I have to be honest with y’all, I’m a little bummed right now. Why you ask? At this very moment, I should be preparing to fly to Singapore, getting ready to embark on a cruise through several Asian countries.
I think you can guess why that’s not happening. Co-vid 19, colloquially known as “coronavirus,” has reached global epidemic status (or panic at least) setting off a domino effect in the global economy and in life and society itself. With no signs of slowing yet, this outbreak is severely affecting the travel industry. Especially within the cruise ship sector, people are concerned, rightfully so, that they could be exposed to this “novel” threat. I mean, we saw first hand what can happen with the Diamond Princess in Japan, and although the show must go on, the cruise I was about to travel on had changed almost all of its itinerary due to certain countries no longer allowing passengers to disembark.
And even though the risk of me, a physician who is regularly up in everyone’s nose and mouth area, contracting the virus is probably lower than say, getting the flu, the thought of being quarantined for any extensive period of time was enough to make me cancel. It is my literal nightmare to be stuck on a boat, and I want no part of it. My business and career would also suffer, so for now, nonessential travel is put on hold. Which sucks.
So instead of frolicking on a boat, I’m here to provide a few tips on staying healthy while you travel along with some facts about the virus (since there’s a ton of misinformation out there). Because even though the chance of getting Co-Vid 19 is low, it never hurts to protect yourself from all the other grossness out there. Yes, grossness is a medical term 😉
Trust me, I’m a doctor
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I just realized as I am typing this that I went to two places called Saint John last year. One in the Caribbean and one in Canada. There’s a lot of places named after St. John the Baptist, a Jewish preacher, who was considered the forerunner to Jesus, as it is believed that he baptized Jesus. I also did not know that. You learn something new everyday. You’ll actually learn a ton when you visit this bayside beauty because this is a city of museums, and I love a city of museums.
Saint John is a city on the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick, and it is one of the oldest settlements in Canada. A huge port city, it is also home to one of the foremost natural wonders of the world, reversing falls. Everyone knows that rivers run to the sea right? Well sometimes they don’t, like in this case, the bay of Fundy waters flow backwards.
Prince Edward Island, Canada is the smallest province in the great white north. What it lacks in size, it makes up in character, history and abundance of amazing seafood.
That’s right, the home of P.E.I. mussels. Sweet, tender, they’re a great little representative for this region of Canada. The whole island is very charming and idyllic, with farms and vast greenery. It is the very picture of rustic, pastoral tranquility with a sea salt mist.
put a little mussel into it
One post obviously was not enough to cover the trip of a lifetime (literally, because the travel ban just happened a few weeks ago), so here’s a continuance of my very thoroughly journaled trip to Cuba’s capital city.
join the Havana Club
Quintana Roo is an eastern Mexican state on the Yucatan peninsula and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. From Cancun to Cozumel, you will find resort towns dotting the entire length of the Caribbean coast. It’s not all sandy beaches, there’s a ton of historical Mayan settlements and various ecosystems.
Costa Maya is basically a Disney-fied version of a Mexican port. Legit, it literally looks like the same developers who build the attractions at Disney built it – from the colorful plaster/stucco walls to the just-so perfect vibrant décor. El nombre real de esta area en del este de Mexico es Mahahual. I guess they figure that’s a little harder to pronounce than the more Anglicized Costa Maya. It is basically the southern most point of the Mexican seaboard and is a stone’s throw away from Belize.
My oh Mayans…
Not a region of Mexico.
There’s been plenty of news out of this country in regards to the dangerous conditions and crime, but what doesn’t get as much press is that it is a culturally rich country abutting the Caribbean sea that has white sandy beaches, temperate surf and colorful, friendly people.
Tropical the island breeze, all of nature wild and free, this is where I long to be…
Cuba has always been a mysterious destination to me, an off limits locale due to the long standing US embargo. And what they say is true, you often want what you can’t have. Thus, when the travel ban was eased in 2015, Havana shot to the top of my list of places to travel, and I feel very fortunate to have had the chance to visit.
Growing up in the US, there was not much information about this large Caribbean nation other than what was very briefly covered in history books, so I didn’t know what to expect.
This turned out to be a good thing because Havana was the best surprise. I was stricken by its je ne sais quois (or no se que in Spanish…doesn’t really translate ;). I mean, it’s an incredibly culturally rich and beautiful city. It is both quaint and cosmopolitan, architecturally divine with its expansive boulevards and thoughtful city planning. But there’s more to it than that because a lot of cities have those things and they’re not quite as fascinating.
Historically speaking, from pirates to American gangsters, you’re not going to find as interesting a place in these parts. The country’s rise to immense power due to the sugar trade was astounding and its revolutionary history with its colorful figures is even more intriguing. And being closed off to American travel for so long? Maybe that adds to the allure. Whatever it is, Havana is a really wonderful destination.
As Camila Cabello says, take me back, back, back…