By Jane Marshall

seejanewrite.ca

 

The Campers Village family is an assortment of hikers, backpackers, climbers, family campers, and of course, travellers. Our passion for this lifestyle is in our DNA. It’s not something we can deny; it’s something that defines us.

 

Yet COVID-19 has changed so much.

Many of us have had to cancel bucket list trips like trekking in Peru or visiting the Galapagos Islands. We’ve had to scrap cross-country family road trips. Places we’d dreamed of reaching are now sadly out of reach. These kinds of restrictions were beyond our imagination, but now, they are feeling extremely real.

So where does that leave us?

 

Grief, and What to Do About It

It may seem like an overstatement to call the emotions connected to lost trips and plans ‘grief.’ But as therapist Lori Gottlieb explains in the New York Times, “As a therapist, I always say that there’s no hierarchy of pain — pain is pain. Suffering shouldn’t be ranked, because pain is not a contest.” She tells us that it’s ok to feel the sadness of not being able to go to prom. Or get a haircut. Or travel.

You can read the full article here:

Grieving the Losses of Coronavirus, New York Times

 

Moving On and Making Plans

After you’ve allowed yourself to sit with the sadness, you may feel ready to look ahead. While making plans can feel like dangerous game of hope during the pandemic, we can start small.

 

Close to Home

Alberta Parks is now allowing camping and backcountry pursuits. Why not plan a socially distanced hike or backpacking trip with friends or another family? You can take precautions like:

  • Sleeping in separate tents
  • Cooking separately
  • Maintaining the 2 m rule
  • Practicing good hygiene

Check out their Response to Covid page for updates.

 

Travel Now…Virtually!

Parks Canada began a gradual re-opening of SOME outdoor areas on Monday, June 1.

Check out their website for openings and precautions:

Parks Canada Coronavirus Information

 

And while many Canadians are still staying close at home physically, it doesn’t mean you have to mentally. Have you heard of the Parks Canada and Google Street View Project? It’s a partnership that aims to bring our country’s natural wonders to your fingertips and screens.

“Street View allows users to explore the wilderness of one of Canada’s national parks…all from the comfort of their home, or while on the go. All you need is a computer, mobile phone or tablet, and an Internet connection. It’s a great way to start dreaming about your next trip!”

— Parks Canada Website

Get 3D views of glaciers and Pacific islands! Don’t know where to start? Parks Canada has galleries to get you inspired:

  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • Rocky Mountain Parks
  • Perfect Places to Watch Wildlife

Check them out HERE: Parks Canada Street View Places

 

Dream of the Future

Okay, so international travel is still a no-go. But that doesn’t stop us from planning. Trip planning is an extension of the adventure itself.

  • Use Google Earth to explore routes and add side-trips you maybe never had time to imagine before
  • Read travel literature about the places that inspire you
  • Make packing lists and source out the best gear for your journey
    • Remember to stay flexible in case restrictions change
  • Contact travel agencies and insurance companies to fully understand cancellation rules and policy exclusions around COVID

 

Reflect on the Past

If it seems daunting to plan, looking back can be really nice.

  • Pull out old travel journals and relive special places
  • Go through old media (remember those old memory cards?)
  • Organize photos on your computer and even edit them down so they are more manageable (perhaps 1,000 photos of Prague is a little excessive)
  • Email past travel buddies and reminisce through Zoom
    • Try cooking a dish from the place you visited and ‘eat’ together online
  • Reach out to past guides and thank them

 

We’ll get through this and in the meantime, we can hone our travel plans and dream as big as our minds and the Internet allow! (That’s big.)