and Alaska closed due to the pandemic. Undaunted, we have signed on for an Arctic Expedition in the Summer of 2022 that will go from Greenland to Alaska along the Northwest Passage through Canada. Hopefully the third time's a charm. Besides the arctic cancellations, we've had to cancel trips to Egypt, Israel, and Jordan two years in a row. But it's not just international travel. We have had to cancel a small group tour of Yellowstone in Winter, and personal RV trips to California, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico because of covid-related state closures.
The outlook for international travel remains bleak. I suspect that the paucity of worldwide vaccinations against COVID-19, the development of more infectious variants of covid, the capriciousness of state and national travel restrictions, and the failure to create international standards will alter who and where travel will occur for at least several years. Even those with exceptional resources may not travel at will. Certainly the experiences will not be as they were because of the recognition and need for more restrictive public health safety measures. Globe-trotting will never be as it was.
Sadly, the ancient phrase "time and tide wait for no man" reminds us that no one can stop the passage of time. This past year and a half has been a loss of time for travel. Lost time is never found again. Worse, seniors and others continue to race against time as our years are clearly numbered. Global warming is clearly altering our planet and is another force that will alter travel and its associated experiences.
Although my Buddy the Globetrotter series is fictional, it does bring the real world to those who can not travel. Let's hope that generations hence will not be limited to reading about the world and how it once was. We do have the capability of stemming global warming and containing pandemics. We just need the will to trust in our science and act.
Our hope to see the Arctic, an ocean of ice sculptures and the diversity of wildlife it contains, is a race against time. Of that, I am sure.