a "Gracht", waterway in Amsterdam
Lifestyle

Corona and Holidays- Where to Go?

After spending the winter and most of the spring in lockdown, we all would love to travel again, but there is still so much insecurity among the people. Corona and holidays- where to go? We tried twice to travel to my family in Germany. We couldn’t go because of the lockdown, but also because Germany didn’t want Dutch people to travel over their border due to the high numbers of infections in the Netherlands.

Now summer is coming, and the infections dropped down. People who registered with symptoms have been the vaccinated ones, according to many doctors’ observations. I believe that the summer is doing us a great favor, like we always experience with the common flu. However, going into the colder season might bring more infections, but luckily still some hopefully sunny months to go. 🙂

Why Not Travel In Our Country?

I must say that I actually would love that because I don’t know all of the Netherlands. My husband loves to travel to Germany or another European country because he thinks the Netherlands is not interesting enough. I think it is unfair to say this because the Netherlands is a wonderful and unique country. There is so much variety in the Netherlands, and because I  am born close to the sea, I would love to spend my holidays this year at the coastline. The only problem could be the Dutch weather, which is often quite cold and rainy, even in summer.

Corona and holidays- Where to go?
Michelle Henderson, Unsplash

However, why not spending holidays in our own country? Wherever you are living, I am convinced you don’t know your country very well. In the last decades, most of us wanted to fly or travel far away, discovering a new place, a new landscape, hearing another language. It has become an addiction for many people to travel and get to know other cities and people, including me. I have to admit that I have traveled a lot in my younger years, and lived and worked in other countries, and I love it very much, especially if cities and people do not overcrowd my favored country.

If I think about the boom of tourism in the last decades, traveling by car or plane has left huge pollution on this planet, and I think it is not bad that we are forced to find other ways to travel. The situation we know can’t keep going on like that; we have to overthink our travel behavior. Using the plane to spend one or two weeks several times per year is not healthy for the earth and us. Many of us are filling an empty hole in our hearts and minds; I even believe that there are many of us not enjoying our holidays but consuming, as we do with nearly everything.

a city next to water in the Netherlands
Mel_88, pixabays

An Irish friend of mine went on a boat accompanied by her family along the Shannon, a river in Ireland, for holidays. And I admit, if you live in another country it sounds great to book such a holiday on a boat. But you could do this in your country, sailing or traveling by boat along a river. Here in the Netherlands are many rivers and a lot of water, so I think this is a great idea to spend my holidays in this manner.

We can choose different options, even with a captain on board, if we do not have permission to drive the boat ourselves. I believe most of us have not an allowance for driving a boat. If you don’t like to be on the water, you could just rent a boat that lies in the harbor, using it as a special house. There is a saying in Germany; the grass seems greener in another place if you understand what I mean.

These days there are many of us already vaccinated and able to travel, but hold on a minute, do you really want to go back to your former travel behavior? I don’t want to go back! For us and our environment, it is vital to living sustainably, traveling included.:)

Renting a House

I don’t know your country, but Airbnb is everywhere. We have many recreational parks all over the country where people rent a house and stay for one or two weeks, but I also will recommend  Airbnb, which we used a lot in the last few years, and we always had a great experience.

a tiny house on a recreational park
Aysegul Yahsi, Unsplash

It is quite expensive for a family in the Netherlands to rent a house because the Dutch people increase their rent due to the enormous loss of income they suffered last year. I think they do a bad job, increasing their rent. There would be more people renting a house if the prices would be normal, but many families lost a part of their income due to the virus. How will they be able to afford expensive holidays? I am sure they can’t.

And finally, the people are not guilty of the restrictions; no, I am sure most of them have suffered a loss of income.

Why do they have to pay always the price?

In restaurants, the prices went up, and that is not a good development; more people will not be able to afford these prices, and finally not have dinner outdoors, surely not a good development for the economy. I don’t mind, because we have started due to the restrictions having a coffee or wine to go, and just sitting somewhere along the river Ijssel, a most beautiful moment. There are so many other opportunities to enjoy ourselves.:)

However, renting a house is a great idea to be away from your own four walls and recover and renew your energy while staying in a different environment. We have the Islands here in the Northern Sea, and they are beautiful to discover. It is for sure a beautiful experience to rent a house on an island and spend some time at the beach or cycling. It is also sportive! Something our bodies will be thanking us! 😉

For example, if you live in Poland, you have so many great places to spend your holidays, like the Masuren, a huge conservatory park close to the Russian border and the Baltic countries. We all have enough possibilities to create recreational time during our holidays, but maybe in a sustainable, responsible, beautiful way, recovering, recharging, and renewing our energies.

