I don’t know what it is or how long it will last, but I’ve been dealing with adversity much better than I had been in recent years.
Is it the therapy sessions I’ve been having? Has my anxiety been reduced because of the hormone replacement patches I’ve been wearing for the past few months? Or do I finally just get it: that I won’t always have control over my circumstances and that sometimes it’s better to just be accepting and to roll with it.
I’ve been in hotel quarantine now in the UK for about a week; I arrived last Sunday. The first couple of days were a bit of a shock to the system, but I’ve eased into it quite well. I have my own little routine and I’ve been able to build little things into my day and week to look forward to. It really is the little things that make all the difference. I go on three walks a day round and round and round the hotel car park. I love those walks now. When I saw our hotel car park that first morning I was really disappointed. The space is so small. Its perimeter is only 180 meters long. But I now love going on my runs and walks around it. I enjoy watching other people as I go round and round. I love seeing the little kiddies play. I wonder where that person is from and what brought that person back to the UK.
On June 3, I left the UK for Egypt. I hadn’t been back to my home country since before the pandemic and hadn’t since seen two of my four children. I could not avoid the trip: my daughter was getting married and another daughter and son were getting engaged.
Before I booked my trip, I made sure I was going to be double vaccinated first. I wanted the protection, as I had insider information that Egyptians weren’t nearly as strict about COVID-19 as most Brits were. I also told my children that I would not be able to participate in their events unless they were held outdoors and the numbers were kept to a minimum. Since I have the best children in the world, they obliged and were very kind and respectful of my concerns.
The day I left the UK, Egypt was on the amber list. That was the same day a review of the green, amber and red lists was to be announced. There wasn’t even the slightest rumour about Egypt getting changed, although there had been a couple of low profile news stories about a new variant appearing in Thailand that had allegedly originated in Egypt.
As soon as I landed I got the news: Egypt was now on the UK’s red list and I’d have to enter a hotel quarantine upon my return.
I can’t say I was disappointed. I’m a firm believer in the importance of hotel quarantines for people arriving from certain countries. I know that many people aren’t as strict as they should probably be about home quarantines. And I know that it’s almost impossible to enforce their strict observance 24/7 for ten days. I also think that it’s important to limit travel from countries that aren’t taking COVID-19 restrictions seriously. In the UK, we’ve been through hell and back to reduce the numbers of cases and deaths to what it is now. We should have been stricter with incoming travel all along. Later, though, is better than never.
It’s not important to be the fastest or even to be fast. It’s not important to be the
This Italian hamburger gave me just enough energy to keep looking for a hotel.
strongest or even to be strong. What IS important is to be determined and persistent. Remember the story of the rabbit and the turtle? I’m a turtle. And it’s working for me just fine.
It’s the stuff of nightmares; my nightmares. I roll into a town I don’t know and can’t find anywhere to spend the night. Although unlikely, it COULD happen. I could have as one of my destinations a town so small it does not have hotels. What do I do then? I dread the day if it comes.
While I was organizing this trip, I researched hotels and campsites in and near my planned destinations. For every destination, with the exception of perhaps five, I have the address of somewhere I can stay. If it’s a campsite, I check its website the night before I arrive to make sure there is a restaurant in or near it. If not, I head to the nearest city. If it’s a hotel, rarely do I actually look for it when I arrive. My system has been to find the city center and book into any suitable hotel there.
But things are never that straight forward. Sometimes I can’t find the campsite or it turns out it doesn’t exist. Other times I get there and it doesn’t have grass plots so I can’t pitch my tent or it doesn’t have food nearby. Sometimes, like today, I can only find one extravagantly priced hotel in the whole town. There must be others but I can’t find them.
I don’t really have a backup plan. Wild camping is not an option I want to consider. (more…)