By Karlie Marrazzo
The world has changed completely over the last six months, and travel as we know it will likely never go back to the way it was before the COVID-19 pandemic. Like millions of other avid travellers, I had a trip planned before the pandemic broke out – a trip to Italy scheduled for April – and had to cancel. Of course, this is a minuscule problem compared to those whose health and livelihoods have been impacted by COVID. As someone who suffers from anxiety on a day-to-day basis, the outbreak of the pandemic made these anxieties skyrocket and added a large dose of paranoia as well. It has been a struggle for me to think about the huge and rippling impacts COVID will continue to have on the world, the fear of getting sick looming in my mind every day. Everything locked down seemingly overnight in Canada, on a dreary weekend in mid-March. I had been reading the news from China and Italy for weeks already and dreaded the day the virus would hit closer to home. It came as no surprise to me, and when Air Canada cancelled my flights to Italy, it became all the more real.
Alas, this is a travel blog, so this post will be focusing on my first mini-trip out of town since the pandemic hit. Opening up to the idea of going out of town for a day trip or a short weekend trip was not something that happened quickly or an idea that I approached lightly. I have been very serious about isolating myself over the past four months, only seeing a very limited number of people and making essential trips to stores, so taking the step of spending two nights in a hotel, while it seems insignificant and unimportant, was a big one to me.