Glimmers of Hope
So... today is the day I was supposed to leave for Malta. But, well... you know.
It is the third international trip that was upended by the Coronavirus (Georgia last May, India in November), but to be completely honest the Malta trip was doubtful from the day I booked it. I had airline points that were expiring, and I decided that if some sort of 2021 miracle occurred it might be possible. Since it was the airline that cancelled the trip, I now have those miles back... so, Malta 2022, anyone?
But the trip I have planned for Turkey in May was a different story. I booked it last fall in a fit of optimism, hopeful that medical science and new adult leadership might save me from another year of not getting inside an airport.
And now? I'm beginning to think I may have been right.
Yes, there are a couple of dark clouds out there. Intrepid, the company I was planning to tour Turkey with, has now cancelled most tours through the end of April, leaving my Turkey Trot just three weeks from the chopping block. And, of course, there are the COVID variants out there threatening to unleash another year of misery on the world.
But today, I am hopeful that one way or another, I will see Istanbul in May.
For one thing, I am now fully vaccinated, a fact for which I am eternally grateful. But it's not just me: the pace of vaccinations both in the U.S. and in Turkey is picking up, and in three months time I expect a significant portion of both populations will be immunized.
So, even if Intrepid decides to play it safe and cancel the tour, there's still a good possibility that my direct flight from Dulles to Istanbul will depart as planned. If I choose to get on it, I could just whittle the vacation down to two or three Turkish cities (Istanbul, Goreme, and Kaz are the leading contenders now) and do the whole thing independently. Right now, that is the #2 option for the May time off.
And before you tell me that I'm putting all my Turkeys in one basket, I am considering other options: Portugal if Western Europe looks good; an Amtrak or car trip out west if international travel still looks like a bad idea.
But for now, I'm optimistic. Maybe it's the spring-like weather in North Carolina this week, maybe it's the vaccine in my blood, maybe it's falling case numbers locally and internationally. But right now, I fully expect to walk down the aisle in May, hearing those words I've been longing to hear for the past fifteen months: "This is your captain speaking...."
82 days and counting...