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  • Singapore Sling
    replied
    Hello All

    To all those who know me it has been far to long and I hope you are all doing well. As for traveling around I haven't done much of that for far too long and it's been tough. I had the big C and that curtailed my travels for a long time. When I was finally able to travel again coronavirus hit cancelling all my planned trips. I had another go recently, but unfortunately those flights were also cancelled. I will most likely wait until next year now.

    My international Playboy days are behind me, I sort of miss that, but I can't say my bank balance isn't happy about it. I still remain close to some of the girls from my adventures, but I did find myself a special someone in the end and all is going well so far.

    Everybody stay safe and I hope you can all spread your wings again soon.

    Leave a comment:


  • KeithMEL
    replied
    Originally posted by KeithMEL View Post
    Goodness, even booking a hotel for a simple overnight trip to Canberra - 3-4h drive from where we are depending on traffic - for a truffle hunt feels like locking in the Trip of a Lifetime... We're not even getting on a plane...
    Pics of said overnight trip. So good to get out of Sydney for a bit.

    Truffle hunting at The Truffle Farm - definitely returning next season for the Truffle Degustation. Jason the owner used to be a canine trainer for the AFP and has done many a stint at airports across the country. Half the fun was playing with the truffle dogs:
    https://www.instagram.com/p/CD74Nflj..._web_copy_link

    Pretty fun wine bar that serves tasty food - Bar Rochford:
    https://www.instagram.com/p/CD71LxLj..._web_copy_link

    Moar truffles at Rebel Rebel:
    https://www.instagram.com/p/CD70snij..._web_copy_link

    We also played our part in documenting these COVID19 times for the National Archives:
    https://www.instagram.com/p/CD70ES1D..._web_copy_link

    We stayed at Midnight Hotel in Braddon, a Bonvoy-affiliated property (Autograph Collection). Great Gold Elite recognition - FREE MINIBAR*, 1400 late checkout proactively offered, and 1 category room upgrade.

    Returned to Sydney with a boot full of our favourite single-source Tempranillos from Mt Majura. The Canberra District produces some of the best cool climate reds IMO (try the Syrah over at Lerida Estate or Clonanakilla, or the Cab Sav at Lark Hill if you haven't already).

    Now I'm hoping Lord Howe Island happens! They got spooked by the 2nd wave in VIC and resurgence in NSW, and have delayed their re-opening from 3 August to 31 August but our trip isn't till October so fingers crossed NSW holds the line between now and then (a month feels like a century these days...).

    *Convo went something like...
    Hotel receptionist : As a Gold member you get.... free minibar.
    Me: Oh, sweet. (thinking one could really get drunk on OJ and milk)
    Hotel receptionist, nodding earnestly, probably wondering about my mildly disinterested reaction: Yes, everything in that minibar is free.

    Arrived at room to find, amongst other things, 2 half bottles of wine and cans of beer in said minibar. Cue call to reception.

    Me:... so when you said "free minibar", does that also include the alcohol?
    Receptionist: Yes, everything is free. All for you. Enjoy.
    Last edited by KeithMEL; 22 August 2020, 03:04 PM.

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  • KeithMEL
    replied
    Originally posted by Lobster View Post
    Turned out I was overly optimistic. Got stranded trying to get home when the Philippines went on lockdown. I managed to get a flight to Manila but could not get a flight back to where I live.

    So I ended up spending 4.5 months stranded. First 6 weeks in hotel and then I managed to move to an Airbnb apartment. Finally I managed to get the required paperwork to get a sweeper flight back to where I live. But then I had to go into quarantine for 14 days on arrival (in the end I did 10 days in a hotel and when my test result came back I was allowed to do the final 4 days at home).

    I think it is going to be a very long time before I travel anywhere again.
    That's awful! What an ordeal... Quite a few heartrending stories out there of Australians not being able to travel to be with dying family members, attend funerals, help out with birth of grandchildren etc, and equally expats not being able to return home because of the strict cap on inbound arrivals (these aren't tourists who have been gallivanting overseas but expats who have been living overseas for a while but suddenly find themselves out of work).

    This lady was one of the lucky ones:
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/i-ve...20-p55njy.html
    Last edited by KeithMEL; 20 August 2020, 02:23 PM.

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  • MAN Flyer
    replied
    Originally posted by Lobster View Post
    Turned out I was overly optimistic. Got stranded trying to get home when the Philippines went on lockdown. I managed to get a flight to Manila but could not get a flight back to where I live.

    So I ended up spending 4.5 months stranded.
    That's just not fun at all.

    Leave a comment:


  • yflyer
    replied
    Originally posted by Lobster View Post
    Turned out I was overly optimistic. Got stranded trying to get home when the Philippines went on lockdown. I managed to get a flight to Manila but could not get a flight back to where I live.

