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Tom Blake

By Tom Blake

Over the past two months, emails I’ve received from readers indicate that not only are seniors emerging from the pandemic, some even want to travel.

Cheryl and Guy, of Mission Viejo, emailed: “After being canceled for two years, now we have received confirmation of our flights and hotels for Vienna, Prague, Budapest, and more. We are traveling alone and conduct a great deal of research on each destination.

“Six years ago, I made a quickly scribbled note about your Travelafter55.com website, which you said describes a trip to Budapest that you and Greta took.

“Could you let us know how to access that information on the website? No rush, because we do not depart until August for a month. Before we go, I like to have as much information about a city or site. Travel books are basic help, but I like information from reliable people I know.”

Tom’s response: “Travelafter55.com is the right website. On the homepage, look at the archive listings in the right-hand column. Click on the May 2015 archive. That will take you directly to Budapest and the subsequent river cruise we took from there to Vienna, continuing to Amsterdam.

“Our visit to Prague was when we took the Orient Express train from Venice to Prague and on to Paris. Click on the April 2007 archive to read about Prague.

“You are going to love your trip.”

Thyrza, of Dana Point: “Since I am free to travel until my next doctor six-month checkup, I plan to take a seven-day cruise to Greece with Holland America Line. Short enough, but long enough to just relax and get pampered. My sweet doctor said I can’t be sitting around waiting for the next six-month checkup. I think for us seniors, this is true: tomorrow is today.”

Larry, a former Dana Point neighbor I’ve known for 30 years, lives with his fiancee in the Philippines. When the pandemic hit, he was in the United States on business for a few months.

Since then, he has been unable to fly back to the Philippines. He’s had seven different flights booked and then canceled by the airlines or the Philippine government.

He emailed this week:  “Now I’m shooting for a flight to Manila on July 10th.”

So, it appears that Larry will be able to give his fiancee a long-overdue hug next month. I’m hoping for him.

Carmen, a high school classmate of mine, has lived in Barra de Navidad, Mexico for several years. His significant other, Karen, passed away in 2019. The pandemic made travel almost impossible in 2020, so he was stuck in Mexico.

On May 10, Carmen sent an email: “I’m toying with the idea of selling my place in Mexico and moving to Italy for the final few years (Carm’s grandparents were from Italy).

“Or, Plan B is to rent out my place in Mexico for a few months and spend that time in Italy to test the waters.

“I got both COVID-19 vaccinations.”

Tom’s response: “Holy Catfish! Why do I say that? Because five minutes ago, I received an email from Annalisa, a 69-year-old divorced woman in Milan, Italy who wants to meet an American man who is widowed and is willing to have him come visit her in Milan.” 

I did something I seldom do. I introduced them via email. As it now stands, Carmen will be traveling to Milan in July to visit and spend time with her. He’s hoping his flight won’t be canceled.

My partner Greta and I love to travel. We’ve had our COVID vaccinations, our passports are up-to-date, and we’re ready to go. But, just to be cautious, we’re going to wait a few more months to cruise or possibly go see our friend Carmen, who might still be in Italy.

Cruise ships are starting to appear in U.S. ports.

Tom Blake is a retired Dana Point business owner and resident who has authored books on middle-aged dating. See his website at findingloveafter50.com. To comment: tompblake@gmail.com.

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