Over the Rainbow… Women ready to travel? Time is getting nearer and nearer when we will. The virus is no Wizard of Oz; it is real, dangerous and in control of our lives right now. But things are changing even though it feels like they are not.

We will travel again and the time is getting nearer.
So who is wearing the mask on our Ethiopia trip?

Slowly slowly, travel is coming back. Travelers are antsy. Airlines are sparkling clean, as are airports. Hotels are sanitized. Even the NY City subway is polished and primed. We are getting used to masks, hand washing, sanitizer, and distancing. We sick and tired of eating our own cooking… and eating it alone or accompanied by Prevatin commercials and endless news on the tv.

So what is changing while it feels like nothing is changing? Women are ready to travel.

Portugal is open to all tourism. This is a small fascinating country with a mix of European, Arab and African influences. Portugal owned half of the known world 500 years ago and has taken the dramatic step of allowing all tourists in except for those from Spain and Italy.  Nice for US visitors to be part of the club again

Some Caribbean Islands and specific regions of Mexico are open again; US Tourists shortly allowed also. Some countries opening like Greece and Cyprus require a recent Covid test. Others like UK ask you to self quarantine. Bali is almost virus free, who knew? Croatia the same with cruises beginning up the magnificent Adriatic coast. 

Delta has continued to impress with email announcements on how very seriously they take the virus for both us and their staff. SW says new bookings now exceed cancellations.  US airlines require us to wear masks; but crew is not to force anyone. Ladies, that is our job. Do not hesitate to say something to your seat mate if that person removes their mask once on board. Be polite, ask why they removed it? Involve others around you and have crew stand by. We strongly believe that getting involved to save lives is acceptable. Be polite, do not get engaged in a verbal fight, just ask for that mask to be put back on and express your personal concern, even fear.

River cruises are ready for us, safely as we wait for Western and Eastern Europe to greet us again. Travel is opening and we are ready.

Tourist attractions are opening. How gorgeous was the Eiffel Tower June 25, bathed in Parisian sunlight and backgrounded with spires, domes, parks, monuments and grandiose boulevards of Paris.  The Vatican is opening says CNN.

So here is the big question: how will we feel traveling the world with masks, distancing and general unease.

Japanese and Asians wear masks routinely and they don’t gripe.

Distancing in restaurants used to be only for the fancy upmarket places. The rest of us peons were crammed together! I ate outside, distanced for the first time a week ago; it felt like the weight of everything was lifted in the same way that a grey cloudy sky lets in a bit of blue for a moment of joy.

And finally general unease? If you walk down most avenues in NY, which was the epicenter of the virus in North America, today you see sidewalk cafes, distanced tables and pots of flowers brightening the atmosphere. Tables are everywhere as thousands of restaurants apply for more and more outside seating. People are distanced, happy, eating and drinking outdoors. Frankly the scene brings smiles to anyone walking by. Yesterday restaurats were plywood; today NY restaurants are Paris on NY streets

Little by little we are moving in the right direction everywhere, except you know where. No political angle here, just the facts. Encourage your neighbors to obey the CDC, and help us all get out of this isolation.

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