Erin's Journals

Monday, November 29, 2021

Just a thought… I travel not to go anywhere but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move. [Robert Louis Stevenson]

You can watch a video version of this journal on my Facebook page, or here on YouTube.

Welcome back – to you and I guess to me – as we wrap up November together!

So I told you I’d give you a better picture of where Rob and I have been the last two weeks. And I’ve been really struggling with how to explain it, because I feel it needs justifying. Here we go.

Picture yourself reading a story online today about someone who died, or got sick, and your reaction is “Serves them right” or “Well, what did they expect?” That’s exactly what I have been trying to avoid the last two weeks because Rob and I chose to do something that has gotten some very bad press over the past nearly two years and, in some cases, with good reason.

You see, when we had two weeks we could clear, I went online and looked at different scenarios.

Well, we chose a cruise – a transatlantic crossing. And I know ships have been described as floating petri dishes, but a lot of stringent precautions and guidelines were followed diligently by staff and passengers alike.

The Azamara Quest is a relatively small ship, and was booked at half its normal 700-passenger capacity. We sailed across the Atlantic for 12 days with one stop, St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, where we didn’t even get off the ship for the day.

Our trip began in Portugal, a gorgeous country that I cannot wait to return to and explore some more, and which clamped down due to Covid about a week after we left. Luckily for us, we were able to squeeze in a one-day tour of castles and mansions around Lisbon (you can see photos on my video journal).

And then we boarded a small ship, our first time with the Azamara line, and began a very quiet journey, much of it of our own choosing. We went to just one evening show, kept it to two meals a day. There were no self-serve buffets or anything where germs could be spread; I can only imagine the money a ship saves when people have to ask to be served portions rather than taking that extra one themselves. I know I chose differently!

We took everything very slowly. And despite writing for podcasts, including seven new Drift with Erin Davis sleep stories (!) this was what we needed. Being rocked to sleep every night on the ocean is my idea of paradise.

What did not rock was the number of times we were tested for Covid. I’m grateful for every swab and brain tickle that made my eyes water, but we were tested at Vancouver airport, and again before we got on our ship. Then we were tested halfway through the cruise…and that’s when things got a little curious, as there was one positive outcome on board. We were told that person had been quarantined in a special section of the ship – but HOW someone tested positive after seven days aboard was a mystery to Rob and me.

The captain announced that they’d gone through closed circuit camera footage of that person, where they’d been and with whom they’d spent time, and none of their circle tested positive. Thank goodness. Maybe it was a false positive after all?

On Friday we disembarked, flew out of Miami, and stayed the night in Toronto, where we got together with friends. I’ll you that and more about the homecoming next time. Oh, and a huge thanks to Brooke for keeping things up and running on Facebook and Instagram, and to you for coming back. It’s great to get away, despite all of our concerns, but better to come home to a welcome and so much love. And of course rain, so much more rain. Take care and we’ll talk soon.

Rob WhiteheadMonday, November 29, 2021