Travelling during a pandemic

Greetings from Toronto.

When I came back from my Vancouver trip, I promised myself that I was going to make an effort to travel the latter half of this year. The original plan was Toronto in October, Ottawa in November and Montreal in December. This plan skipped September because I had someone important I wanted to come and see me in September and I need to leave the window as wide open as possible for them to come. Anyways, the plan was October, November and December.

Now that I’m here, I don’t think I’m going to do November and December.

Travelling right now is hard.

As careful as I’m trying to be, people are not nice when they learn that I’ve travelled from Alberta. I’m looked at, and treated, like I’m a pariah. I’ve been trying to hide that, but it’s difficult because you have to show proof of vaccination here, so everywhere I go, they learn it anyways.

It was pouring rain in Toronto today. I wandered into a mall to see if I could find somewhere that was selling umbrellas and I was not fifty feet in a mall when a man stopped me and asked me why I was so warm. When I asked him what he was talking about, he said ‘You’re sweating’. I said ‘No, I’m not, it’s pouring rain outside’. His response was to tell me that I looked ill and I shouldn’t be out in public. Again, it was pouring rain and I didn’t have an umbrella. I told him ‘Thanks for being an asshole’ and walked away. The whole situation was very off-putting. I ended up just leaving the mall and continuing to wander around in the rain without an umbrella.

I don’t know.

I’ve always reverted back to Vancouver because I have two best friends that live there. I can stay at their houses, I can drive their cars. I can do as I please.

The point of this trip, and of November and December were to go places I haven’t spent time. Because I worked in sports for so long, I have contacts basically across North America, and, I guess, the world. I was going to ‘exploit’ those acquaintances/friendships for someone to take me sightseeing. My friend that I was coming to see here, she was like ‘Yeah, it’ll be amazing, I’ll take you here —– and here —- and here —-‘. So far we went to the hockey hall of fame. Which, was great, don’t get me wrong, but it’s been a bit of a let down. And I’m realizing that its my own let down because she’s not one of my best friends. You know, my friends in Vancouver, I know they’d dedicate time for me when I visit, and I for some reason expected that here, even though we’re not nearly close to that same level of friendship. I don’t have a reason to be disappointed in her, though I want to be. It’s dumb.

But, if this is what I got in Toronto, I’m realizing I can’t expect much more from my friends/acquaintances in Ottawa and Montreal. So, perhaps I should wait to travel to these cities until I can bring someone with me?

I don’t know. Perhaps I should stick to Alberta until COVID is over. Which, at this rate, could be never. I’m definitely rethinking Ottawa and Montreal, though. Maybe I’ll just stay in my own city in November, and just rent a nice hotel room or something.

I shouldn’t be disappointed. But I am.

In other, completely unrelated news, someone reached out to me on LinkedIn and asked if I’d be willing to interview for a job at their company. So, I have a job interview next Friday. I asked him if he wanted my resume and he said no. Who knows, maybe this could be a new job for me?

To state the obvious

Lots going on in the world right now. I am entranced with the Pandora papers and will likely spend my entire Thanksgiving weekend reviewing that. But, I wanted to point out an obvious takeaway from yesterday. Instagram, Facebook and Whatsapp were all down for just over eight hours.

While I was getting really annoyed about how everyone and their dog was seemingly complaining about not having access to Instagram, I thought to myself, ‘this seems so much worse to people because of the trend that so many people use Instagram, and solely Instagram, for promotion of their business’.

So, my advice to the world, if you weren’t already doing such, DIVERSIFY.

Don’t put all your stupid eggs into the Instagram basket.

Don’t rely solely on an Instgram feed to promote yourself, or your book, MLM, art, fashion, photography or whatever else it is you share online. Why? Because when Instagram goes down, IT GOES DOWN.

The Communications directors for Facebook/Instagram actually had to take to Twitter to announce the outage and that it was being worked on. Yeah, how bout them apples?

An amazing website is a great resource you can give yourself. But beyond that, it’s always a smart idea to diversify your social media portfolio if you’re a creative sharing your work, or running a main business/side hustle. When something goes down, and it will go down, you’re not losing an entire’s day worth of promotion. And you’re definitely not losing out on potential revenue.

To state the obvious, a business should never exist solely on Instagram. Or on any single platform.

Oh, also, if you rely on Whatsapp to communicate necessary messaging to someone (yesterday there was a teacher on the news who was complaining that she couldn’t communicate with students), you should always have a backup plan. Again, you should never be reliant on one platform for a means of communicating. It’s not really that hard for a teacher to have had email addresses collected and send out a BCC listed note. Did she have the critical thinking skills necessary to collect email addresses? Guess not, considering how much she was bitching last night.