Watching travel documentaries on Netflix didn’t help either. Watching the banh mi prepared by a street vendor in Ho Chi Minh City on Street Food Asia only reinforced the desire to travel. It was pure agony to see the appetizing French bread, and yet not be able to touch it, smell it, or taste it.
Of course you can have a banh mi in Singaporebut to enjoy it in the Vietnamese city full of all its sights, smells and other adventures is something else. There is no substitute for the experience of being physically present in a foreign country, tasting foreign dishes and learning about a different culture.
THE EXCITING – AND RISKY – POSSIBILITY OF LEISURE TRAVEL
When the vaccinated traffic lanes opened in 2021, the possibility of travel hung before our eyes.
We felt so trapped by travel restrictions that not only were we happy to sit for hours in a cramped airplane seat, eat reheated airline food, and breathe in a dry cabin. air, we were also willing to meet strict testing requirements and prepare the necessary documentation.
Many Singaporeans, myself included, started researching websites – airfares, Airbnb homes, hotel booking sites and top 10 recommended lists. We have targeted destinations offering quarantine-free vacations.
I first looked for the airlines with the most flexibility for change. I started budgeting, making a two-week travel plan, and even made tentative reservations on Airbnb (deliberately choosing options that said “free cancellation possible”).
Other travel hopefuls with young children introduced me to the concept of “trip stacking” – booking multiple trips for the same vacation slot, with a fun option being riskier (and more likely to be canceled) such as an overseas trip to the US and a second option being a backup, almost guaranteed getaway 100%, like a stay in Singapore.
So I tripped for the end of year celebrations.