Unforgettable Summer 2021 Travel: Adventures and Discoveries

After waiting for the right time to travel to Greece, June 2021 seemed right.  Every day, every minute, the trip was never certain until I boarded the airplane.  Never sure if the next flight would fly due to constant COVID regulation changes.  Besides having the usual stress of having your passport, travel itinerary, personal items, and checklists, you had to have a COVID test that passed the validation process. It was absolutely insane.  Every time I uploaded the test results, a red dot would appear on the United Airlines app, saying I could not travel.  After my long stay in Greece, I learned many lessons that will be a separate blog!  

I remember being on hold for 5 hours with the United Representatives to figure out if I could travel or if I had to cancel my flights.  What was really interesting was I had multiple connections.  I was concerned that I would be stuck in an airport for days, or who knows how long until the airlines figured out what to do with stranded passengers.  

There were new forms that had to be filled out, the passenger locator form, which was a mandate by the European Union.  Most of the forms had to be done online and saved to your smartphone.  I really pitied the people who had no smartphones to work with.  Looking back, I was much better off not using the phone app!

After getting several COVID tests to travel, I had to keep checking to see if I was validated to travel.  I was told I could not travel so many times; however, the app didn’t tell me why I couldn’t travel. It was enough to be concerned whether the test would be negative or positive, then you had to be certain you satisfied the time requirements. That wasn’t very clear!  Because I was crossing the time and date line, my arrival date was more than 72 hours, causing my test to be invalid!  So I had to go back online with the pharmacy to schedule another COVID test. 

Guess what?  There were no available appointments that day, which meant I had to cancel my flight because I couldn’t get the test in time.  The testing requirements were illogical and impossible to satisfy logistically.  The test had to be taken no more than 72 hours before arrival to Greece, yet the results from the lab would take four days after doing the math (24×4=96 hours). This made NO sense at all. I used a wonderful travel agent from Rhodes, Greece.  Her name is Mariza.  She was my guardian angel. Her mantra was don’t worry.  She guided me every step of the way.  I must have contacted her at least 100 times over the whole trip!  

Once I got to Greece, I didn’t have to quarantine.  The travel process in Greece was smooth and fast.  I connected to my flight to the island and landed after many hours.  I was the lucky one!  I cannot tell you how many people have missed flights and taken multiple COVID tests only to be rejected repeatedly.  One of my relatives, who obviously had lots of time and disposable income, spent nine days traveling all through Europe trying to make it to Greece.  They had to repurchase COVID tests and airline tickets.  Many of my friends just said “EFF” it!  I was too stubborn and persistent to cancel my trip.  During the interim, I thought positive thoughts, I’m going, everything will be alright, I prayed, I cried, I laughed, I never gave up.  As long as there was hope, I persisted.  

I kept wondering whether my Astrology forecast was inaccurate. It clearly showed travel overseas. Of course, there is no way of knowing if it would be where I wanted to go.