We made it. Arriving on the morning of October 4th 2020, Departing who knows when. With a solid plan in place we are now officially navigating through some of the more risky nations on the Covid-19 danger list with the goal of meeting our qualification criteria leading into the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
With no confirmed return date, we had to prepare mentally and physically for what could be our longest stint in a foreign nation. For me following the longest stretch I have ever spent in my home country, it was not taken lightly. However between a less than incredible season at home, and the opportunity to travel/compete when no one else can, the decision wasn’t a difficult one, and before I knew it I was on a plane and on my way to Europe.
Boarding a plane at the moment is certainly an interesting experience. No waiting in lines for security, customs or even boarding. Almost everything is instant as we walk through an all but deserted airport to get to an all but deserted gate to board an all but deserted aeroplane.
Once on board the staff make it feel as normal as they can whilst wearing every form of PPE imaginable (with good reason) and ask you politely to put the facemask provided or one you brought on for the duration of the flight. Then, once the plane is boarded and ready to go, the go into the back area of the plane and they don’t come back out unless they’re giving you food or preparing the cabin for landing. Not that they have much to do seeing as you are likely sitting in a cabin that contains 5-10 people.
All in all, plane travel during covid was a reasonably enjoyable experience, plenty of room to lie down and sleep on each flight and the food delivery was super quick. There were no drink carts bumping into your legs and no crying babies, the airports were quick and easy to navigate which gave you more time to sit and wait to get on the plane you will sit and wait on anyway.
Life in Switzerland is much the same as it was the last time I was here, the only notable difference is that people wear masks in public places and in stores which is easy to get used to. This year we have acquired a rental property to avoid staying in hotels all of the time, which is awesome as we do not need to pack our entire lives into our bags every time we move.
It also gives us a place to go in case of emergencies, or if we need to quarantine for one reason or another. If an event gets cancelled we have somewhere to stay, if we cant get back home to Australia we have somewhere to stay and it really helps make us feel more secure circumstances we are in. So kudos to everyone who was involved in getting that sorted out!
The next few days will be spent getting our snow legs back in Zermatt Switzerland, followed by a 2 weeks camp on the course in Saas Fee. November is still a little up in the air, depending on how/if corona virus affects travel in the area but if all goes ahead we should be back on snow in Finland for 2 weeks leading to the first World Cup in Montafon.
The next few weeks I will be fairly busy with training, my new Vlog Channel on youtube and getting my boards prepared for the first race, however I will be attempting to keep everyone up to date at least once per week with any interesting updates via this blog.
Wish me luck!