By: Flynn Bush
In the summer of 2020, there was no travel allowed, due to the pandemic that had breached our shores. Then, in 2021, an overseas vacation was not as accessible for Caymanians as we had become accustomed to all our lives. Now this year, with all travel restrictions lifted, and people’s lives settled back to normal, somewhat, a lot of Caymanian residents have been jetting off-island for a time; much like they used to do before Covid 19 disrupted our way of life. Nicoela and Chris McCoy, along with their two sons, chose that option this summer.
To begin her account of the experience, Nikki stated, “We travelled to Tampa and Orlando for about 15 nights; we are fortunate to have a place in Tampa so for us it’s very comfortable and convenient to have our own things. Our children consider Tampa their second home.” She continued, “The ease of travel to Florida with direct flights on Cayman Airways is always a plus; many times, we will base ourselves there and take driving excursions to other parts of Florida or other states to explore. Tampa Airport, in particular, is attractive, easy, convenient and well-structured, especially when travelling with children of all ages.”
We as Caymanians have always loved the fact that there are activities abroad that we cannot participate in The Cayman Islands. When asked, Nikki listed a few things that her family chose to do. “Some of the highlights included IFLY indoor sky-diving adventure, indoor go-carting, and taking the boys to their first large country music concert at the Mid-Florida Amphitheater (Dierks Bentley/Jordan Davis concert).”
They also visited a fly-in community/residential airpark in North Tampa where residents live on an airstrip with their small light aircraft in their backyard hangars. “Both my husband and I are involved in the aviation industry professionally, but also own our own small aircraft as he is a private pilot) etc.”
Further elaborating on why her family chose those particular activities, Nikki said, “We are not big theme park people nor huge shoppers but love new culinary experiences, outdoor adventures, and the ability to take in shows/concerts/plays and productions not available in Cayman.” She continued, “With children of varying ages, it’s always a challenge to find suitable activities for all and we always try to find a mix of activities to experience. Being familiar with Tampa from our college days, Chris and I find a nice mix of things to engage in for the entire family.”
When I asked her for any final words or thoughts on the experience, her reply was simple.
“After COVID it has been great to see travel returning to normal and to be able to get out and explore the world again. For the summer, trips of 2+ weeks are ideal as people need to find the downtime to relax, have a break from work, reflect and rejuvenate especially if there are children involved, before the new school year starts again. The mental break, time to have fun, and be creative is important to our well-being; whatever that means to each of us.”
Undoubtedly, Caymanians are happy that it is now possible to travel as we used to before that nasty virus changed the world. This summer, many families took to the sky to enjoy some time off-island and rejuvenate and recharge. Nicoela, Chris, and their sons chose to do that as well. From their story, it should be easy for all to see the attraction; and to understand why they chose to do so.