It is time! Time to get back in the saddle and do some traveling!
One thing the Covid years taught us was not to assume we will always be able to travel - even if we can afford it and are healthy enough to do it. We reminded ourselves often during our lockdown years - when a trip to the grocery store was an event to be celebrated - that we would 'Carpe Diem' and travel far and wide once we were free to do so.
|Maggie doesn't approve of any travel!|
But then came another 'lockdown' of sorts for us last year - the kind that comes with residency permit renewal. For 4.5 months we were not allowed to travel beyond our Greek borders while awaiting our new permits.
|Hiking local trails, a favorite lockdown activity|
Much to our surprise we realized how easy complacency about travel can slow the flow of travel juices. We found that we enjoyed our homelife. We enjoyed hiking around our area. When we could, we enjoyed short jaunts in Greece.
|Residency permit lockdown on a Greek ferry passing a cruise ship in Piraeus.|
We made our annual journeys back to the States after lockdown eased in both countries. Returning to our home country is allowed during residency renewal. Yet, it didn't count as a travel adventure, the type that affords new experiences and discoveries, though.
|Italy, land of the pizza pies|
Even as travel opened up and the red tape and pre-travel testing slowly became travel 'hurdles of the past', we didn't seem inspired to go much further than nearby Italy. And you regulars here, know that the flight time there is under two hours from Athens, so it is like visiting a nearby state in the U.S. Our Greek phone even works there, so it felt even more like a close-to-home getaway.
A few months ago, The Scout decided to put his old travel scouting skills to work. He was researching cruises-- a type of travel in which we used to indulge but haven't given it much thought for a very long time -- when one day he said, 'here's something of interest. . .'
The dye was cast. And we are set to head out on a true adventure - they type we haven't had for probably seven or eight years. It is the kind of trip that will take us to places in the world we've not yet visited and also back to old favorites. We will be heading to. . .
|Athens to SE Asia|
In our early years of travel together we visited Asia -- Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore -- as annual vacation times from work allowed. It has been a very long time, literally decades, since we've spent much time in that part of the world, and that could be why the Southeast Asian cruise itinerary called out to us.
Embarking in Bangkok, Thailand we will set sail on Oceania's Nautica, a small ship of 625 passengers, for ports of call elsewhere in Thailand, Cambodia, Viet Nam and enjoy a few days at sea before disembarking in Singapore. Our segment will be 10-days long. Other passengers who boarded in India and will depart weeks later in Hong Kong will have logged a dozen weeks on board.
We will get to the cruise by flying Turkish Airlines from Athens via Istanbul to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and spend three days there before flying to Bangkok.
For those of you wondering about the lingering impacts of Covid requirements on travel: we need not test prior to boarding but are required to have proof of vaccination with us. As of this writing none of the countries are requiring testing, but as we all know, that can change on a moment's notice.
It is now time to activate that travel bug again and yet how unnatural that feels after an extended period of not traveling. But its time. Time to dust off the suitcases, eat some different foods, see new vistas, try new airlines, and force us out of our complacent comfort zone. It is finally time to 'carpe diem!
The next time you hear from us, we will have new travel adventure tales to tell. How about you? Have you resumed travel and if so, did it, at first, feel unnatural? Or are you still giving some thought to travel? If you are enjoying armchair travels, where have books or television taken you?
As always thanks for the time you've spent with us today. Wishes for safe travels to you and yours~