Greetings from...Vienna, Austria!
My first newsletter to you from somewhere other than Thailand in what feels like absolutely ages...a year and a half without travelling is a long time to a traveller 🙂
The trip experience itself was actually not too bad, largely because I had so much space to myself the entire time, whether on the plane, in the airport, or transiting between. I documented a few parts of the journey in my video this week:
I certainly expected it to be empty, but it was a shock to the system to see some of the world's busiest airport hubs - Bangkok, Abu Dhabi - with boarded up shops and almost completely devoid of life. We are nearly two years into this catastrophe and one wonders how much longer the travel industry can sustain itself with so few passengers and so little energy.
On the more positive side, I didn't get the sense that people were overly stressed, whether that was other passengers or airport staff. I suspect this is largely because of the peace of mind that comes from vaccines and airport safety systems and protocols that by and large are working.
Getting into Vienna, my home for many years, required just a negative PCR test, and I was able to immediately go to St. Stephen's Cathedral in the city centre to get a vaccine - no appointment needed.
This was a great relief for me, as I was waiting for a long time in Thailand to get one. The challenging situation there understandably put foreigners further down the list, and so I decided to return to Europe, do it here, and get back underway with some R&D for our upcoming trips in 2022.
Overall it feels great to be back in Europe, and lovely to go outside and not sweat 🙂 I'll update you more with the situation on the ground here in the coming weeks as I learn more about the prospects of travel here and what people are saying.
Just a couple quick notes otherwise - I'm pleased to release the final leg of our France Kaleidoscope trip this week to Provence and the spectacular Cote d'Azur, which you can find in your newsletter. I got lots of great feedback from our webinar this past week and it really will be a fantastic experience.
Next up is a trip that really captures my imagination as a traveller - Yachting in Tahiti and French Polynesia, an exotic adventure to those far-flung islands in the south Pacific. Please join us for that this upcoming Thursday if you are able.
There's lots more to come, so stay safe, and stay tuned...adventure awaits.