Time to go!

At least two reasons are telling me not to say this, but it’s time. Because my flight leaves in five hours, so since I haven’t gotten any cancellation emails and my covid test came back clean, I think I’m actually flying to Bucharest today. Reason One not to say anything was not to jinx it, but I’ll rely on this knock-on-wood and hope it’s enough.

The second reason is that many might find me reckless and even irresponsible to be traveling at a time when case numbers are higher than our cruising altitude. That would be understandable. But.

Risk is always hard to assess, and also an inevitable part of travel, but right now Romania is pretty much the safest country in Europe for covid. Their rates of infection are significantly lower than what’s happening around me here. I have a stack of N95 masks for the airport, an excellent cloth mask for the flight itself, and faith in airplane air filters. Furthermore, Romania has so far been running about two months behind Western Europe and the US, so I expect that within a couple months, their omicron wave will be peaking, as I suspect/hope ours is now, so if I want to get this trip in, now is the time.

Romania is that lightest yellow one, under Moldova. Suffice to say, the US is that dark purple color.

And I very much want to get this trip in. Not just because I’m craving travel like pandas crave bamboo, but because it’s more than just a fun jaunt. It’s research.

I announced my Romania tour here, but I know it’s been a bit vague on details. The goal of this trip is to lock down some of the details and concerns, so I can make a big announcement soon after I return in two weeks, inshallah. One of those concerns is, of course, covid. I take this pandemic seriously. And looking at the numbers and risks, I have decided that I feel safe making this trip as an individual right now. Suffice to say, I would NOT take a group under current conditions. But I want to see Romania during this difficult moment, so that I can feel good as gold about it when things are better, as I very much expect them to be during the summer, and will require that they be before I take a group.

My travel plans reflect my tour design, so I will be spending most of my time outside, and limiting my contact with others. In addition, since I’m fully vaccinated, booster in early December, if I do catch it and have to quarantine, Bucharest hotels cost a fraction of what accommodation does in every town I visit on my normal tours. I have a massive library on my kindle and my fingers crossed.

So, if you’re looking for travel news and stories during this cold, locked down, beleaguered January, impatient for the better times that I believe are coming later this year, check back here, as I’ll try to make small posts regularly. Or even better, sign up for my email list here or below, so I can send you something directly to your inbox. You know I’m not the spamming sort, but I’ll try to send short shout-outs to those who are interested.

Luck to me and to you, and may your travel dreams be merry in 2022!

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