If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know we just got back from a short little vacay to the 1000 Islands and Sandbanks Provincial Park in Southern Ontario. We had originally planned a resort vacation to Mexico in March, but you know, a global pandemic happened and we ended up cancelling it three days before we were set to leave. Sure, we all had lots of important things on our mind since, but my travel feet have been itchy ever since.
Some people might be against the idea of travelling or leaving their homes at all during a pandemic, but let me lay out my reasoning for why I thought it was okay for us to travel with our baby.
The pandemic barely affected me emotionally, mentally or physically. I was already working from home, so that part didn’t change. I was already a homebody, so that part didn’t change. We have a fairly decent-sized house with a nice backyard, so I rarely felt “trapped” or anything like that. My husband started working from home also, but we each had our own space. I had my office on the second floor and he worked in the basement. In fact, it actually worked out better for me, because he could help with our toddler more than when he worked outside of the house.
And with spring and summer rolling around, we had lots of opportunities to go for walks, or go to the park/playground. We spent a lot of time outdoors, which helped with the feeling of being cooped up at home.
But around month four of basically everyday life shutting down, it was starting to get to me. We would have social distancing get-togethers outside with friends every once in a while, but I didn’t realize how much I missed being around other people besides my husband and my baby. Or going to restaurants. Or even popping into Michaels for fuzzy craft balls! (Kyler was not comfortable with taking Theo indoors anywhere and I was basically on-call for all his naps, so I couldn’t leave the house while he was asleep).
Basically, the fact that we had a baby, and my husband had extreme anxiety about the pandemic, made it even more impossible to go anywhere or do anything that resembled “normal life.” What can I say? It was finally starting to take a toll on me emotionally.
So in July, I was adamant that I could find a little road trip vacation for us to go on that Kyler would find acceptable for his anxiety and that could satisfy my very, very low bar for vacation for at least the year. I settled on the 1000 Islands and Sandbanks Provincial Park in southern Ontario, a simple 3-4 hour drive from Montreal.
It being a road trip, there was no need for public transportation or airports/airplanes. And I managed to find some very nice accommodation that were basically self-service, requiring no contact with staff or any other guests. We had our own private entrances and everything. We brought everything we needed with us and only had to make one quick run to the grocery store that whole week. And of course, we wore masks everywhere indoors and followed all the government/company guidelines we came across.
It felt pretty easy to be safe the whole time, considering nearly every activity we did was outdoors. We even managed to eat in a couple of restaurants that had nice patios. We did one tour of the pump house museum in Kingston, but they only offered private tours, so it was just us three and the tour guide in the museum the whole time, and all the adults wore masks. Some boat tours of the 1000 Islands were still operating under reduced capacity, so we decided to take one. Everyone wore masks the whole time, and all three decks had fresh air coming through, so it felt quite safe as well.
And Theo loved it! He had new doors to open and close…Just being in a different house for a few days kept him very busy and contented! And of course he loved the beach, what with all the splashing in the water and eating sand.
All in all, it’s not exactly my ideal kind of vacation, certainly. I prefer going to more different, far-away places when I travel. But considering we are in the midst of a pandemic, it was a great little getaway that satisfied my itchy feet for the time being! Sometimes, it’s just nice to be some place different for a while. And I feel like we were able to remain safe, and also make sure the people and communities we were going to stayed safe from us as well.
A big caveat I want to end with is that I feel like Canada flattened the curve to a level that I, personally, was satisfied with this summer, enough that I felt it wasn’t too unsafe to travel somewhat locally.
None of the provinces had more than 200 new cases daily, up until recently, and Quebec has only recently surpassed 200 new cases in one day, but they tested over 20,000 people in order to find those 200. That is a rate I am comfortable with considering the need to balance “going back to normal life” with keeping yourself, your family and everyone else, as safe as possible. As long as we wear our masks, wash our hands, and “go back to normal” in as safe a way as possible, I think getting through the ongoing pandemic in whatever way you need to, to maintain good emotional and mental health is just fine.
I’m sure some of you find travelling during a pandemic to be somewhat controversial or frivolous, so if you have some thoughts about our trip, please share them (respectfully) in the comments! I hope you and your loved ones are doing okay out there!