    So I ended up spending 4.5 months stranded. First 6 weeks in hotel and then I managed to move to an Airbnb apartment. Finally I managed to get the required paperwork to get a sweeper flight back to where I live. But then I had to go into quarantine for 14 days on arrival (in the end I did 10 days in a hotel and when my test result came back I was allowed to do the final 4 days at home).

    I think it is going to be a very long time before I travel anywhere again.
    Thanks for sharing your experience, Lobster! Sounds like quite an ordeal. I can't imagine living away for 4.5 months like that. Glad you made it back home eventually!

    Leave a comment:


  • Lobster
    replied
    Originally posted by Lobster View Post
    I am in Bangkok now and wow is it quiet. I did think about cancelling but in the end I think I am just as likely to catch it at home as I am here.

    I did have to cancel a trip to Hong Kong, I probably would have gone but my flight home was cancelled.
    Turned out I was overly optimistic. Got stranded trying to get home when the Philippines went on lockdown. I managed to get a flight to Manila but could not get a flight back to where I live.

    So I ended up spending 4.5 months stranded. First 6 weeks in hotel and then I managed to move to an Airbnb apartment. Finally I managed to get the required paperwork to get a sweeper flight back to where I live. But then I had to go into quarantine for 14 days on arrival (in the end I did 10 days in a hotel and when my test result came back I was allowed to do the final 4 days at home).

    I think it is going to be a very long time before I travel anywhere again.

    Leave a comment:


  • MAN Flyer
    replied
    I am flying for the first time since January tomorrow. After thinking I would be really looking forward to it after so long, the hassle of masks and all the other stuff (like the countries I am visiting suddenly going on the UK quarantine list) sadly means I'm not, despite it being to two of my favourite cities and hotels.

    Leave a comment:


  • zilchster
    replied
    Originally posted by KeithMEL View Post
    Goodness, even booking a hotel for a simple overnight trip to Canberra - 3-4h drive from where we are depending on traffic - for a truffle hunt feels like locking in the Trip of a Lifetime... We're not even getting on a plane...
    I know how you feel. I went with a group of Singaporeans from Sydney to Canberra to vote 2 weeks ago. It was so good just to get out for a while.

    Leave a comment:


  • KeithMEL
    replied
    Goodness, even booking a hotel for a simple overnight trip to Canberra - 3-4h drive from where we are depending on traffic - for a truffle hunt feels like locking in the Trip of a Lifetime... We're not even getting on a plane...

    Leave a comment:


  • KeithMEL
    replied
    Cancelled Japan.

    QFF travel waiver meant I was able to cancel most of our redemption bookings without penalty. Unfortunately I wasn't thinking clearly and cancelled our KrisFlyer bookings at the same time rather than wait for SQ to cancel the flights or extend the date ranges covered by their waiver, copping the redeposit fee in the process - at least it's a relatively small fee but still a bit annoyed at myself.

    Booked a week in Lord Howe Island for October as domestic travel here in Australia resumes. Looking at somewhere in the Whitsundays or FNQ for our Christmas shutdown. One of the positive things about coronavirus is we're finally getting to check out more of our own country; numerous places here on the bucket list like LDH that we'd been putting off for "some other day" as it's usually way cheaper going overseas! Just hope we don't get hit by the dreaded 'second wave' like folks over in Victoria.

    Originally posted by KeithMEL View Post

    We booked a trip to Japan in September for one big whisky & cocktail bar hop around the country. We booked it back in Jan (using Points thankfully so we'd only be up for nominal charges if cancelled) before it all really kicked off globally, and at the time were thinking it'd all be sorted by September.

    Booked for a little over 2 weeks in Kyoto, Fukuoka, Chichibu and Tokyo, with whisky distillery visits planned for Yamazaki, Kanosuke outside Kagoshima, and Chichibu itself which we're lucky enough to score an industry invite to... big established distillery, small start up distillery + cult mini distillery. Also managed to redeem on JL F for HND-SYD which I've been waiting to tick off the list.

    Still hoping to make the trip, though as the weeks go by that seems increasingly unlikely.

    Japan is meant to be our one last big trip before I start my master's degree part time this November (whilst working full time - he thought he could, so he did! ) - the OH is also studying and unfortunately our semester vacations do not overlap! Subsequent years will see us squeezing in the odd trip here and there (probably Luxury Escapes style beach resort breaks) over long weekends or mid-semester study breaks.
    Last edited by KeithMEL; 6 July 2020, 04:58 PM.

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  • SQfanatic
    replied
    I know what I posted was a few months back but I did end up traveling back to my hometown (SFO) in late March, given there was no improvement to the situation anywhere.

    One thing I will mention is that I did fly from MSP to SFO on 3/26 evening and my flight was very light, lots of rows of seats to ourselves, good for sleeping and social distancing on DL. They also offered some snacks, but didn't have much since I knew I was going to have dinner once I reached home with most of my essential belongings (some clothes, all work related items, etc). I wore a mask throughout, which helped me.

