With an onslaught of international holiday makers taking to the skies in search of sunshine, adventurous cocktails and eventual freedom, is travelling with uncertainty the as glorified as it seems?
I as many others took to jetting off to the south of France early on once travel restrictions were lifted, strategically splitting my time between Monaco, St Tropez and Cannes, which pre-Covid would be my summer hotspot where I would spend multiple months in each.
However, shortening my trip to just 8 days this time was certainly a blessing in disguise, although the palatial beaches and superyacht filled harbours were a sight for sore eyes after such a long period with clipped wings, the justification of face coverings and early closures made it all a little less luxurious.
The scarcity factor seems apparent all over the globe, although we are seeing positive inclinations of reducing contractions, which has in turn given euphoria to holiday makers.
St Tropez, historically known for is ethereal appearance, quaint shopping streets and celebrity adornment, was some weeks ago a hotbed of large gatherings, packed beach clubs and champagne spray parties, controversially I would say bypassing the social distancing rules.
Monaco, playground of the rich and richest, had a more subdued aura, restraints were seen to be very strategic in their approach to evening dining, and for a club atmosphere you would almost certainly need to get create in your hotel. Although the infamous Place du Casino was packed full of tourists eyeballing the latest supercars on show, come 6pm the town seemed to retire into a sleepy haze.
Cannes and its glorious Croisette, ubiquitous of the French staycation. During the day the beach clubs were busy enough to not look sparse, but certainly not at its usual overpacked August standard, just outside the jetty area over on Ile Sainte Marguerite was a completely different story, dancing on tables aplenty, overflowing bars and summer 2020 action in full force. Once returning via tender to the main strip of Cannes, the evening crowd seemed to flood in, many holiday makers taking their seats at the local brasseries to people watch along the Croisette, yet the conglomerate 5* establishments seemed less welcoming and had tight restrictions with bar and restaurant closures.
Since arriving home there have been multiple shutdowns and tighter restrictions on closing times in France, confirmed cases have gradually started to rise and returning lockdowns have been enforced.
Just recently I have also returned from Dubai, I visited for work purposes and was very surprised at the influx of holiday makers at passport check in, a two hour check in may I add, it is very closely regulated and negative Covid test are essential to enter, alongside two written documents with your intended whereabouts. Facing the 43-degree furnace turned out to be surprisingly enjoyable, the hustle and bustle of the city was extremely enlightening, restaurants and beach clubs buzzing with family environments and almost certainly adhering to the strict face covering and social distancing ruling. The ease of Dubai was refreshing to say the least, the safety measures are precautionary as oppose to pragmatic and the service around keeping you call is second to none!
Upon evaluating my travels during this tumultuous time, I am certainly glad I regained some sense of normality, however looking further afield to more explorative holiday destinations may have to wait, there is certainly something very calming knowing you are only a few hours flight away from home.