Alright friends. It is well and truly 2021 and finally 2020 can be considered a thing of the past. Done and dusted. Put to bed. Unfortunately Covid-19 is still very real and I suspect that we will all be feeling the implications for a while to come. The restrictions in Canada vary by province, and for a big city I know we have it comparatively easy here in Vancouver. British Columbia has been experiencing quite severe social restrictions since last November (i.e. no indoor socialising with anybody you don’t already live with) but businesses have been able to stay open. For me personally, these provincial guidelines have resulted in a fair bit of eating out, a decent amount of skiing, and a lot of time spent with just Andy! Non-essential travel is also frowned upon at the moment, so local mountains are really the only option for skiing (fortunately, Whistler is generally considered a local mountain, so the skiing has actually been pretty world class). There is hope that with spring, the vaccine and slowly lowering case numbers, we may have a little bit more freedom come March.
Andy and I have now been in Canada for over a year, which means we are over halfway through our visas. It is incredible how quickly time has flown since we arrived here and I am worried for how fast the next ten months will pass. We have just said goodbye to two of our best friends here, Lucy and Guy, who have shifted back to Perth. We are looking forward to summer and all of the hiking and camping we are going to do, but at the same time I don’t want winter and the skiing opportunities to end. I will never take for granted the ability to finish work and be on the slopes less than hour later. As much as I can’t wait to get back to New Zealand, I am dreading the day we have to leave our beautiful neighbourhood and the city we’ve come to know so well. We have had such a wonderful time here so far, so I can only imagine how great it would have been in a non-Covid world. I for one, will not be wishing any time past this year!
The point of my post is this: a long time ago I accepted that international travel is going to be severely hindered for some time. I have always got the most enjoyment on my blog when I am writing about travel. In 2020 I convinced Andy to partake in the ‘Recollection Diaries’: basically a series of nostalgic posts about our memories from 2019 – the year we literally traveled the world. I often think to myself how lucky we are to have done that when we did! In 2021 my focus is going to shift to local travel. As many of you know, I have recently acquired a camera and have been dabbling in photography in the last few months. I hope to transition my Instagram account (find me @travelwithsmudge) into a feed of local delights, showing off what British Columbia has to offer. This will help ensure I make the most of my remaining time here, it will give me something wonderful to look back on in years to come, and for now it means I can share with my friends and family back home (and elsewhere) the local delights that I may now never get to show them in person. Watch this space!