So we are back on the road. Last week we left Austria and headed back out on the road. With a mission in our sights, we knew exactly where we were headed and what we planned to do. Before leaving Austrian borders, we were sceptical about returning to life on the road, but thankfully so far, no issues. No issues crossing borders or being questioned which is a huge relief.
Having Andorian number plates, we really stand out. We often get asked where we are from or have people constantly staring at the vans plates. So far, in almost a year of driving through Europe, we are yet to see another Andorian plated car on the road, besides when we were actually in Andorra.
People always get the shock of there life when we speak fluent English back to them and tell them we are actually Australians. Our story is a very unique one to explain and especially at the current state with corona, they wonder how we got here and always want to know what’s happening with COVID back home. We have found that once you say I’m an Aussie, they are generally very friendly and want to have a chat, which is really nice and shows that worldwide we must carry a good reputation!
We are currently in the Netherlands, having crossed through Germany to get here. On leaving Austria, face masks were re-introduced to try and stop the spread of corona again when doing certain activities and Germany had these mandatory precautions continue throughout the whole corona saga. However, in the Netherlands, it does seem more relaxed. Masks are only required on public transport but they are big on having social distancing reminders frequently. I did hear yesterday that they have made wearing a face mask compulsory in some of the big cities here but we are yet to experience that, as we visited one of them prior to this new rule.
We are being as careful as possible and wearing face masks in any crowded places or in stores and are always ensuring we have hand sanitiser with us so that we have clean hands after being out and about. These small things really make a difference and if by doing them it allows us to live a semi-normal life then it is definitely a no brainer to do so. After a while of doing these precautionary measures, it does become easier and you do it out of habit. Our health is so important, especially at a scary time like this, so anything we can do to minimise risks is essential.
With corona still causing havic worldwide, travel is a little strange. There is definitely a lot less people travelling far distances and a lot more travelling around there home country. You really feel for those in the big cities, who thrive and make a living off tourists. We visited Rotterdam last week, which is the capital of Holland, and you could really see restaurants suffering. Usually in busy summer season, they would have guests pouring in off the streets but instead some deserted or with only a few seats taken. We are very weary of going out to a café ourselves, so I imagine many others are the same also.
Lets hope that the world can return to its old self so we can all get out and enjoy life. Lets hope that we all, as humans, appreciate being able to do normal, everyday things. I do hope that after this, the world is a better place. That people are more grateful and grounded, that the earth has recovered from years and years of pollution and that we will all be more conscious of the damage we are doing to it.
I hope we are all extremely thankful for each and everyday that we are healthy and alive. Here’s to doing what we can to protect ourselves and others to try and keep our lives as normal as we can during these crazy times.