An Ontario family who planned to take a yearlong adventure around the world have returned to Canada after cutting the trip short due to COVID-19.
The Cini family returned to Canada on July 4 and are in mandatory quarantine after spending a year travelling through Mexico, Columbia, Peru, Chile, New Zealand, India, Laos, Singapore, Australia and Thailand.
Joseph Cini told CTV News that his family was in Australia when they first heard about the novel coronavirus. He said China was supposed to be the family’s final stop on their tour.
The family said they did not anticipate the virus to cause a global pandemic and continued on their trip to Vietnam before countries starting closing borders and entering lockdown.
“We started thinking, ‘What are we going to do? We are a 30-hour flight home.’ So we just said ‘Forget it, let’s find somewhere close and safe’ so we headed to Phuket, Thailand,” Joseph said.
Joseph added that the family remained in Thailand for the following four months before returning home on Saturday.
The teacher and his wife, Charo Cini, who is a nurse, decided to take sabbaticals from their careers to embark on a year of travel with their oldest son Marco, 11, and their 9-year-old twins Mateo and Daniela.
The family rented out their home and sold their car before jetting off on July 2, 2019.
Charo said in an interview with CTV News that the trip has made their children more cultured.
“It gives them perspective and not to take things for granted and becomes citizens of the world,” Charo said.
Despite the pandemic, she says the family have enjoyed their experiences abroad and have memories that will last a lifetime.
However, Joseph said self-isolating in the family’s Etobicoke home does not compare to their recent adventures.
Friends have dropped off groceries at the family’s front door, but Joseph said it is difficult to not yet be able to spend time with their loved ones.
“The hard part is we have family and friends we want to see and they want to see us and we haven’t seen them in a year,” Joseph said.
Their son Marco added that he and his siblings miss their friends.
“We don’t know how our friends have changed, they don’t know how we have changed,” Marco said.
While their backyard may be as exotic as it gets for the family over the next 14 days, Joseph said the downtime will give them a chance to start planning their next adventure.