Last July, my daughter and I went on vacation together for two weeks. It was quite hot and I regretted not booking an accommodation with airconditioning. I had thought that the heat would not be as bad as that of Africa, where I live. I was wrong. The heat almost took the joy out of the entire vacation, but we managed as best we could.

This year, we had planned to combine a destination wedding trip with our vacation. Alas, the wedding was postponed a few weeks back, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although some European countries are opening up for air travel now, a vacation seems impossible. Where do we go? Where is a safe destination now? Would it still make sense if we have to self-quarantine for two weeks on arrival at our destination and then come back to another two weeks quarantine at home? How much would it cost to travel now?

Considering that airlines might have to follow the rules of social distancing, how would that affect the ticket prices? Would it be safe to sit in an aircraft for long hours with stale air circulating? What is the risk of infection? Would we feel safe enough to go touring and shopping, sitting on trains, buses and taxis? What about the risk of staying in an hotel room that may not have been disinfected?

The more I think about it, the more I feel vacationing outside the country might not be a wise decision this year. In fact, travelling anywhere within the country might not be safe either. We might just have to catch up on some virtual tourism. Or stay home and watch movies, or catch a new hobby.

In this ‘new normal’, travelling has to be a very deliberate and calculated process where all things are considered before embarking on the journey. It will be one of the things we miss, but hopefully, it will only be temporary.

As this year unfolds, we will continue to make the best of every situation and embrace the lessons that God is teaching us through it all. In everything, we will give thanks, because this is the will of God for us. After all, it is the living that go on vacation. The dead cannot. As long as we have life, we will live to go other vacations and we can also recall previous vacations with joy and gratitude.

What are you doing this summer?