Saturday, 31 October 2020

Travel in the new normal

 During lockdown, sometimes we would play the real estate game, or the holiday rental game and look at properties for sale or for short term lease overseas, purely for fun.

Occasionally we would stumble across a house we could imagine living in - for example we found a nicely renovated mid terrace house in Queen Victoria Street in York, that had we still been living in England we might have downsized to.

But of course it's a fantasy. I guess, like all retired migrant couples, we sometimes imagine relocating overseas, perhaps back to the UK, or to somewhere where it's warmer and cheaper to live, such as Sri Lanka.

However, we never seriously investigated any of the possible moves, and given the last few months, we're rather glad we didn't.

What we did have was a plan to rent a house, or series of holiday rentals in Scotland or northern England one northern summer and cross off our bucket list of museums and historic sights. For years we kept a bank account in the UK to facilitate this.

Not any more. A week ago we decided to close the account. We've tacitly accepted it's probably not going to happen.

Overseas travel from Australia to elsewhere is off the cards to at least mid 2021 at the earliest, perhaps longer, depending on whether there is an effective vaccine, and how long it takes individual countries to get covid under control. So I rather suspect it will be 2022, or even 2023, until long haul air travel is back, and is affordable.

And of course we'll be three years older, three years stiffer despite the yoga we've been doing when we couldn't exercise and probably three years less patient with the joys of sardine class.

There was actually a time when I almost enjoyed long haul economy - the anticipation of the trip at the end offset the unpleasantness of the journey, and if you chose a decent airline it wasn't that unpleasant - just supremely boring.

One day we hope to be able to travel overseas again, but exactly how and under what circumstances remains to be seen ...

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