27 Jan Travel, Ethics and Pura Vida
We’re in Costa Rica, it’s gorgeous and fabulous and… we need to talk.
As you may know, I’m pretty open about most things. So, since I’m going to be posting about the retreat we’re about to start in Costa Rica, I want to talk about it. Because unlike years past, there are some ethical questions that everyone is wrestling with when deciding to travel, and that includes us.
When we booked this retreat, it genuinely looked like the end of the pandemic might be in sight. We figured that we’d re-evaluate at the beginning of December, the point where everything was still refundable, and decide for sure one way or another then.
You all know the next part – things were great until they weren’t, and it was mid-December before it was clear that things might be going back downhill.
So, I spent a lot of time wrestling with what the right choice was. Would we cancel, when canceling meant disappointing women who had put their trust in me, and in some cases badly needed this chance to get their spark back? Would we go, knowing that there was the possibility that we’d put strain on an already stretched healthcare system? What about the major financial losses that I, my clients, and the Costa Rican villa owners and tour companies would experience? Was it better to stay home, knowing that our tourism dollars might make the difference to a struggling business? What about slowing the spread? What was our moral obligation and how would we weigh the risks?
We decided to go, but it wasn’t an easy decision and it did require compromise. We’ll be spending the majority of our time at our (thankfully luxurious) secluded villas. When we are going out I’ve booked private tours so that we can limit our exposure. Michelle, Colette and I will be cooking for the group at the villas most nights. We made gift bags full of sexy things like N95 masks and sanitising wipes. Everyone involved is triple-vaxxed and well insured and the country we chose has a mask mandate and vaccine passport. We’re aware that we’ll need to be even more vigilant with masking and sanitising and distancing when we come home as well as during our travels.
I feel comfortable with the level of risk we’re undertaking, based on the health and vaccine status of the group and the way we have structured these retreats. But, some of you are going to think this was the wrong decision – and that’s okay. We’re allowed to disagree. I hope we’ll still be friends, but if not, that’s okay too. We all find the people who are a good fit for us and that isn’t, and shouldn’t be, everyone.
I’m going to be posting about the incredible fun we’re having, and you will know when you see those posts that we are doing our best to find joy in a tough situation, just like you are.
Pura Vida, my friends. <3