Stop having fun. Don’t you know what’s going on?


Earlier this month The Globe and Mail published a story of mine about Canadian winter bucket list experiences across the country. After mentioning that times are tough and travel is restricted, I showcased some iconic stuff (Northern Lights, Skiing Banff), some local stuff (Capilano Bridge’s Canyon Lights, Winnipeg’s Thermea Spa) and some off-the-beaten stuff too (Polar Bear Swim in the Bay of Fundy, Ice Canyoning in Quebec). Obviously, the Second Wave has all but ensured that nobody is going anywhere, and many tourism businesses are tragically closed for business at a peak period. Still, no health advisory can stop the Rockies, or the Aurora Borealis, or the wolves roaming Prince Albert National Park.

I noticed the comments, which is always a terrible thing for a writer to do, especially a writer in The Globe and Mail.

“On what planet would it make sense for people to travel for entertainment to these very areas?? Whoever authorized running this (obviously) stock article should be fired for contributing to the current problem of citizens not paying attention to what’s going on in society.”
“Its an outrageous article that is completely out of touch with what’s happening right now. Give your head a shake. Everyone needs to stay put this winter and wait it out.”
“It is completely irresponsible of the G&M to be encouraging travel, even within Canada, this winter.”

The only thing more terrible than reading such comments is replying to them , because a: we’re actually advised not to and b: it doesn’t accomplish anything other than boiling one’s blood pressure. However, if I were to reply, here’s what I would say:

“Oh, is there a pandemic going on? Sorry, I didn’t notice. It’s not like anyone involved in tourism has been impacted, or is struggling to keep their business, career and livelihood afloat. I’m sure I would have mentioned this situation somewhere (oh wait, I did, in the very first paragraph). As we isolate ourselves with misery, fear and daily rolling case numbers, what’s the point of even dreaming, or getting inspired, or learning something new, or sparking a dinner conversation about things to do when this is all over? What’s the point of shining some media spotlight on regions or companies that desperately need it? Why are we watching Netflix or buying clothes or playing games on our devices when there’s a pandemic going on? What’s wrong with you media people? Why aren’t you paying attention to what’s happening in society, where are all your pandemic stories? The Globe and Mail should report exclusively on Covid-19 and stay well clear of Business, Sport, Culture, Comics, and anything else that might detract from what’s happening right now. We should absolutely fire editors for commissioning such stories months in advance, and for having the audacity to even suggest readers can get past the obvious. Fire them all – it’s not like there’s a shortage of paid media jobs – so we can get our trusted, in-touch news from whatever dubious website pops up in our mind-numbing Facebook feeds. Trump won the US election you know, even the Galactic Federation knows the truth! Since it is irresponsible to continue to do whatever it is one did before the pandemic, these stock (ouch, that one hurt) articles should be burned in a bonfire, along with anything that gives us hope, joy and something to look forward to. Like say, The Great Canadian Bucket List, which is inexplicably one of the top selling Canadian travel books on How could someone even write that sort of book with what’s happening right now. What is wrong with people?”


Not that I would ever reply, because oscar001ca and Simon In-Need-of-a Proctologist and CatherineB2 have every right to voice their opinion, just so long as nobody else has the right to voice their own.

I’m hoping my wonderful editor and her Globe and Mail team are able to brush these inane comments off in order to continue holding down a desperately needed Fort of Inspiration during exceptionally dark times. I’m also hoping the businesses and regions we linked to will be able to survive the most challenging year imaginable, so that they can welcome inspired guests and clients who read somewhere, possibly in The Globe and Mail, that such an experience was truly worth adding to one’s bucket list.

Stay safe, stay inspired, and let’s all look forward to a more uplifting 2021.
If you’d like to read my personal reflection on 2020, you might enjoy this post.

Great Canadian Bucket List