Since the pandemic started, I have not traveled outside Canada. I guess it was the norm for quite some time. Surprisingly, restrictions started to ease up around the Summer/Fall of 2021, and luckily one of my best friends and I were able to find time to travel.
I seriously forgot the feeling of being in an airport- the loud noises of people who speak different languages, the smell of a cabin, and the smallest routine I used to know about traveling were everything but a memory. I forgot to place a luggage tag on my luggage! I even forgot that I have to check in advance and was wondering why I didn’t have the ticket in my apple wallet. It was so funny that the thing I loved the most, was suddenly a new thing to me.
We went to New York City.
It is not my favorite city, I went there before and did not like it much.
However this time around, it brought me to a new level of experience. We lived like a tourist and enjoyed every bit of it.
As expected NYC was not as busy as it used to be. There were still lots of crowds, and it is still a melting pot of people, but that was the life I missed so bad- the jungle, the noise, the energy, the life.
As a Canadian, traveling to the USA was a little easier. They only required Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) which was needed 48 hours before the flight. Returning back to Canada was the scariest. NYC was a city of the free. The last thing we were afraid to take as a souvenir was the virus. Lol. Also, getting tested in NYC was so easy, testing sites are literally everywhere in Times Square! And the catch is, it is FREE! They do PCR-RT and RAT swabs all for free! How awesome was that? It was a nerve-wracking experience though to wait for 24 hours to get the results back. The thought of getting stuck in a hotel in an expensive city like New York drove me nuts. Thankfully, our swabs came back negative and we were able to come back to Canada.
Looking back, those moments made traveling really worthwhile; the adrenaline, the fear, the moments that we easily take for granted.
As I write this blog, Omicron cases are through the roof and provinces in Canada are on a locked down, and I also just recovered from another COVID virus. I’m just grateful to experience a glimpse of normalcy again that fall of 2021. I hope it doesn’t last long for us to experience life and traveling again.