Sunday Spontaneity Flight 11:30:21
New Zealand announces reopening plans, a simulation ride is coming to NYC, and news on the "omicron" variant
While it’s always a possibility that new travel restrictions can be put into place, there will never be a restriction on the imagination. Meaning, just because you can’t physically travel somewhere doesn’t mean you can’t think about, dream, and plan the future trips you want to take. After all, it’s often that the buildup can be just as exciting — even more — than the trip itself.
My mom and I were supposed to take a mother-daughter trip to Greece in the summer of 2020 before, well, the event that needs no introduction. In March of 2020, it quickly became apparent that the trip was going to be pushed — first to 2021, then to 2022 (fingers crossed). And while I would have preferred to take the trip when we planned it, it’s also given me more time to put thought into making the adventure as great as it possibly can be. That means: taking time to learn Greek, digging into our ancestry to see if I can discover any living family members, reconfiguring our timeline so I make sure we spend enough time in each destination, etc.
So you see, there is somewhat of a silver lining when patiently awaiting for our desired travel plans to finally come to fruition. I’m more thrilled than ever for when (not if) our mother-daughter (and now, maybe family at large) vacation comes to be.
U.S. restricts travel from countries due to “omicron” variant: As of Monday, Nov. 29, the U.S. has restricted travel to eight countries — South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, Malawi, and Namibia — due to the new “omicron” variant that is causing concern. There is much to learn about the variant, but for now, Biden encourages all Americans to their vaccinates and booster shots. Also, check local resources to see any new advisories or mandates being put into place in your area. And remember, be mindful of where you’re consuming information.
New Zealand plans to reopen borders: New Zealand announced a 3-phase reopening plan if all continues in a positive direction. On Jan. 16, the border will open to New Zealand citizens and residents traveling from Australia. On Feb 13, the reopening phase will expand to New Zealanders traveling back from all other parts of the world. Finally, on April 30, all other vaccinated travelers (excluding those living in high-risk countries) can travel to New Zealand. However, all travelers in any of the phases will have to isolate for a week, show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test, and provide a declaration that they haven’t come from a high-risk area.
Fun and/or Bizarre Trends
New simulation ride gives an aerial tour of NYC: Launching Dec. 15, RiseNY is a three-part flight simulation ride that takes passengers through some of NYC’s “most famous sites and moments,” according to its website. The journey begins with a documentary on NYC and a walkthrough of various galleries featuring memorabilia, finishing at the 46-seat soaring ride that takes you through the five boroughs via sights, scents (only good ones, one can hope), and feel (like wind or mist). If you’re visiting NYC and this means less time on the subway, you might want to look into it.
Train travel is predicted to be a 2022 trend: Audley Travel, a travel company based in the UK, is predicting that travel by rail will escalate in popularity in the new year. And with Amtrak restoring traditional dining on some routes and having plans of expansion, there might be some exciting enhancements coming to train travel that will make it more of an experiential journey yet again.
Things to do Next Weekend
Sat., Dec. 4: Oddities Flea Market New York City (Manhattan): Whether you’re looking for a holiday gift or something quirky to add to your collection, this flea market is filled with one-of-a-kind art, home decor, natural history items, and much more.
Cost: Starting at $15 per ticket
Sat., Dec. 4: Winter Tree Identification (Pound Ridge): Get outside and up close to nature during this winter tree identification walk led by Brendan Murphy, Director of Stewardship at Westchester Land Trust. This 2-hour activity is for all ages and will teach you about the diverse tree population in the Zofnass Family Preserve of Westchester.
Sat., Dec. 4: Winter Wonder Day (New London): Head over to the Lyman Allyn Art Museum for this day of holiday events. Learn about different cultural holiday traditions, bop around the various exhibits, take part in some community artwork, participate in holiday crafting, and much more. And since Lyman Allyn is a collection station for local food pantries this holiday season, bring a nonperishable can or two.
Sun., Dec. 5: Yoga at Labyrinth Brewery (Manchester): Grab a pint and get ready to pose. This yoga-meets-beer event includes a pint of your choosing from Labyrinth Brewing Company and a 1-hour yoga class, combining two different but important arts into one. All you need to do is bring yourself and a yoga mat.
Cost: $20 per ticket
Sat., Dec. 4: Ugly Sweater Bar Crawl (Morristown): Get your ugliest sweater and head to Morristown for a day of festive bar hopping. There will be drink specials at all participating bars, and there’s bound to be plenty of photo ops along the way.
Cost: $15 per ticket
Friday, Dec. 3 - Sat., Dec. 4: Deck the Halls Candlelight Tour (Morristown): Explore holidays past at the Macculloch Hall Historical Museum and Acorn Hall, two sites that are part of Morris County Historical Society. The historic spots will have their halls decked in festive decor, and plenty of surrounding restaurants will be participating in the event so that there’s plenty to see, drink, and eat all day long.
Cost: $25 per ticket
Friday, Dec. 3: First Friday Gallery Tours (Philadelphia): Every first Friday of the month, Old City gallery owners open their doors for an evening of art, refreshments, and conversation. Come to the Philly Art Collective Gallery to see what it’s all about.
Sun., Dec. 5: Wine & Wreath Workshop (Glen Mills): Come for a 1-hour wreath-making workshop at the Inn at Grace Winery. Sip on a glass of wine while you learn to craft a holiday staple for your home. Most supplies are covered in the price, all you need to bring is gardening gloves.
Cost: $95 per ticket
Sun., Dec 5: Virtual Tour of the Holiday Lights Experiences Throughout the World: This event takes you to some of the biggest cities across the globe to see their festive lights from the comfort of home. A virtual guide will take you from New York to Sydney and everywhere in between, showcasing holiday decorations while giving lessons on the origins and cultural significances of each.
Cost: $18 per ticket
Friday, Dec. 3: Lunchtime Yoga: Add some movement into your end-of-week workday with a 45-minute yoga class. All levels are welcome, and all you need is a mat (a yoga mat or towel will do).
Hope you all have a wonderful week as many of us recover from the food fest that was last week. If you’re feeling slow *raises hand* you’re not alone. And with all the heavy news, be kind to yourself — it’ll be the weekend before we know it. Travel Boldly (& Safely), friends x