Traveller Letters: Vaccine passports are great - I'm already using one

LETTER OF THE WEEK

EASY DOES IT

Your reports on the subject of vaccine passports (especially in France) have focused on the minimum of inconvenience. Indeed, I sat in recent months in a restaurant in Vienna, on a plane en route to Greece, and in a trattoria in Puglia, my mind dwelled not for an instant on the few seconds it had taken in each case to prove my vaccination status. Instead, selfishly, I thanked the vaccine gods that I could relax in the knowledge that everyone around me was vaccinated or had received a negative test.

Andrew Morton, Munich, Germany (formerly Melbourne, VIC)

PARADISE LOST

Lee Tulloch's column (Traveller, September 4) made me think about Bali and its reliance, economically and culturally, on tourism. In the 90s, I worked in eastern Indonesia where, past Sumbawa, tourism was mostly local. One Christmas my friend met me on Banda, where we spent a week scrambling over cannons and old forts, ate seafood, snorkelled, and sampled nutmeg jam. I visited Run, the island the Dutch swapped with the British for Manhattan. I went to Bali twice but found it aggressive and polluted. COVID has smashed Bali's economy and forced a return to industries like seaweed farming. I hope Bali can recover.

Deborah Nixon, Redfern, NSW

ANSWERS TO OUR PRAYERS

Once the world's most liveable city we're now heading towards the unenviable world record holder for Melbourne as the most days spent in hard lockdown. Our travel plans for the last 18 months were carefully planned, longingly anticipated and then cancelled. Then (September 4), along came your "Traveller 50" quiz to provide a little ray of sunshine to our day (especially questions 22 and 36). Hubby and I played along - not well it seems with scores of 21 out of 50 and 19 out of 50 each. The Traveller 50 reminded us of places we have been fortunate to visit and places we longingly hope to visit one day in the future. We are both fully vaccinated and raring to go. Until then, please bring us the Traveller 50 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, etcetera.

Marie Burgin, Mentone, VIC

I loved "The Traveller 50" quiz. Taking pride in regularly venturing around Australia and overseas, and having read much about the places visited, I add to my knowledge with Traveller every week, savouring each page. Therefore I was deflated at a 50 per cent score. So much to learn about our world - history and idiosyncrasies. Despite my frustration I feel inspired to continue my research. No-one can know everything, we all have our unique travel stories to tell and the test certainly flamed the fire of knowledge for future adventures when I can again journey outside my immediate environment.

Judy Hopwood, Kiama, NSW

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It's said that travel broadens the mind and if that's true then maybe I need to get out more, judging by my less than impressive score of 54 per cent in your special 50 question travel quiz.

Allan Gibson, Cherrybrook, NSW

Editor's note: As 'The Traveller 50' quiz in our print edition consisted of questions compiled from our weekly online quiz, it was not published online. You'll find all our weekly quizzes (with 15 questions in each) here

MAKING A MEAL OF IT

A few weeks ago after a third cancelled holiday due to lockdown, our household finally decided enough was enough. With the help of a "random country generator" website, we've identified and travelled (virtually) to some very far-flung places. Each fortnight we meet up with friends online and share a local meal and cocktail and bizarre travel stories we've researched from the country selected. So far we've been to the Dominican Republic and Greenland where we enjoyed the Arctic Winter games and all made a poor attempt at the Alaskan High Kick! We long for the borders to open, but until then, next stop French Guiana!

Jill Carter, Preston, VIC

PUN POLICE

From the September 4 Traveller, not to mention the rest of the paper, it appears mandatory for every headline to be a "humorous " play on words. I am wondering if this is a permanent affliction or will it end soon?

Claire Edmonds, Floraville, NSW

TICKET TO STRIDE

As your reader, Judith Salmon (Traveller Letters, September 4) points out, there can be few better ways to relax than to start your day in nature with a beautiful walk. To add to her sentiments, it's also a great way to completely relax. Walking holidays bring you close to nature and closer to the real lives of the people with whom you walk and where you walk. Relaxing in the countryside, not in big cities, really settles the mind. I've particularly enjoyed the walks I've undertaken with the Australian-owned and operated Wandering the World. They've changed my life.

Paul Soanes, Doncaster, VIC

WINNERS ARE GRINNERS

It seems like getting refunds in lockdown is a bit of a lottery. We were the winners in the last sudden regional lockdown in Victoria. Our beautiful accommodation provider, Panoramia Villas in Myrtleford, did not hesitate to offer a full refund for our remaining nights. In a climate where revenues for venues of this type have been decimated, the understanding and responsiveness of the owner was very much appreciated by our family. We will be singing their praises as a must-visit destination for a long time

Genevieve Kelly, Indented Head, VIC

FLAT CHAT

We had four days booked with Airbnb in a Sydney heritage apartment for early September. Naturally, we were disappointed to have to cancel our booking. However, we contacted the apartment manager directly and were assisted by her to obtain a full refund on our booking from Airbnb. We have assured this apartment manager that as soon as we're able, we'll be rebooking with her. Good relations maintained; generosity rewarded.

Virginia Reddaway, Hawthorn, VIC

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