Where Did My Love Go?
Dear Travel Family - What can we say about 2020? First, we should thank God that we are still here and healthy? We should in that same breath pray for the families that have lost loved ones, have had significant health impacts, have lost jobs, have lost businesses, or have suffered in any way. The COVID-19 pandemic ravaged the world. There has been so much despair and loss. 2020 was difficult for all of us. However, some people suffered unspeakable loss and my heart and prayers go out to each of you!! For those of us who love to travel, we suffered minor inconvenience but not loss. With that in mind, outside of God, my family, my friends, and my professional life, travel is my love. Therefore, my summary of travel in 2020 is titled, Where Did My Love Go?
In 2020, my wonderful husband and I did travel to the Bahamas, Miami, Lisbon, Cancun, and Akumal. This travel either occurred prior to the pandemic or was essential travel for business. Although this may seem like a lot of travel. Given our normal travel schedules, this is limited for us. We missed travel to Europe, specifically Greece which is on our future plans list. We had planned to travel to South Africa and/or China to visit the Great Wall in 2020. Those places are still on our list for the near future (as soon as it is safe). Travel to new and exciting places gives life a whole different perspective in my opinion. I learn something new, meet new people, understand a new culture, or understand more about myself and my husband whenever we travel. I can not wait to have this love back in our lives at full capacity again!
The trips we did take were amazing. We took a cruise to the Bahamas from Miami. This was pre-pandemic so there were no restrictions. Miami alone is a great vacation. South Beach in Miami has great food, wonderful beach experiences, and a great night-life. If you are in Miami over New Year's Eve, be sure to catch the fireworks from the Biscayne Bay restaurant area. It is a great show. However, a great way to make your Miami experience a bit different is to go to Miami and then from there take a weekend cruise to the Bahamas. It is always a great way to test your sea legs if you have never been on a cruise. A number of cruise lines offer cruises from Miami to the Bahamas. I am not going to promote specific cruise companies or restaurants in 2021, unless it is a paid advertisement. In my experience all of the cruise lines have pros and cons but you can't go wrong on a 3 day cruise. Our cruise went to Nassau Bahamas. We took an excursion to a private island and rented a private cabana. We snorkeled and paddle boarded. We had snacks brought to us in our cabana and enjoyed the beautiful weather. I highly recommend this cruise and excursion experience IF the cruise industry can come back from this pandemic and implement all of the necessary safety precautions.
In February, we went to Lisbon. Someplace we had visited before. Lisbon is a place on my "place to see list". For more information about Lisbon and all of the things to do, please see my blog titled, "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly on our Trip to Portugal and Italy". One thing that we did differently on this trip to Lisbon is we ate at a Michelin 4 Star restaurant. It was a wonderful experience. I have honestly had better food, but the view and the service were unparalleled.
We also traveled to Cancun and Akumal. We stayed at the Secrets resorts in both locations. We have found in our travels, we love all-inclusive resorts and Secrets is our resort of choice. For more information about Cancun, please read my blog titled, "The Beauty and Wonder of the Caribbean Never Grows Old!". We stayed at Secrets Cancun the Vine which is one of our favorites. We also traveled to Akumal and stayed at Secrets Akumal. This resort has entered our top 3 favorites of all time. The resort has beautiful landscaping, luscious green spaces, an absolutely breath-taking beach, and you can swim with sea turtles right off of the beach of the resort. I did just that. It was an amazing experience that is only comparable to swimming with the stingrays in the Cayman Islands. I saw several different types of sea turtles right off the beach of the resort, no transportation necessary. You must pay a guide and swim out to the turtles with a guide, but it is not expensive at all (around $30 US) and it is so convenient. Definitely a must do!
2020 was a year of excruciating loss and pain for many. Our hearts and prayers are with every person who suffered loss! 2020 was also not our usual travel year. All of us experienced stay-at-home orders of some kind. However, my husband and I were able to have some phenomenal trips and meet amazing people. We thank God for keeping us in 2020!
We pray for all of our fellow citizens of the world during this difficult time. We pray for an end to this pandemic which is on the horizon. We pray to continue to live, love and travel in 2021! God bless you!!