Oh, Norway.

Traveling above the Arctic Circle has been simmering on the back burner for quite some time. Herb and I were set to visit the Land of the Midnight Sun in June 2020, but happily cancelled our plans when our daughter announced that we would become grandparents in July. That June trip, of course, never happened – even without us – as the pandemic rolled into our fragile world in March.

Fast-forward a year later, and I became smitten with another cruise to Norway’s North Cape, this one with zodiacs and some expedition experiences. Herb and I signed on for August 2022. A few months after we’d booked the trip, Emily surprised us with the wonderful news that we will become grandparents once again…in August.

I began looking for other destination options for 2022 that would allow plenty of time before the baby’s arrival and also have a strong possibility of surviving any post-pandemic travel restrictions. I was seeking a place where we had never traveled, and based on our successful navigation of post-Covid waters last year, I wanted to focus on just one country. And then it hit me, like a bubble of skywriting when a cartoon character gets an idea that should have been obvious all along: The Galápagos Islands.

This remote little corner of the planet has been on my someday travel dream radar for a very long time. But like so many places on our bucket lists, it sometimes takes a change in plans or a bit of research or one of those “ah-ha” moments before we move a destination to the top of the list.

Galápagos Islands topographic map. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, taken by Eric Gaba.

From my research, I learned that after being hit hard by the pandemic, the Galápagos Islands reopened last summer. Strict vaccination requirements and protocols were put in place for visitors as well as the islands’ residents – the human ones, that is. And the more I read about the various adventures, the more I realized that it might be wise not to wait too much longer before embarking on this most physically active trip!

The tour begins in Quito, Ecuador’s capital city, where we will have a chance to visit a few sites and travel to the equator, one of those unexpected itinerary bonuses that I’m quite excited about. From Quito, we will fly to Baltra Island in the Galápagos for a seven-day cruise, with landings on eight of the nineteen major islands in the archipelago.

Throughout the journey, I will be posting photos on The Modern Postcard’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages. And as always, I will be sharing stories and photos on the blog when we return.

I joked with Emily that whenever I want to summon a grandchild from the universe, all I need to do is plan a trip to Norway. I’m quite certain, however, that this most unusual phenomenon happens only twice in a lifetime.

For now, Norway can wait.

I’ve got some blue-footed boobies to meet!

Galápagos Blue-Footed Boobies. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, taken by Hersfold.

13 Comments

  • Well Mary, we have a trip to the North Cape coming up soon and I would be thrilled to have that same reason to cancel! Actually, we thought about cancelling even without that fabulous reason, because three Russian ports on out itinerary were scrubbed (for obvious reasons). I must say, the Galapagos Islands sound terrific and I will look forward to your observations very much indeed. Most of all though, many congratulations on becoming Grandparents once again – so very exciting!
    (Now I get the reference in your comment too. Thank you for that!)

    • Thanks so much for the good wishes, Gill! It truly is a fabulous reason to cancel a trip😊. The North Cape should be quite exciting, even if you’re not able to go beyond Norway’s borders. Flexibility and fingers crossed seem to be the required travel mantras that we need to pack in our suitcases. I hope we find ourselves in the same place at the same time one of these days!

  • Mary, congratulations on becoming grandparents again!
    I’m so glad that you will be “taking” me to another place that I have not visited, and eagerly await your photos and descriptions,
    What cruise line will you be on?

    • Bob, thank you! I’m delighted to be sharing another destination that is new for us as well. We will be sailing on the Celebrity Flora, a 100-passenger expedition ship built exclusively for the Galápagos.

  • Congratulations on becoming a grandparents again.
    It was a big change from the North Cape to the Equator but you would have different wonders.
    Norway is a wonderful place to visit again and again. Your charged expectation would pay off.
    Have a good trip.

    myron

    • Many thanks, Myron! So good to hear from you…I hope you’re doing well. There definitely is a big difference between the top and middle of the world, and I love your beautiful thought of “different wonders.”

    • Thank you, Erin! That’s great to hear. I have a feeling it’s one of those places I won’t be able to completely imagine what it’s like until I’m actually there!

  • I’m so disappointed you’re not going to Norway. I’ve in the midst of planning a trip and was hoping to glean insights and tips from you. Enjoy the Galapagos.

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