Travel Dreams And Global Rescue’s $500 Travel Winner

February 26, 2021

Categories: Health, In The News, Safety,

What would you do if you won $500 for travel?

We asked this question at the height of the pandemic in 2020 when the world’s citizens were largely discouraged or prohibited from travel, and recently selected a winner out of the 1,000-plus respondents: Sophie Sault from Canada.

Her plan: to see polar bears in the wild, hopefully on her honeymoon.

“We were planning our honeymoon for 2020 but because of COVID-19 our plans were cancelled. Hopefully we will get to go in 2021,” Sault said.

It was a difficult decision to pick just one winner. The answers were inspiring and ranged from philanthropic excursions and family vacations to adventure travel and bucket list trips. Here are a few of the travel dream answers:

  • Hiking in the Alps, sailing in the Ligurian Sea, sea kayaking in Croatia
  • Climbing ice in Antarctica
  • Backpacking through Scandinavia
  • Fishing in Belize
  • Buffalo hunting in Mozambique
  • Hiking volcanoes in Southeast Asia
  • Fly fishing in Cuba
  • Skiing in the Rockies
  • River rafting in Mongolia
  • Seeing the forests of Borneo
  • Paragliding in Turkey
  • Walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain
  • Surf camp in Costa Rica

It’s no surprise travelers are eager to get back to doing what they love: exploring the world, meeting new people and learning about different cultures. But what did travelers miss the most? Several themes were noticeable in contest participant answers:

Traveling to do Good in the World

  • “I’m looking forward to traveling internationally to be able to volunteer with nonprofit organizations to bring hope and basic necessities to those that have the greatest need, especially since the impact of the virus will devastate many economies and leave many jobless and starving.”
  • “When traveling starts again I want to make an impact in the world, anything from using less plastics to saving the coral reefs. I’m hoping to use travel as a way to help make a difference.”

The People Part of Travel

  • “I’ve missed getting to meet people from all over the world — different cultures, beliefs and ways of life. But, most of all, I miss finding common ground with them because, in the end, no matter how we look or how we live, we all laugh and we all smile the exact same way.”
  • “The ability to follow my nose and wander into any restaurant that smells and feels the best, sit at the bar or chef’s counter, have a nice long conversation about the food, the drink, the history of the chef and the establishment. Hopefully I wind up closing the place and hanging with the cook crew until the wee hours of the morning exchanging tall tales of life.”

Freedom to Travel and Explore

  • “I am looking forward to exploring new places, meeting new and interesting people and being amazed at what our vast planet has to offer. It has been so challenging not being able to do this that I actually ache for the freedom to travel and wander again.”
  • “The most valuable thing I am looking forward to is the feeling of freedom. Freedom to explore, freedom to discover, to learn, to connect and to face my fears. The trips I have taken and experiences I’ve had have inspired me, motivated me, brought me courage and opened my world.”

Connecting with Friends and Family

  • “Spend more time with my loved ones. My little cousins are really growing up fast.”
  • “I am looking forward to being able to visit family and friends again.”
  • “I’m looking forward to revisiting with friends, family and colleagues and to exploring more parts of the country again.”

What Would Travelers do Differently?

Pre-pandemic, hand sanitizer was an essential item for most travelers. Now, it will never be left at home. Travelers also mentioned bringing disinfectant wipes and masks as staples of future travel.

“Hand sanitizer, wipes and mask will be my new companions,” one respondent said.

The pandemic also reminded travelers to pay attention to their health, spend more time outdoors, appreciate the journey and sign up for travel protection services, like Global Rescue.

More Focus on Health

  • “I’ll be more conscious of the health of others around me and their well-being.”
  • “I will prioritize my health and hygiene in the future when travelling, particularly my physical, emotional and mental health and be sure to take care of myself by staying active and eating well.”
  • “I am going to keep up to date on my immunizations and better attention to hygiene.”

More Outdoor Activities

  • “Avoid indoor tourist attraction-type places.”
  • “We realized during this pandemic we actually enjoy just spending time together without the hustle and bustle of the city. So instead of focusing on big tourist spots, we intend to fly to a more remote area and spend some time with nature.”
  • “We will visit museums and indoor restaurants far less.”
  • “Lots of open-air activities.”

Greater Appreciation for Travel

  • “I will definitely not take for granted any trip in the future.”
  • “We will appreciate adventures more than ever.”
  • “I will plan fewer activities and more time to just walk the streets and savor the sense of place. I will not take any aspect of traveling for granted.”
  • “What will we do different? Embrace travel and live in the moment. Realize how fortunate we are to survive a pandemic.”

Global Rescue Travel Protection Services

  • “Make sure that I read all of my cancellation policies as well as protect myself with insurance.”
  • “We 100% will be buying trip cancellation insurance for every trip in the future.”
  • “I will want to ensure I have medical evacuation coverage that covers COVID-19-related concerns.”
  • “I will purchase trip insurance. I never did before.”

Global Rescue, founded in 2004, provides travelers a better way to get help when they experience a medical or security emergency while traveling away from home.

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