The trip I’m currently in the midst of was planned numerous times during the past 3 years. The original plan for 2020 was for two weeks in Spain with my youngest son, followed by two weeks in Greece on my own. As you might imagine, there was no trip in 2020. I optimistically planned the same vacation for 2021, but eventually had to yield to circumstances and opted for an ambitious west coast road trip, instead of a return to Europe.
That trip was fantastic and I’ll never regret making the change and showing my son a different part of the country and introducing him to long time friends. We had a blast.
I planned the current version of my trip last year and have been anticipating it with both anticipation and resignation that it again might not happen. Up until the moment the plane took off from JFK, I was resistant to full out excitement. I had read about far too many snafus in travel in recent months and had no reason, other than the absolute perfection of my planning and the universe’s hoped for cooperation, that I would be unaffected by current travel conditions.
My original plan was a completely solo trip for 2.5 weeks in Greece. I made reservations in two places with which I was familiar, then added a new place to explore. I invited a friend who lives (and has hosted me) in Rome to join me on Paros Island, a place I loved in 2019, for a week and she was able to accept my offer.
In March, I wished a McMenamin cousin in Dublin a Happy St. Patrick’s Day and asked if she was traveling this summer. Maybe she’d like to meet me in Greece, I jokingly asked? It turned out that she and her family were already booked to visit Greece. Our dates overlapped – and she was staying on the island right next to us, a quick ferry ride away.
We were going to be able to have some craic.
Then, a friendship grew into a romance. Turns out he likes to travel, too.
My solo trip turned into a party that I’m still shaking my head over. I feel like the universe gave me the biggest imaginable sign that I’m living right. Every single moment has been truly beyond expectation. The weather, scenery, accommodations, meals and, of course, company, have been delightful. This trip has been as epic as I had imagined.
Other than my arrival day, I’ve had companions with whom to enjoy this experience but, as of yesterday, I’m back on my own. My sweetie departed yesterday and, while I’m missing my hand in his, I’m looking forward to spending this last week independently exploring a new area of Greece.