    I'm still at my home in SFO (past the San Mateo Bridge and in the suburbs) and still working from home. There is no indication of when I'll go back, but it doesn't look like anytime soon.

    If this was a normal time, I would have traveled back for visits in late March, late May, and now for Independence Day (ask for a WFH) and travel to India.

    The coronavirus ruined mine and my parents' travel plans to travel to India. We were going there for religious purposes, and because I work with my offshore team regularly as well as onsite people at my company, I had planned my last 2 days in Chennai to visit and work from the offshore location meeting all my colleagues I work with and celebrate, which before that the 2 weeks I would have been on full leave.

    We had to cancel our tickets and applied and waiting for the refund. Never thought in our life this would happen, but I'm certainly hoping things get better once a vaccine for COVID19 comes and we hear improvements from there.

    Moreover, India is also in a worse situation. They are also WFH like us, but the lockdown there has stopped both international and domestic travel, especially international as well as rail and bus service. Domestic travel did resume, so luckily I had some relatives who were able to fly back home last month.

    We don't know how long covid-19 will go on for, but I hope the US finds a better way to handle the situation since our cases are going up daily and we are worse than the rest of the world.

    Stay safe everyone.

    Leave a comment:


  • Metropolitan Airlines
    replied
    Coronavirus has ruined my travel plans in June and July, where I am planning to go back to Hong Kong via Singapore and it seems that this will not be materialised.
    I am planning to see if I can come back in September or October so that I will be able vote in the upcoming legislative council election.

    Leave a comment:


  • zilchster
    replied
    Originally posted by KeithMEL View Post
    We've had to cancel our train ride on the Indian Pacific (transcontinental train cruise from Sydney to Perth) which we'd booked for Easter, as several Australian states have imposed border restrictions for interstate travellers. It's a bucket list item but we could always do it another time. Got a full refund as the rail operator had suspended its operations.

    We booked a trip to Japan in September for one big whisky & cocktail bar hop around the country. We booked it back in Jan (using Points thankfully so we'd only be up for nominal charges if cancelled) before it all really kicked off globally, and at the time were thinking it'd all be sorted by September.

    Booked for a little over 2 weeks in Kyoto, Fukuoka, Chichibu and Tokyo, with whisky distillery visits planned for Yamazaki, Kanosuke outside Kagoshima, and Chichibu itself which we're lucky enough to score an industry invite to... big established distillery, small start up distillery + cult mini distillery. Also managed to redeem on JL F for HND-SYD which I've been waiting to tick off the list.

    Still hoping to make the trip, though as the weeks go by that seems increasingly unlikely.

    Japan is meant to be our one last big trip before I start my master's degree part time this November (whilst working full time - he thought he could, so he did! ) - the OH is also studying and unfortunately our semester vacations do not overlap! Subsequent years will see us squeezing in the odd trip here and there (probably Luxury Escapes style beach resort breaks) over long weekends or mid-semester study breaks.
    Fingers cross that things would return to normal by then.

    Leave a comment:


  • KeithMEL
    replied
    We've had to cancel our train ride on the Indian Pacific (transcontinental train cruise from Sydney to Perth) which we'd booked for Easter, as several Australian states have imposed border restrictions for interstate travellers. It's a bucket list item but we could always do it another time. Got a full refund as the rail operator had suspended its operations.

    We booked a trip to Japan in September for one big whisky & cocktail bar hop around the country. We booked it back in Jan (using Points thankfully so we'd only be up for nominal charges if cancelled) before it all really kicked off globally, and at the time were thinking it'd all be sorted by September.

    Booked for a little over 2 weeks in Kyoto, Fukuoka, Chichibu and Tokyo, with whisky distillery visits planned for Yamazaki, Kanosuke outside Kagoshima, and Chichibu itself which we're lucky enough to score an industry invite to... big established distillery, small start up distillery + cult mini distillery. Also managed to redeem on JL F for HND-SYD which I've been waiting to tick off the list.

    Still hoping to make the trip, though as the weeks go by that seems increasingly unlikely.

    Japan is meant to be our one last big trip before I start my master's degree part time this November (whilst working full time - he thought he could, so he did! ) - the OH is also studying and unfortunately our semester vacations do not overlap! Subsequent years will see us squeezing in the odd trip here and there (probably Luxury Escapes style beach resort breaks) over long weekends or mid-semester study breaks.
    Last edited by KeithMEL; 28 March 2020, 05:41 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • SQfanatic
    replied
    Iím living in Minneapolis for 1 year now due to work and bimonthly I travel to SFO to visit my family and the situation is worse there and in MSP itís getting just as bad too.

    If remote work is completely forced, I will probably ask to travel back and return when the situation improves

    Leave a comment:

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