Last July, we finally made it out of our quarantine bunker. Seychelles was our first vacation since the pandemic – it was a surreal time to travel. By July 2021 most Americans had readily available vaccines while most around the world had limited access. This is a topic for another day, but it’s unconscionable that the US purchased more than twice the number of vaccines needed (for contingency plan purposes) while the rest of the world scrambled. Furthermore, as of this writing, other countries such as Germany are also discriminating against some vaccines for entry – approving only vaccines developed in the US and Europe. This intentionally limits travel to those in Europe and the US. If we’re are advocating for the world to get vaccinated, then we should not discriminate based on vaccine type for travel entry.

Since most folks were not traveling, our flight was mostly empty and we had entire rows to ourselves. It was the first flight where I was able to sleep horizontally. Wow, did it make a difference! I’ve never felt more refreshed after a long flight – must be quite luxurious to those who travel in first-class sleeper seats! Though traveling to Seychelles is typically expensive and exclusive, the pandemic offered discounts to lure travelers. It was a surreal time to visit since most places we visited had minimal tourists – often we had beaches and facilities to ourselves.

Seychelles is beautiful with many of the world’s best beaches – and I dare say better than the Philippines. I also find it unbelievable that Seychelles was uninhabited (it’s in the middle of nowhere) until the French, then the British claimed it beginning in the 16th century. Bringing slaves and traders with them making up the diverse population of today’s Seychelles. The country also boasts two UNESCO world heritage sites. Valle de Mai in Praslin is a must-see for the coco de mer, a rare palm species with two coconuts within a husk and having separate male and female trees. The other UNESCO site is Aldabra which is closer to Madagascar and is quite challenging to visit. It would be amazing to visit one day. When we inquired about visiting we were informed that we had to send a boat a few days ahead of us since encounters with pirates were a real concern. Then, charter our own flight to a nearby island to meet our boat since there is no landing strip at Aldabra. We mostly drove, biked, or took a boat (and snorkeled) from one island to another. It was sad to see that most corals were dead which is also true in most parts of the world. Though it was encouraging to see that they were having some success with coral cultivation at Saint-Anne Marine Park in Mahe.

Here are some pictures from Seychelles.

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