It feels like a very long time since I was able to post a year’s wishlist at a time when travel seems not just possible–but probable. That’s not to say that this year hasn’t been fraught with cancellations so far; I’m just choosing to make lemonade wherever possible.
To start with, Mr. Pretty and I should have been leaving for Tokyo at the end of this week. Alas, Japan is closed. I’m super disappointed to miss out on Tokyo–I will probably never have confirmed tickets for such an inexpensive price. But one day when Japan reopens to tourists, Mr. Pretty and I will nonrev there and have a blast. Our tickets were through American, and they were kind enough to offer us a credit, even though out tickets were completely nonrefundable. Hey, extenuating circumstances and all that.
The catch: we have to fly before April 22, 2022. Given the state of COVID-19 in the States, there aren’t a ton of places we would feel comfortable going–the South and the Midwest are definitely OUT. Again, we’re making lemonade here: I ended up booking a long weekend for us in Cancun for April. I’m not much of a beach girl, and Cancun has been not a fantastic option as of late–but I booked us a hotel that’s on the beach yet outside the main tourist hotel zone. I can sit oceanside for a few days.
And then there was the trip to Paris I had booked with my mom for March. My mom hasn’t had COVID19 yet and would very much like to keep it that way, especially since she’s in her 70s, and so she asked to reschedule our trip for next year. There’s a pretty good chance we won’t get a full refund, so I’m planning to cancel her ticket and take the trip myself . . . except that I’ve been to Paris a handful of times now, so I’ll be taking the train to Colmar. It’s such a pretty little town, and I’ve always wanted to visit. As an added bonus, there’s a layover in Lisbon long enough to leave the airport–and so I get to visit my favorite pasteis de nata joint for a snack!
While I was on hold with the airline for those Paris tickets recently, I discovered that Mr. Pretty’s airline is re-starting most of their European flights out of Philly very soon–which means we’re heading to Venice, Italy in May for the art biennale! Normally when I hit Venice for the biennale, I stay for two, maybe three days. This year we’re going to spend the whole week. It’s funny–at the time I made our plans, I thought I wouldn’t be going anywhere this spring. Tokyo canceled. Paris canceled. Stuck at home. Of course I would want to spend a full week in Venice! And all of a sudden I’ve got trips stacked up, one after the other. I’m not complaining–Venice in spring is fantastic, and maybe we’ll have time for a day trip on the train.
Still, it feels weird to have plans that aren’t . . . questionable. Maybe this is just the way it will feel for a while as the pandemic drags on. I’ve gotten on board that the pandemic will end this year (based what epidemiologists are predicting). Not that it will just–poof!–disappear . . . just that it’ll become endemic (or at least less hideous). Given the trauma we’ve all encountered due to the pandemic, it seems like the personal impacts won’t just go away. Maybe it’ll feel weird to have real, concrete plans forever! If that’s what it takes to get flying again, I’ll take it.