Traveling During COVID-19
Judge me for traveling if you wish…but I refuse to not continue to live my life while we wait for a miracle. Now, that does NOT mean that I'm not super careful while traveling, going to the grocery store, going out to eat or to a bar etc. I am very careful and super mindful!! It’s important to take into account that if you are choosing to travel or even just go out with friends, to get tested regularly. Since the beginning of the pandemic (after Texas Quarantine was lifted and life looked a little more normal) I’ve been tested every 6 weeks or so. Do your due diligence as a human on this planet in our current state!
With that being said, I’ve been on two international trips since the Covid restrictions were put into place, and each country handled it very differently. Let’s start with Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. 😊
My partner and I started our journey there in November, with big hopes and happy thoughts because we hadn’t seen each other in over a year…. Yes, I know what you’re thinking…. It was f*cking terrible. Personally, I would not wish it on anyone hahaha.
Anyways, I was really impressed with the Punta Cana Airport and the measures they were taking. Everyone was wearing a mask, hand sanitizing stations were everywhere, and going through customs was a breeze. They are truly taking all the safety measures possible for people to feel safe traveling again, and I respect that! In most lower income countries like Mexico and the Dominican, when Covid hit, it hit HARD. I cannot imagine not being able to work for 9 months, with no government support or funding. Like, how did you feed your family?! It really puts things back into perspective, that’s for sure.
When I spoke with some locals that worked at our resort, the humility you could feel just radiating off of
them was enough for me. They are so thankful to be able to work again and serve their customers. I wish I could say the same about the hotel’s main customer service and concierge, but I cannot. From the moment we arrived our room was pretty terrible, and after paying cash to be upgraded we suddenly felt better looked after (Which let’s be honest, that’s expected when you give someone cash like we did…). I’m not going to name the resort specifically because our stay was extremely subpar and so was the food, but I definitely know I won’t be staying at any Riu resorts again in my near future. (sorry not sorry, Riu.)
My most recent getaway was so much better on so many levels. After sending my partner back home to await normality in our countries, (yes we live in different COUNTRIES, not even States haha) I booked a last minute getaway with one of my dearest friends. Mexico was calling, and we had to answer.
After doing very little research but ultimately noticing that the resort we booked was a Four Diamond Resort, I had little to no worries. I was more excited than a little girl who got a REAL Pony at her birthday party. I arrived to the Cancun International Airport in the early morning hours on a Tuesday. The Covid policies at that airport were spot on, everything from electronic temperature readers as you entered each terminal, baggage claim and immigration, to sanitizing stations galore. There were virtually no lines, baggage claim looked easy, (I travel light, so I had a carry on) and the rest was history. Once I hoped on my shuttle to my hotel, I felt immediately welcomed by the kindest driver who had happen to have family in Texas (naturally we talked about Texas the entire drive). If you don’t live in Texas then you may not know this, but Texas is a village. It’s the biggest little town, ever.
From the moment we pulled up tp Blue Diamond Luxury Resort, I felt this rush of peace wash over me. Welcomed with a non-alcoholic juice drink, a full sanitizing procedure for my shoes and all my luggage and was ushered around the 37 acres of lush jungle on a golf cart to our suite. MAN, I felt at home immediately!!! Because of the layout of the suites and villas, anytime we needed to leave for breakfast, a massage, or to head to the pool, we would call Pedro at the desk and he would pick us up. We felt like we owned the place, and we were definitely treated like we did.
Each day was filled with 5-star meals (seriously the best food I’ve EVER had at any resort), an amazing
freshwater pool and incredible cocktails. Not to mention the beach was absolutely perfect and oh, so private. The cabanas by the pool were lush, and so were the extra-large euro pillows you got to rest on. I felt like I was dreaming. There are Beach Front Casitas for those of you with larger groups, or amazing private Suites situated on lush grounds. I will never stop raving about Blue Diamond Luxury Boutique Resort, so I plan to be there every three months or so. For this Boutique resort to have opened not even a month before we arrived, I couldn’t help but wonder how any of them managed being out of work for so long.
Blue Diamond Luxury Resort also offers a traditional Te Mezcal ceremony that is performed by a Shaman. I won't lie and say that do to unfortunate events prior to Mexico, I NEEDED a cleanse - and a deep one at that.
We gathered in a circle while the Shaman and her assistant bathed us with cleansing incense and performed a group prayer/chant before we climbed into the dome. There was 7 people in our group, and 5 of us made it through the entire sauna cleanse. It was heated using lava rocks and water - we did an Aloe Vera body cleanse followed by a scrub the rid ourselves of all the negative BS. We came out feeling lighter, and thankful that they offered this Free Service at the hotel. I've truly never experienced anything quite like that.
They helped us organize a day trip to Isla Majeures on a boat, so OF COURSE we did that! We met with some friends who were staying on a different resort and really had the best time. From Lunch - to sunset, it was exactly what we needed to disconnect, and let go.
In my opinion, for those of us who were fortunate enough to have kept our careers in motion despite everything, taking some time to travel to places were allowed in, and that are taking the proper precautions, is a complete blessing. Being able to give back and contribute to their economy, in countries that are ran very different then our own, should be something we all try to think about when deciding whether we should travel. I know there are risks involved with Covid, but we face these same risks in our own cities, states, and in our country.
There’s a lot to consider when deciding whether or not it’s safe enough for us to leave our homes, but I hope you have a little bit of faith…knowing that the darkness that hoovers over all of us right now in this pandemic, will be lifted and all the beautiful light will be drawn in very soon.
Keep your heads up, you lovely lot, and thank you for reading!
*Please take note. The U.S. now requires a negative Covid test within 72 hours of your departure date. Most resorts (including Blue Diamond) will be providing testing onsite during your stay. Please check with your Embassy, resort, and Travel agent for details if this rule applies to you.*