Column: Ready for my first international trip in the age of COVID


Eight months after our wedding, my wife and I finally decided to book our honeymoon recently, and even though the trip is still over three months away, we’re already super excited.

Eight months after our wedding, my wife and I finally decided to book our honeymoon recently, and even though the trip is still four months away, we are already super excited.

In mid-July we will embark on a 12-day trip to Spain, with an itinerary that includes a few days each in Barcelona, ​​Valencia and Madrid. The timing should be perfect, as our vacation will coincide with our first anniversary. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate this milestone.

Spain is one of the first countries on my wife’s wish list. We both speak Spanish – not fluently but quite well – and look forward to testing our language skills on a daily basis. We are already watching many Spanish movies and TV shows on Netflix in the works.

Although this is my wife’s first trip to Spain, I’ve been there once. In the summer of 2009, I had the privilege of going to Spain for a football camp at the CF Real Madrid training ground in Valdebebas. While in the Spanish capital, I was able to watch two Read Madrid games, one of which even included footballing legend Cristiano Ronaldo’s first official goal for the club. I didn’t recognize it at the time, but I now realize how special it was to witness that goal, given the incredible trajectory of Ronaldo’s career in the years that followed.

That 2009 trip was great, but the football-centric nature, coupled with my young age at the time – I was only 15 – meant I wasn’t that keen on doing a lot of sightseeing. We did a city tour, but I don’t remember much of Madrid, and I was probably too busy joking around with my friends on the tour bus the whole time to notice how cool the Spanish capital was . Now I can’t wait to see the architecture, taste the food, and watch a professional flamenco dance performance.

Of course, Madrid will only be one of three cities on our itinerary, and personally I’m even more excited to see Barcelona. I insisted to my wife that we visit the Camp Nou – the biggest football stadium in the world and the home of FC Barcelona – during our stay.

We’re crossing our fingers that COVID-19 doesn’t affect our travel plans. We have already canceled an international trip since the start of the pandemic and we certainly do not wish to do so again. We made sure to pay for additional “COVID insurance” in case, for whatever reason, we had problems getting back to Canada from Spain at the end of our trip.

I haven’t been on vacation for a long time. While we imagine the pandemic will still be a concern this summer, we’re both at the point where we’re ready to start traveling again.


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