The Edlin family loves to travel! Anabel, 54, a senior financial analyst and Dick Edlin, 68, a retired manufacturing manager, are a couple from Houston, Texas. They began travelling soon after they got married, first exploring their native USA and Mexico before taking their first overseas trip with Expat Explore in 2019! In December 2021, they embarked on our Great Britain Christmas tour.
Anabel and Dick were joined by their son, Joshua, his girlfriend, Kailey, and their daughter, Jennelle. Anabel and Dick share their adventure with us and give us some insight into travelling during the pandemic.
The Edlins had great travel plans for 2020. After they experienced our Europe Taster tour in 2019, they couldn’t wait to see more of the world! They had booked and paid for a total of four international trips, including a tour of Istanbul, Turkey. However, as we all know, the Covid-19 pandemic had other plans. The Edlins had no choice but to cancel each and every trip that they were so excited to take. Aside from restrictions, the Edlins were also nervous to travel and concerned about being around people they didn’t know. “We even cancelled trips to visit family members, fearing that we could infect or get infected” they recalled.
While health concerns and border closures prohibited travel in 2020, the Edlins maintain that “the lockdown and COVID-19 had no effect on our willingness to travel. The need to travel is more of a way to escape the rigours of work and life in general!”
Cut to 2021 and the world slowly began opening up. After travel was put on pause for so many months, Expat Explore pressed play when we hosted our first Europe tour of 2021 in August. The Edlins were also ready to press play and began looking into our Great Britain Christmas tour in June 2021. According to Dick and Anabel, they chose Great Britain after visiting London on a previous trip. “We stayed for two extra days in London after the end of the tour. We loved the sights and people of London. Since we were including our children this trip, we wanted them to experience some of the same things we did.”
The Edlins were confident in selecting Expat Explore for this tour. “We had previously used Expat Explore and thoroughly enjoyed our Tour Leader, Steve. We were positive that Expat Explore would provide another enjoyable experience.” From the booking process to the itinerary, local guides and Great Britain Tour Leader, Luke, the Edlins felt taken care of once again.
While most of Anabel and Dick’s travels have included their two children, this was the first time their son’s girlfriend joined them. Travelling on a group tour also means sharing your travels with strangers. However, as the Edlin’s like to say, “There is no such thing as a stranger, just people that we haven’t had the pleasure of meeting yet.” Fellow travellers and Tour Leaders really do become an extension of your family on an Expat Explore tour! “Traveling to different countries broadens a person’s experiences and knowledge about other cultures. The majority of the people in the world are not really so different from the rest.”
In the future, the Edlin’s are looking forward to experiencing more cultures and meeting more fascinating people. “We love to travel and have plans to visit other countries in Europe and Asia. Eventually we would like to visit South America and Africa,” said Anabel and Dick, “we have already scheduled a trip to Spain in March and an Eastern Europe tour in September of 2022. Our plans in the future include South Korea, Australia, and Ireland.”
As anyone who planned a Europe trip in December 2021 will know, new variant Omicron really put a spanner in the works. New lockdowns and travel restrictions popped up around Europe and many feared their long awaited travel plans would be cancelled. However, thanks to the hard work of the Expat Explore team, three of our festive season tours including the Great Britain Christmas Tour were able to go ahead! Covid-19 protocols added a few extra steps to the process. The Edlins had to take a total of three Covid tests. “One before we left the USA and two while we were in the UK”, note Anabel and Dick. Mask wearing was also enforced. While they did admit that they found this a bit uncomfortable, it certainly did not stop them from enjoying this tour to the fullest!
Our Great Britain Christmas Tour travels to multiple locations within England, Scotland and Wales. As Anabel and Dick shared that the advantages of going on an organised tour is getting to see more locations than if they had tried to do it on their own. Wondering what the Edlin family’s favourite place was? “We really enjoyed Edinburgh, Scotland. The castles are amazing!” says Anabel and Dick. They did note, however, “We were a bit disappointed that it doesn’t seem like the UK commercialises Christmas like the USA”.
They also had plenty of fun with Tour Leader Luke, who Anabel and Dick said kept the whole tour entertained in many ways, “Every time that someone asked him to take pictures with their phone, he would take a selfie. We wound up with two!”
The world is opening up and ready to welcome you back! As the Edlin family has shown, it’s possible to travel safely and enjoy a hassle-free tour when you book with Expat Explore. Have a look at our UK and Ireland tours, or explore even more with a multi-country Europe tour!
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