On March 1, 2020, Michel Gendron, 61, was returning from Spain when everything came crashing down: the pandemic, the restrictions and the travel ban.
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"I'm a good traveler," he said. I have traveled to thirty different countries around the world. I have been doing about four trips a year for the past twenty years. During the pandemic, I had no choice but to completely put that aside.”
In a relationship for more than 20 years, it is his spouse – who knows him very well – who felt a lull and an opening last November for his better half to resume the trips that make him so happy.
“I felt ready, says the one who had already been used to working remotely for ten years. Because risks, I believe, there will always be some, there will never again be conditions like before. All I was waiting for was for the federal government to change levels and for tourism travel to be possible again.”
Equipped with good travel insurance which helps to reassure him in the event of any Covid problems or illness, the teacher first flew to the south of Spain; a place he describes as “from his Florida, where he likes to go to cut off the winter”.
A first trip
This first post-pandemic trip came with a few additional stressors: the mask to be worn throughout the flight, the PCR test ($160) on the way back, and the positive test scenarios worked out in the head of the one who admits to having always been a little hypochondriac. The happiness of planning a trip again and going back to discover the world, however, prevailed over everything else.
“It takes me my 3-4 trips a year, continues the rather solitary traveler. I have the sting and then I have the health, the time, the money and the energy. This first trip opened doors that were closed for me. Seeing that things are going well allows me to say: yes, here we go again, even if there will always be uncertainty regarding travel.”
If it is made on his third trip since the lull in the pandemic, Michel Gendron takes care to select destinations where the weather is nice and warm and where the majority of activities take place outside. Thus, he does not associate with anyone inside and wears the mask in closed businesses such as grocery stores.
His ecological conscience pushes him to buy trees that are planted in specific places when he travels; for his last trip to Greece, for example, he bought ten trees from Compensation CO2 Québec.
“Travelling has always made me happy, confides the man who has built a calendar in which he writes down all his dream destinations. I often tell my friends that we are at a doctor's appointment to find out that we have something. I felt the urge to travel, I couldn't wait until there was zero COVID in the world to travel. I'm always going to be reasonable, but that doesn't stop me from planning."