Traveling in Europe

Traveling in Europe might not be an option for us; if we are not vaccinated, we might have to stay in our country. But if the politicians decide to open the borders, I mean in summer it would be no danger if we travel to other European countries. I have no idea how it is in Canada or Northern America, South America, Africa, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. All of you have beautiful countries on these amazing continents, for sure an option, to travel and spend holidays in a neighbor country. We actually hope to visit friends in Germany and Chechia, but we don’t know yet. Our holidays will be at the end of August/ beginning September, so we don’t know what will be happening by then. Everything is an open option at the moment.

Lissabon in Portugal
Liam Mc Kay, Unsplash

If we are allowed to travel, we might be visiting our friends, and travel further to Portugal by train or car. We haven’t seen our friends for more than a year, so it would be lovely to get together, getting to know how they are honestly feeling, and to see them, meeting, laughing, and have fun.

I would love to see my mother and brothers, but it is impossible since one brother works abroad. I haven’t seen him for years, and it tears my heart. There are so many people having partners working abroad and family they haven’t seen for so long. A difficult emotional situation that asks a lot of us.

If you have any idea of how we can spend our holidays in these difficult times, please, let us know!:) How do you feel? Do you experience the distance to your family as painful? We would like to know how you are.

Take the Train

Traveling by train is a great opportunity to observe the landscape while sitting relaxed and having a coffee. We have been thinking of traveling to France, and take the Lissabon Night Train to Lissabon, a beautiful experience, I have read. We already have this in our mind for years, booking the train, taking an Airbnb in Lissabon, and Porto, using the train to get around. I think this is a lovely relaxing adventure! If you love cycling, you can take it with you on the train and cycle in the country.

a monk walking
Josealbafotos, Pixabays

I know people right now who do the pilgrim walk from South-France to Spain, Santiago de la Compostela, a beautiful historic city and monastery where people in former centuries have done a pilgrim walk. Nowadays, people love to walk this path again. I think it is such a great sustainable and meditative way of traveling, and certainly, you will be replenished and restored, but also fit from walking when you go back to work.

However, you need to train your muscles before the journey starts, very essential; otherwise, you might need to take the ambulance back home. No, just kidding.

There are many possibilities of taking the train, your backpack and spend your holidays, walking. Most times, the countries have enough youth hostels and backpacker’s homes where you can rest and take a shower.

Scotland is also a beautiful country to walk, especially the Highlands. Back to Nature, and walking makes it perfect, especially in summer. I believe we can walk in every country; they are all beautiful. However, in the Northern countries, it will rain more often in summer; meanwhile, the Southern countries of Europe could be quite hot. Carrying enough water with you is an essential and vital point. I prefer cooler temperatures while I walk.

Spending holidays on a boat is also something beautiful you can do in nearly all countries in Europe. How relaxing will this be? You could join small groups, especially if you are single, but also as a couple, and you might never know, maybe you will develop beautiful friendships with people you can maintain throughout the year.

Camping Near the Beach

How does this sound? For me, it sounds great! Staying close to the sea, and spending holidays, just being at the beach, swimming, walking, all day in Nature. You don’t need to stay in a tent, there are other possibilities, like a hut, or a caravan, the most important idea is to be outdoors the most time of your holidays, to reset your senses, and recharging your energy, the way we did in our youth. Can you remember how beautiful the time of sitting around a fire with others, one boy playing guitar? Oh, I loved that so much!

a group of people around a fire, camping
Tega Mierle, Unsplash

How could it be that we lost the simplicity of our life? I have been content with so little, and I have been happy; just the more social contact, the better, no isolation. Some so many people don’t know anymore how to socialize, that is sad. In these years, spending time outdoors with others was the most beautiful experience always.

Where is our social contact nowadays? Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram? How poor are we today?

However, we can always stop, rethink and return! It is never too late! And for sure this will be the best holiday in years. Camping is so relaxing and recharging. If we have to go into the next lockdown this coming winter, nobody can take the beautiful holiday from us; the memory will stay with us.

Final Thought

This summer might be different than in other years. Maybe we are not allowed to spend our holidays traveling far away, by taking the plane, maybe we need to stay in our own countries. However, if we can travel over the borders, we have several possibilities to create a beautifully relaxing and recharging holiday. Taking the train or bicycle, or boat will already change our holiday into a beautiful experience. We could rent a house, or a caravan or use a tent, doing camping close to the beach. But, even spending our holidays in our own country could be a wonderfully refreshing experience.  There are enough ideas to have the most exciting and lovely holidays ever. It is up to us what we love to do.

Do you have any idea how to spend your well-deserved holidays this year? Maybe you have another great idea and would like to share it with us. We would love to hear your comment!

All the Best,

Sylvie

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